In Trump’s world, there’s nothing wrong with “collusion” unless it’s being committed by Hillary Clinton… or the media.
The president woke up on Thursday to news that nearly 350 different newspapers across the country had all published editorials denouncing his attacks against the media. The project, spearheaded by The Boston Globe, called on papers to tackle the issue in their own words.
“We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration’s assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date,” Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor of Globe, wrote in a memo to editorial boards last week.
“We’re being portrayed as a domestic enemy rather than a loyal fellow countryman whose profession is to hold the powerful accountable,” she added in an interview with The New York Times. “This whole project is not anti-Trump. It’s really pro-press.”
Unsurprisingly, Trump didn’t see it that way.
The first tweet on the issue came just before 9 a.m. “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country....BUT WE ARE WINNING!” Trump tweeted defiantly.
Then, about 15 minutes after Fox News first reported on the editorials, Trump lashed out at The Boston Globe directly. After highlighting the paper’s financial struggles, the president accused the Globe of being “in COLLUSION with other papers on free press.” He added, “PROVE IT!” though it was unclear who he was speaking to or what he wanted proven.
For good measure, Trump added a dismissive message about “true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.”
Of course, Trump’s reaction to the project could not have been more predictable.
So much so that, writing for The San Francisco Chronicle, editorial-page editor John Diaz predicted it.
In a piece explaining why his paper would not be participating in the “coordinated editorial campaign,” Diaz expressed several concerns about the project, including this one:
“It plays into Trump’s narrative that the media are aligned against him. I can just anticipate his Thursday morning tweets accusing the ‘FAKE NEWS MEDIA’ of ‘COLLUSION!’ and ‘BIAS!’ He surely will attempt to cite this day of editorials to discredit critical and factual news stories in the future, even though no one involved in those pieces had anything to do with this campaign.”
He could not have been more right.