February 18, 2017

President Donald Trump took his press-bashing to a new level on Friday when he called journalists from The New York Times, ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC “the enemy of the American people.”

The comment touched off a series of rebukes from journalists and public figures who defended the role of a free press in American society using the hashtag “#nottheenemy.”

Mike Wilson, the editor of the Dallas Morning News, wrote a column that described the lives of the journalists — dubbed “enemies of the people” — that work in his newsroom:

Times are hard in our business. Recently I had to tell 50 enemies of the people that I will soon have jobs for only 30 of them. We interviewed all of them for the available positions, and one after another, they said, “I do a good job, but so does the enemy of the people who sits next to me, so you need to be sure to keep him.”

When an enemy of the people leaves us, we give sad, awkward speeches and eat cake.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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