Press Presents United Front as Trump’s War on Media Escalates

The mainstream media made a point to defend each other — and their own companies’ dignities — during a week of particularly brutal attacks against their collective integrity by President Donald Trump.

Trump’s Twitter assault began Tuesday, June 27, when he tweeted about “fake news CNN” when three CNN employees resigned after retracting a story about a congressional investigation into potential Trump-Russia ties that did not meet the company’s editorial standards.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders doubled down on her boss’ rhetoric against CNN and the mainstream media a few hours after his tweetstorm.

“I think that we have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, that’s a dangerous place for America,” she said during a White House press briefing.

In addition to hitting CNN, Trump also made sure on Tuesday to take an unsolicited Twitter shot at the rest of the mainstream media for good measure.

The Washington Post, whether by coincidence or in a direct response, published a story that day exposing a fake Time magazine cover hanging up at a few Trump golf clubs.

“So how did Trump — who spent an entire campaign and much of his presidency accusing the mainstream media of producing ‘fake news’ — wind up decorating his properties with a literal piece of phony journalism?” the Post’s David Fahrenthold asked as the Internet laughed.

Even the usually high-brow New Yorker took a swipe at Trump’s fake Time cover with a savage editorial cartoon.

The next day, Trump took to Twitter and knocked the “#AmazonWashingtonPost” for “not paying internet taxes” and being “fake news.”

The New York Times, which Trump had called a “fake news joke” earlier that day,  jumped to the Post’s defense, clarifying the Post’s ownership structure (Jeff Bezos owns it, not Amazon) and questioning whether Trump inadvertently advocated for “a longer reach for the tax collector,” which is “anathema to anti-tax advocates,” like the president.

On Thursday, Trump drew the strongest condemnations of the week from the press after blasting “Morning Joe” on Twitter with a particularly nasty comment targeted at co-host Mika Brzezinski, calling her “low I.Q. crazy Mika” and, in another invocation of a woman’s blood, accusing her of “bleeding badly from a face-lift” after she and her co-host Joe Scarborough visited the president in Mar-a-Lago.

CNN, the victim of Trump’s wrath two days ago, put up a blunt headline on their homepage regarding Trump’s “Morning Joe” tweets.

Their communications team also publicly displayed their support for Brzezinksi and Scarborough.

Sanders again defended the president’s behavior, this time on Fox News.

“This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media,” she said.

Ironically for Sanders, Trump’s Brzezinski tweets were so provocative that even a few Fox News contributors felt compelled to denounce them, including Meghan McCain (John McCain’s daughter).

“I don’t want to be seen as a party that somehow isn’t respectful towards women,” McCain said. “And when you send tweets out like that — I don’t like it.”

Politico also may have subtly stood up for Brzezinski by releasing an article Friday morning reporting that the White House is currently evaluating whether it is worth keeping former President Barack Obama’s White House Council on Women on Girls, adding fuel to the “Trump doesn’t respect women” fire.

Brzezinski did not respond to Trump’s tweets initially besides a thinly veiled joke about Trump’s allegedly tiny hands.

She and Scarborough officially hit back at Trump Friday, both in the form of a Washington Post op-ed titled “Donald Trump is not well” and then on Friday’s edition of “Morning Joe.”

“I’m very concerned about what this once again reveals about the president of the United States,” Brzezinski said.

Scarborough expressed his concern for Trump’s emotional well-being.

“The guy that’s in the White House now is not the guy we knew two years ago,” he said.

Trump, unable to hold his tongue again, tweeted after the segment aired that “Morning Joe” was “FAKE NEWS” and a “bad show.”

Scarborough responded quickly, decrying “yet another lie” from the president of the United States.

On Saturday, Trump struck a media-bashing trifecta by accusing NBC and Comcast of promoting “Trump hate,” re-expressing his contempt for CNN and refusing to let the “Morning Joe” controversy die.

He ended Saturday with a few more tweets on how social media propelled him to the presidency and why his social media use should be considered “MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.” And of course, he took yet another shot at CNN.

Finally, on Sunday morning, Trump tweeted a GIF of himself body-slamming WWE bigwig Vince McMahon with a CNN logo superimposed over McMahon’s face.

CNN’s communications team responded by tweeting a Sanders quote from July 29 that Trump appeared to contradict with his Twitter actions only four days later.

The New York Post’s Friday jab at the president probably sums up how the mainstream media — and a large portion of the American public — feels about his constant Twitter assaults against the United States’ preeminent news sources: “Stop. Just Stop.”

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