Boston Globe launches day of editorials against Trump

In other words, just a normal day in Trump’s America. The Boston Globe named itself America’s protector of the free press and is coordinating a day designated for newspapers across the country to run editorials declaring war on President Trump’s labeling of the press as the enemy of the people.

‘‘We are not the enemy of the people,’’ said Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Boston Globe, referring to a characterization of journalists that Trump has used in the past. The president, who contends he has largely been covered unfairly by the press, also employs the term ‘‘fake news’’ often when describing the media.

The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing what the newspaper called a ‘‘dirty war against the free press.’’

So the day designated for the war on Trump’s words is August 16 and so far lots of editorial boards across America are only too happy to jump on the bandwagon. Was there ever any doubt? This is just another day at the office.

As of Friday, Pritchard said about 70 outlets had committed to editorials so far, with the list expected to grow. The publications ranged from large metropolitan dailies, such as the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000.

The press has never supported President Trump and both print and television network coverage has been grossly skewered negatively against him. A regular American can easily understand Trump’s distrust of those covering his administration when he learns that 91% of his coverage is negative.

The New York Times is so proud of itself and their coverage of Trump that the reporters and board of directors participated in a four-episode mini-series for Showtime. Called “The Fourth Estate”, the series made the reporters the story and that is exactly what is wrong with today’s reporters. No one is interested in a journalist’s pursuit of celebrity status. We’d just like to read a story that is accurate and factual. The impact of their work on the personal lives of the reporters and the day-to-day responsibilities of the job are portrayed as stressful and neverending. You know, like full-time jobs are for most Americans. Instead of being adults and just doing the job, reporters whine about a president willing to call out bad reporting and take the press down a notch or ten.

For example, the New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet thought the mini-series would “help build our credibility.” 

“If people see Maggie Haberman go about her business and how much reporting she does, I think if people see the Washington bureau struggling with covering the daily news, it builds our credibility,” he said. “It lets people see how much work goes into it, the complexity. To be frank, it’s a group of dedicated professions trying to do their jobs.”

President Trump calls out the reporting that is ideologically-based rather than based on just the facts of a story and calls it fake news. All presidents have an adversarial relationship with the press (except when the press took an eight-year sabbatical during the Obama administration) and Republican presidents are historically covered less favorably than Democrats. The press leans in favor of Democrats, to put it mildly, and the numbers bear out the story. Only 7% of journalists call themselves Republicans, as of 2013. I would say that that number has probably shrunk even lower in 2018. Journalists no longer even attempt to keep their personal political opinions under wraps. They simply insert them into the stories as part of the reporting.

Maybe the president’s declaration that the press can start a war sent the Boston Globe over the edge. While I admit the hyperbole was strong with that statement, it is easy to understand those who were making that claim during the administration of George W. Bush and the lead-up to the Iraq war. There were lots of stories at the time of coordination between press coverage and that administration’s talking points to justify that action. President Trump likes a good conspiracy story so it doesn’t surprise me that he would be in that camp of believers.

“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE,” he wrote. “I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

I’ll leave you with this quote from the Boston Globe’s deputy managing editor which I think shows the arrogance of this upcoming day-long exercise from the press. She says the newspapers will use differing words. I’m willing to bet that most of them will read exactly alike, full sentence structure and all.

The newspaper’s request suggests editorial boards take a common stand against Trump’s words regardless of their politics. “Our words will differ. But at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming,” the appeal notes. Pritchard says the decision to seek the coordinated response from newspapers was reached after Trump appeared to step up his rhetoric in recent weeks. She says she hopes the editorials will make an impression on Americans and “educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable. We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution.”

It’s all for you, America. Our betters in journalism just want to educate us about the First Amendment. The editor “hopes the editorials will make an impression on Americans.”  Don’t worry, for at least half of the country, they already have and it’s not that for which she hopes.