Is Trump encouraging violence against journalists?

US President Donald Trump tweeted a video on Twitter showing him wrestling a man wearing the CNN logo to the ground. But not all the media are up in arms over the issue.

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Heti Válasz (HU) /

CNN only has itself to blame

CNN has discredited itself with its false reports on the president, Heti Válasz writes:

“The news channel has provided Trump with munition against the liberal press and the 'dark forces'. … Two things were dangerous for Trump up to now: Trump himself and the media. But if he can't get himself under control he can still take on the 'dishonest' journalists, whom he can attack as much as he likes as his voters cheer him on. … The smell of testosterone wafting from the White House since Trump took office has unfortunately engulfed that section of the media that had the power to control him. … CNN used Trump's methods and ended up losing.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

US president playing dictator

This time Trump has definitely gone too far, writes NRC Handelsblad:

“The antagonism between the president and the press is good. And you can find it okay for the president to defend himself. But Donald Trump clearly hasn't understood that a president must be a role model and that beating up journalists is not on - even if it's just staged. This can't be laughed off as a joke, and nor can the tweets be ignored. The fact that the media are also benefiting from the feud with the White House doesn't change that. Inciting people to physical violence against journalists fits in with a dictatorship-to-be, but not with the United States.”

The Independent (GB) /

Press freedom under attack

The video could incite Trump's supporters to use violence against journalists, The Independent criticises:

“It was bad enough that his toddler-esque tantrums were apparently deemed acceptable in the boardroom; that they can continue without sanction now he is President is simply astonishing. ... Is Trump's aim simply to undermine belief in the media? Or does he genuinely want his supporters to take more active steps against journalists? ... America should be setting an example to the world when it comes to respecting the right of the free press - instead, leading figures are giving succour to regimes which would wish to curtail media freedoms. It is frankly unforgivable.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Fraud news rhetoric is dangerous

President Trump's criticism of the media, which turned violent in the video clip, is not just childish but downright dangerous, Aftonbladet concludes:

“Donald Trump hates journalist and has revved up his campaign against the media to such an extent that one can no longer say that it's childish and undignified. Because he is now beginning to get dangerous. He repeats the words 'fake news' and 'fraud news' so often that it wears people down. He is calling the controls into question. ... This is a mortally dangerous situation because between all the tweeting Donald Trump must make decisions of international bearing, for example on the climate agreement. Impeachment proceedings in accordance with the rules must be seriously considered - long before the next elections come along.”

Pohjalainen (FI) /

US president spreading fear

Reactions to the video within Trump's camp vary, Pohjalainen observes:

“Trump's latest excesses have also caused an uproar among the Republicans, who voiced concern about preserving the dignity of the office of president. ... But there is also approval among Trump's supporters. In their eyes certain news channels and their journalists belong to the elite that Trump must combat. Many believe these are fake media who support the Democrats and must be put in their place. ... Such a tone from the president of a major country inspires fear. The goal of these media attacks is to divert attention from Trump's failures and declining popularity. That strategy still works but it requires ever heavier artillery.”