If you thought yesterday's press conference was "ranting and raving", it appears President Trump just turned the anti-'Fake news'-media amplifier up to '11', declaring CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS , The New York Times (yet not The Washington Post) as "enemies of the American people".
Incidentally, this was the second tweet, after Trump removed the first version one, which some thought was deleted as it was just a little too "aggressive" but as it turned out, simply ommitted ABC and CBS.
As a reminder, Trump and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon have both referred to the media as the "opposition party."
"The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign," Mr. Bannon said. "Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign." (He did not name specific reporters or editors.) "That's why you have no power," Mr. Bannon added. "You were humiliated."
"You're the opposition party," Mr. Bannon said. "Not the Democratic Party. You're the opposition party. The media's the opposition party."
And here was Trump yesterday.
Trump: I'm changing CNN from "fake news" to "very fake news." pic.twitter.com/5ZRoDXdUNz— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 16, 2017
The media - which according to the president is now America's enemy - had reactions, ranging from the shocked, to the defensive, to the conciliatory, to the bemused.
Only a FAKE PRESIDENT would declare the First Amendment to be the enemy of the American people. https://t.co/ZFZvlTf8Az— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 17, 2017
I would hope that our leaders would never believe that any American desires to make another American an enemy. Let's dial it back.— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 17, 2017
I was on the fence about this, but how can journalists go to WHCA dinner and toast somebody who has branded them an "enemy" of the state?— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) February 17, 2017
Trump attacks so-called "fake news" media and then deletes tweet. And here I thought we made progress yesterday. Sad. pic.twitter.com/Zr2FOFhxFI— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 17, 2017
Fact check: We are not the enemy. https://t.co/yfm99CXwjh— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 17, 2017
An American president sworn to defend the Constitution wrote those words https://t.co/RHFNb7rd6F— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 17, 2017
But seriously, all joking aside, this is an incredibly disturbing statement. https://t.co/c8HnOmHmUW— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) February 17, 2017
They are on recess and for the first time in weeks out of our sight line https://t.co/OdEHWxU4nl— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) February 17, 2017
Let's be clear: "Enemy of the people" (???? ??????) is pure Bolshevism. Trump is citing core Chekist slogans now.https://t.co/S6y7fH5Tzx— John Schindler (@20committee) February 17, 2017
Journalists, our commitment to our craft and careers just became vital. Keep fighting the good fight.— Shawn Reynolds (@ShawnWTVM9) February 17, 2017
This is how muzzling starts: not with a boot, but with the fear of one that runs so deep that you muzzle yourself. https://t.co/XZUlFyv9Vz— Mark S. Getzfred (@marknyt) February 17, 2017
"Enemy of the people"— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 17, 2017
Boy, that's definitely in no way fascist-sounding! https://t.co/y1niD7c4Wd
He's lashing out because he knows it's coming closer and closer. This is actually raw fear.— Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) February 17, 2017
Which begs the question, if the "media" is the enemy, what does that make its corporate owners?