Barack Obama was the first American president I heard start mentioning journalists and news outlets by name, attacking their fairness and responsibility.
Now that President Trump is doing it – admittedly at a heightened pace – there is all sorts of handwringing about whether journalists are going to come to some kind of harm.
I previously objected to politicians going after the press. But in today’s environment, where the agenda of the ostensibly objective press is no longer even remotely hidden and few checks are made to prevent bias, I think the president has a right to fight back. As long as he doesn’t restrict their speech, he has a right not to just get hit time and time again. And while I would never wish harm to any journalist – I’ve been under threat myself – and I doubt anyone will do anything stupid, it’s now a volatile business we are in and journalists need to accept that there are risks. Trump can’t be responsible for every lunatic who might misinterpret his words, any more than the press is responsible for lunatics who might take up their articles and punditry and turn them into violence.
Obama lit the match, and Trump is just fanning the flames.