The College Republicans urge both President Trump and the news media to grow up.
Regardless of who dealt the first blow or who started it, the president and the media are caught in a mean-spirited, childish conflict. To end the bickering, President Trump and his administration must abandon the attempt to invent their own facts and accept that the truth is not something they can create. This requires the administration to move beyond their pride, thicken their skin and accept a degree of criticism without providing “alternative facts” to hide from any remotely negative comments.
More concretely, the College Republicans condemn the use of unnecessarily aggressive language that labels the press as the “enemy of the American people.” Quite to the contrary, they are the American people; their function is crucial to supporting the freedom of our democracy. The hard questions are precisely the ones that must be answered, and the president should not be shirking them for the “nice questions” about the First Lady.
In the words of Senator John McCain, to preserve democracy as we know it, we must have a free and often adversarial press. While President Trump has by no means begun to limit the free press, we merely ask that he appreciate its function.
On the other hand, much of the mainstream media has enacted a biased, unprofessional attack on the president. Although the term has become almost comical, fake news has become a serious problem. When social media can spread rumors like wildfire, the media has an increased obligation to ensure the validity of its sources. They have not done so.
Major publishers have run blatantly false or deliberately misleading stories about the president planning to invade Mexico or easing sanctions on Russia. At one point, President Trump was even attacked for renaming Black History Month to African American History Month. CNN’s homepage is filled with deliberately biased headlines attempting to portray the president as a dictator or a traitor. CNN’s homepage is filled with deliberately biased headlines attempting to portray the president as a dictator or a traitor.
We encourage all of the media to reclaim their integrity and professionalism and to report on stories accurately and objectively with as little bias as possible. While we acknowledge that a liberal bias will never completely leave the liberal media, the more that CNN and others launch ubiquitous and unfounded attacks on the president, the less credible they seem when they offer real complaints. In other words, they run the risk of becoming the media outlet that cried wolf.
In short, the College Republicans accept and appreciate that there must be a degree of conflict between the press and the government, and that it is precisely said conflict that keeps both parties honest. Presently, however, the relationship between press and government has dissolved into little more than a schoolyard insult competition. We urge President Trump to accept that the media will not always be on his side — and more often than not will frequently criticize him. We urge him to get over it and to do his job despite it.
On the other hand, the press must stop compromising their integrity and credibility just to insult the administration and must stop misleading and distorting the truth just to paint President Trump in a negative light. The entire scene reeks of immaturity and childish bickering, each side trying to get back at the other for the last “mean thing” they said. Both parties are adults, and they ought to act like it.
MICHAEL BOGDANOS is a College freshman and a co-chair of the College Republicans Editorial Board.
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