Veteran Tampa reporter responds to Trump’s relationship with the media

President Donald Trump spoke to law enforcement officials at the Major County Sheriffs' Association Conference in Washington, DC. NBC News image

TAMPA, Fla.  (WFLA) – President Trump has called the media the “opposition party,” the enemy, dishonest and fake.

Now more than ever, the President’s relationship with the press continues to get worse.

This comes on the heels of Saturday’s tweet by the President that he won’t attending the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner this year.

It’s been 36 years since a President has missed the function and that was back in 1981 when then President Ronald Regan was recuperating from an assassination attempt.

In his tweet, Trump continued by saying, “Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”

It’s the latest bombshell in the President’s war with the media.

“They are, they’re the enemy of the people,’ Trump said.  “It creates a whole false deal and we have to fight it folks, we have to fight it.  They’re smart.  They’re very cunning.  They’re very dishonest.”

Tampa Bay veteran political reporter William March and political analyst Barry Edwards say Trumps’ attack on the media is, in part, due to Trump never having held political office before.

“He’s never been hit like this before until the campaign,” Edwards said.  “He had a relatively free ride until the end of the primary and so, I think he hasn’t felt what it’s like getting hit on a daily basis before.”

“He’s just not used to having guys like me be able to write anything we want about him and he can’t stop it,” said March, who worked for the Tampa Tribune and now works for the Tampa Bay Times and Associated Press.

On Friday, the White House blocked some news outlets from attending a press briefing which raised alarm among the media and First Amendment watchers.

We asked Edwards how any elected official and not just the President be held accountable if there’s no media to hold them responsible for their actions for their constituents.  “Well, that’s the problem,” he said, and “I think the media is going to push back, too.”

President Trump has also lashed out at the media for using sources in their reporting.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name,” Trump told a crowd.  “Let their name be put out there.”

“This is a Common tool of journalism,” March said in response to the issue.  They (sources) are controversial and a lot of new organizations are expecting them more and more.”

The White House Correspondents’ Association said it will not cancel this “celebration of the First Amendment.”

Several news organizations have also dropped out of the event because of the President’s treatment of the media.



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