Patti Davis, the daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, wrote a scathing op-ed criticizing President Trump’s frequent attacks on the media, saying her father “would have been the first to stand in the way” of Trump’s anti-press rhetoric.
Trump’s attacks on the free press have “lit a match” for his base of supporters, causing them to taunt and menace journalists, Davis noted.
“I’ve tried to imagine what my father would have done if people attending a political speech of his had turned to the press and raised their middle fingers, hurled obscenities or physically menaced the reporters who were there doing their jobs,” she wrote.
“I found it difficult to conjure the image, and then I realized why. It simply wouldn’t have happened,” she continued. “The person on the podium, the person everyone has gathered to see, sets the tone.”
Davis wrote that she is “horrified by the vilification of the news media” and called on others to speak out against Trump’s dangerous and demagogic rhetoric.
“Silence didn’t create this country; brazen, unwavering commitment did,” she wrote. “And one of those commitments was to a free press — one not controlled or hampered by a demagogue who has a good day only when he’s being flattered.”
The Hill added:
Davis has criticized Trump before, writing in June that her dad would be “appalled” by his presidency.
Trump has said that Reagan was his favorite president during his lifetime, and has shared old photos of him with Reagan.