Veteran correspondent Christiane Amanpour tore into President Trump’s attacks on the media, saying they’ve “empowered” dictators and authoritarian rulers “to beat up against the press.”
“I mean, look, we have, for instance, in London, this weekend, the president of Turkey, a U.S. ally. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is coming here. This is one of the key abusers of the press in his own country. I mean, taking them to court, you know, putting them in prison. I mean, just the worst,” Amanpour told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” on Sunday
“So when the president of the United States of America, you know, says these kinds of things, other leaders are empowered, whether they’re quasi-democratic, authoritarian, dictatorial, they’re all empowered to beat up against the press. And that’s really dangerous around the world,” she continued.
Trump last week threatened to take away news networks’ press credentials over “negative” coverage which he defined as “fake” news.
“The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake),” the president tweeted. “Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”
White House Correspondents’ Association President Margaret Talev said that just because the president doesn’t like the news coverage doesn’t mean it’s fake.
“A free press must be able to report on the good, the bad, the momentous and the mundane, without fear or favor,” she said in a statement. “And a president preventing a free and independent press from covering the workings of our republic would be an unconscionable assault on the First Amendment.”