President Donald Trump on Saturday blasted CNN, calling it a source of “fake” news and comparing it unfavorably to its competitor Fox News.
“@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly,” he said on Twitter. “The outside world does not see the truth from them!”
CNN’s communications team fired back minutes later, tweeting, “It’s not CNN’s job to represent the U.S to the world. That’s yours. Our job is to report the news. #FactsFirst.”
Trump’s remarks come at a significant time for the media outlet, whose parent company Time Warner is merging with AT&T in an $85 billion deal. The Department of Justice has sued to block the merger, and legal experts have speculated that Trump’s previous comments about CNN may be brought up during the litigation.
CNN is a frequent target of Trump’s ire, and he has labeled the network “fake news,” “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “ratings challenged” in the last several months alone.
Trump’s Saturday tweet also marked the second time in as many days that Trump lashed out at a major media outlet on Twitter. On Friday, he went after TIME Magazine, claiming he “took a pass” at being named its “Person of the Year.”
“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year,’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,” Trump tweeted. “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”
The magazine shot down at Trump’s claim shortly afterward, tweeting that “the President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”
What Donald Trump did today was give dictators around the globe validation on their own attacks on a free and open press.
No, really. This is what dictators do.
While almost every dictator from Mao Zedong, to Joseph Stalin, to Adolf Hitler has branded some part of the population as an enemy of the people, its specific application to the free press has more recent examples.
- In September 2014 the head of the military junta that rules Myanmar said the media was constantly: “condemning and providing false information again, with some truths omitted, some issues exaggerated, and some news reported without scrutiny.”
- In 2007, Hugo Chavez shut down the RCTV and then made a televised address, on all channels, in which he branded the media group Globovision his next ‘enemy of the state.
- In 1997 Russian state media named Noyaya Gazeta-Mir Ludei (The New Newspaper-World of People), a small 15-member of staff paper that scrutinised the actions of the regional government, was called ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘enemy of the state’.