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The Drum

Trump accuses US media of ‘collusion’ after newspapers unite with free speech editorials

Trump accuses US media of ‘collusion’ after newspapers unite on free speech editorials

US president Donald Trump has hit back at around 350 US newspapers critical of the growing disdain of the media displayed by the White House, by penning a series of disdainful tweets.

In an unprecedented display of unity America’s press united in criticism of the US government’s stance toward the media, including the dismissal of critical reporting as ‘fake news’, branding the press as ‘enemies of the people’ and reposting footage of him apparently beating up a CNN reporter.

If it had been hoped this show of force would change sentiment Trump’s Twitter feed proved to be a source of immediate disappointment as the president doubled down by reiterating his ‘fake news’ war cry while going further and accusing media critics of ‘collusion’.

In a series of Twitter posts Trump wrote: “The fake news media is the opposition party. It is very bad for our great country.... but we are winning!

“The Boston Globe, which was sold to the failing New York Times for 1.3 billion dollars (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 billion dollars, was then sold by the Times for 1 dollar. Now the Globe is in collusion with other papers on free press. Prove it!

“There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true freedom of the press. The fact is that the press is free to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is fake news, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people. Honesty wins!”

The US constitution enshrines freedom of the press in law but this hasn’t assuaged those who fear a steady erosion in public trust on the back of repeated presidential outbursts.