President Donald Trump is lashing out at the press, including the Boston Globe, as newspapers nationwide launch a coordinated rebuttal to his attacks against what he calls "fake news."
Trump tweets: "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!"
Trump has repeatedly said the press is "fake" and the "enemy of the people" in connection with his media coverage.
Trump also is criticizing The Boston Globe, which spearheaded the newspaper editorial campaign. He tweets that the Globe "is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!"
The Globe's opinion board responded to Trump in a tweet shortly afterward saying to label the press "the enemy of the people" is un-American.
For the Globe, this issue came to a boiling point in recent weeks as Trump continued to ramp up his rhetoric. Thursday's effort was an attempt by the Globe's editorial staff to stand up and defend the Free Press.
"We are not at war with the president. We are doing our jobs and our job is enshrined in the constitution," said Boston Globe Editorial Writer Marcela Garcia. "And our job is to be the watchdog of the government."
Globe editorial writers say Trump‘s rhetoric against the news media has dangerous consequences and is the kind of language more often used in authoritarian regimes. For that reason, they called on newspapers around the country to publish editorials promoting freedom of the press and refuting what they call Trump’s ongoing assault.
The Globe said more than 350 newspapers across the country wrote editorials after the editorial board spearheaded the free speech effort earlier this week.
Tom Mountain is one Trump supporter who said he believes the Globe is in collusion with other papers on the free press.
"It’s really a ruse and a movement against Trump," said Mountain. "And another excuse to try to delegitimize the president ... as they’ve been doing since day one."
Tom Fiedler, Boston University’s College of Communications Dean, said he is impressed with the participation but adds the effort also enables Trump to push his conspiracy theory.
"This provides him ammunition which he is only too happy to use," said Fiedler.
Among the Massachusetts politicians who tweeted their support was Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Attorney General Maura Healey.
Mike St. Peter, President and General Manager of NBC10 Boston, Telemundo Boston, and necn, has also issued a statement.
"NBC10 Boston, Telemundo Boston and necn unequivocally support our journalists’ right to cover our communities under the First Amendment’s press freedom guarantees. We consider this a great responsibility, and are committed to ensuring our stories are accurate, well sourced and fair," said St. Peter.