To put it politely, Donald Trump is not a pleasant person – but most of us have gathered that by now. On more than one occasion he has contradicted himself, but one thing he remains consistent with, is his attitude towards the press.
On Sunday, Trump posted a video of himself wrestling a figure with the CNN logo imposed over their face on Twitter. While the clip is completely ridiculous, it has been criticised for the message it conveys and rightly so.
A spokesperson for CNN stated: “It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters.”
Some rushed to Trump’s defence and saw it as a bit of fun, though it’s not the first time Trump has supposedly joked about attacking someone. It doesn’t seem so long ago that he told supporters at a presidential rally to “knock the crap out” of anyone who dared to protest and assured that he’d pay the legal fees.
If someone were to attack or make a joke about inflicting violence on a traffic warden because they were given a parking ticket, it wouldn’t be funny. Nobody likes having to pay for fines, but if you parked somewhere you shouldn’t have, it’s a consequence you must face. The fact that you don’t want it to be there, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. The person who issued the fine was only doing their job.
Though unprofessionalism is a hallmark of Trump’s personality, his feelings about the media are certainly a cause for concern. The video is a clear indication that Trump hasn’t grasped the concept of government accountability.
This isn’t a harmless joke. It’s a dangerous attitude to have, especially from someone who is a key figure in global politics. Nobody likes having their wrongdoings publicised, but when you’re the president of the United States, scrutiny is to be expected.
Of course, this doesn’t mean to say that Trump is completely against the media and that he resents every journalist alive. If we believe every word he says, news is only credible when it praises him and is fake, when it does exactly the opposite.
Trump has yet to understand that journalists aren’t there to portray him in a positive light just because he wants them to. Contrary to what he believes, being president doesn’t make him untouchable.