The president’s press attacks don’t just threaten truth: they create an atmosphere in which journalists are in real danger

Shooting the messenger, metaphorically speaking, is a long-established practice among American presidents and prickly politicians the world over. But by repeatedly insisting journalists should be treated as “the enemy of the people”, Donald Trump has hit a new low – with dangerous international ramifications.

From the start of his presidential odyssey, Trump made media purveyors of “fake news” a primary target. His attacks played well with partisan crowds encouraged to believe journalists were bag-carriers for the “liberal” establishment elite which, he said, was betraying the American dream.

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