It’s not exactly any secret that President Trump doesn’t have a very good relationship with the media. There aren’t very many days that go by without Trump blasting the “fake news media” on Twitter.
Trump’s statement that the media is “the enemy of the American people” was responded to by a man who knows a thing or two about what an “enemy” is. William McRaven was the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command that captured and killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
William McRaven responded to Trump’s statement saying, “We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”
McRaven went on to say:
“In my sixty years, most of the serious threats to our nation have come from the outside,”
“While at times, these external pressures encouraged some within our government to adopt a barricade mentality — hiding information from the public, acting secretly outside the bounds of the law, and encouraging behavior that had an extralegal feel to it — never has the government openly challenged the idea of a free press.”
“The news media have not always been kind to me. However, I can tell you — as someone who has been to 90 countries an spoken to the press in almost all of them — the United States has the finest press corps in the world, bar none.
There is nothing more important to a democracy than an active and engaged press. Is it perfect? Far from it. Does the media make mistakes? Far too often.
But flaws and all, I believe the free press is our country’s most important institution.
One I am more than happy to defend.
One I did, in fact, defend for 37 years.”
Here we have a Commander responsible for the death of the man who was responsible for the biggest attack on America in our history saying that President Trump’s attack on the press is a worse threat to democracy. That’s very telling.