USA newspapers unite against Donald Trump's 'fake news' rhetoric

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On a day when hundreds of newspapers around the country have published editorials in defense of the press against attacks from President Donald Trump, the Senate offered a mild - though unanimous - show of support for the Fourth Estate.

The Boston Globe and New York Times (NYT) have joined over 200 of their U.S. stablemates in a coordinated defence of free speech in the face of growing disdain from the American government.

This resolution follows tweets Trump sent Thursday morning criticizing the "FAKE NEWS" media.

"While we agree that labeling journalists the "enemy of the American people" and journalism "fake news" is not only damaging to our industry but destructive to our democracy, a co-ordinated response from independent -dare we say "mainstream"- news organizations feeds a narrative that we're somehow aligned against this Republican president", the Baltimore Sun wrote.

Trump's missive came hours after many newspapers across the country accepted The Boston Globe's invitation to stand up for the press with editorials.

"The greatness of America is dependent on the role of a free press to speak the truth to the powerful", the Globe said.

"If you haven't already, please subscribe to your local papers", said the Times, whose opinion section also summarized other editorials across the country. Editors are publishing editorials defending the freedom of the press. "But insisting that truths you don't like are "fake news" is risky to the lifeblood of democracy".

The paper on Wednesday published an editorial headlined "Journalists are not the Enemy".

A month after taking the oath of office, Trump labelled the news media "the enemy of the American people".

The president in a barrage of tweets reacted to the coordinated editorials against him: "THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY".

"It's not that we disagree with concerns about the president's language in speeches and on social media", the editorial board said. The paper also quoted the United Nations high commissioner for human rights who said on Monday that Trump's anti-press statements are "close" to inciting violence against journalists.

Politico's media critic, Jack Shafer, wrote this week that the coordinated editorial response was sure to backfire.

"It will provide Trump with the circumstantial evidence of the existence of a national press cabal that has been convened exclusively to opposes him", he said.

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