This weekend Donald Trump continued his war on the media. While Trump’s statements should cause concern, a president loathing the press isn’t exactly new. The president’s relationship to the media has always been complicated.
Just take one look at the presidency of Richard Nixon. Nixon hated the media and for good reason. He was worried that the media would stumble onto the truth of the Watergate scandal. He was angered and afraid of the press because he knew that the media’s job is to deliver the truth to the American people.
Trump deals with many of the same problems. If we can ignore the whole Russia scandal for a moment, we can focus on why Trump doesn’t like the media: he doesn’t appear to understand it.
Past presidents haven’t had a great relationship with the media either (we’re looking at you George W. Bush), but they’ve learned the hard lesson of how to play the media. Previous administrations have used strategic lies to accomplish goals that the press might not be privy to. The difference is Donald Trump seems to lie without reason.
So there you have it. Lying to the press isn’t new, but calling the media “fake” is. It’s not that Trump’s lies aren’t a problem. It’s the fact that he goes out of his way to do so and it’s something we should be worried about.