President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press and threats to take away the credentials of journalists he does not like have negative implications for media worldwide and should be taken seriously, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour told "Reliable Sources."
Amanpour said that since a free press is guaranteed under the Constitution, she does not think this administration will be able to take away journalists' credentials, but said the media must be on guard.
She stressed that "one of the great things of the Trump administration is how it has caused a huge rise in necessary activism."
Amanpour said that "everybody was getting a little lazy, everybody was taking everything for granted, particularly in the United States. And I think women have come out, black people have come out. The press have come out. Everybody is coming out to defend their profession and their right to exist under the Constitution."
Amanpour said that the media made a grave error when Trump withheld credentials from certain major news organizations during the presidential campaign.
"If one of our members is targeted, we should all rise up and stand with those members. That's what gives us strength,” she said. “That's not what happened during the campaign and should have happened when various news organizations were banned from rallies. Everybody should have gotten together and said, we're all in this together."
She also added that it was not only improper but dangerous that not only has Trump not given a news interview in a year to any other major news organization other than Fox, but he hasn't had a full-blown press conference since February.
Amanpour said the whole atmosphere created by Trump’s remarks only empower anti-press despots and dictators worldwide.
Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, emphasized that "we have so devalued honesty and credibility, which used to be demanded at the White House."
He said that “When I covered at the White House, I remember the White House press secretary would walk away and say, by the way, the president just misspoke to set the record straight."
He admitted that there's always been spin at the White House, but when they misspeak or make a mistake, or get their facts wrong, there has been some degree of accountability for that in the past. That's the big difference here" with the Trump administration.
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