‘It’s Dangerous’: New York Times Publisher Responds to Trump’s ‘Enemy of the People’ Tweet

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump is facing criticism for directly calling The New York Times “a true enemy of the people” after it published a report that accused the president of trying to put a loyalist in charge of the investigation into his affairs.

“The Press has never been more dishonest than it is today,” Trump wrote in his morning Twitter rant. “Stories are written that have absolutely no basis in fact. The writers don’t even call asking for verification. They are totally out of control. Sadly, I kept many of them in business. In six years, they all go BUST!”

Trump then called out the Times and said the report on him was “false”:

Trump’s been criticized for calling out media as “enemy of the people” in the past, but the direct targeting of a publication produced a response from the people behind the Times.

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger released a statement condemning Trump’s Twitter attack.

In it, Sulzberger wrote that all presidents have been criticized by the press but that they upheld the importance of a free press’s role in democracy.

“But in demonizing the free press as the enemy, simply for performing its role of asking difficult questions and bringing uncomfortable information to light, President Trump is retreating from a distinctly American principle,” Sulzberger stated.

He added:

The phrase “enemy of the people” is not just false, it’s dangerous. It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information. And it is particularly reckless coming from someone whose office gives him broad powers to fight or imprison the nation’s enemies. As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad.

The newspaper publisher concluded his statement by saying the Times would continue its reporting mission.

In addition, the New York Times communications Twitter account responded to the president directly and said that the paper “stand by their investigation” and cited where it got its information.

Trump has called out “fake news” or media outlets for being the enemy of the people over 20 times on his Twitter account. He faced an increase in criticism for the phrase after two attacks on media in the last year — the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, and the bomb threat to CNN headquarters in New York.

Despite the criticism, he has continued to tout the phrase on his social media.

Trump often excused the phrase by claiming he was reserving it for “fake news” and not all of the media or a specific outlet. But Wednesday’s tweet marks a shift and the first time Trump directly labeled an entire media organization as an enemy.


  1. Thank you, Lizzie. Trump acts recklessly so often, we have become desensitized. We ignore how dangerous the rhetoric has been on the American public. Yes, no SANE person believes “the NYT is the enemy of the people” because they report news Trump does not want us to know. BUT not everyone is sane! Robert Bowers. Robert Dear, Edgar M Welch all reacted to rhetoric based on untruths. If Trump wants 4 more yrs, he needs to close his twitter acct.

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