It would not prime Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s reported comment that President Trump is a “moron,” but this might be the second-strangest example of the White House and State Department appearing out of step: State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Thursday tweeted that it’s her “pleasure to work w/ talented journalists every day.”
Speak about veering off message.
Trump’s place is that journalists are “bad people,” “really, really dishonest people” and “absolute scum.”
“I really think they don’t like our country,” the president instructed a crowd in Phoenix in August. “I really believe that.”
Nauert, beforehand a journalist at Fox Information, did not cease at a complimentary tweet. She issued a prolonged assertion in recognition of “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.” Here is an excerpt:
Around the globe, journalists work typically at nice private danger to report on points that impression the lives of people in all societies. They shine a light-weight on abuses and corruption, expose threats posed by transnational prison organizations, and counter disinformation and propaganda that unfold false narratives. These efforts play an indispensable position within the wholesome functioning of our personal democracy and likewise underpin democratic values world wide. . . .
Along with others within the worldwide neighborhood, we’ll proceed working to eradicate impunity for crimes in opposition to media professionals. On Worldwide Day to Finish Impunity for Crimes In opposition to Journalists, america renews its dedication to selling a free, skilled, and unbiased press overseas, and to advocating for accountability for individuals who would undermine a free press with threats, intimidation and violence.
A few issues stand out right here.
Nauert’s assertion that journalists “counter disinformation and propaganda that spread false narratives” is the precise reverse of Trump’s declare that reporters continuously peddle “fake news.”
And her condemnation of “threats, intimidation and violence” in opposition to journalists is exactly the sort of message that PEN America, the Society of Skilled Journalists, Free Press and Reporters With out Borders tried unsuccessfully to extract from Trump after they despatched the president a joint letter in June. The letter learn, partly:
Whereas there has at all times existed a specific amount of pressure between the federal government and the fourth property, we’re alarmed by the rising development of arrests of and bodily assaults on reporters who’re merely making an attempt to do their jobs. We worry that the aggressive criticism voiced by your self and your White Home in regards to the press is eroding fundamental norms that underpin our free press. . . .
We ask that the White Home reaffirm its dedication to press freedom in america. A proper assertion by the president denouncing political violence of any type, together with in opposition to members of the press, and an affirmation of our shared values would, we imagine, considerably dampen any license public officers could at the moment harbor to strike a reporter merely for asking a query. A transparent and unequivocal rejection of assaults on the press can be welcomed by political officers on each side of the aisle, and is a crucial corrective to the corrosive environment created by your earlier rhetoric.
Nauert’s sentiments are good, however journalists have realized that the one one that really represents the Trump administration’s place — on something — is Trump himself. And he actually is not saying the identical factor that Nauert is.