Dean Baquet: Trump’s attacks on media ‘dangerous’

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stelter baquet nytCNN/Screenshot

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet on Sunday called
President Donald Trump’s attacks on the New York Times and other
media outlets “dangerous.”

Baquet appeared
on CNN’s “Reliable Sources
” with host Brian Stelter to
respond to
criticisms Trump made at a rally
 in Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, on Saturday. 

At the rally, Trump said The New York Times was full of
“incompetent, dishonest people, who after an election had to
apologize because … they covered it so badly that they felt
they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so
bad.”

Baquet refuted the assertion on Sunday, calling Trump’s
claim the Times’ apologized “made-up” and
describing the paper’s election coverage as “tough” and
“aggressive.”

Trump has said multiple times that the Times apologized for
its election coverage, likely referring to a
postelection letter to subscribers
from Baquet and publisher
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. In the letter, they wrote that the Times
and other news organizations may have underestimated Trump’s
support with voters, but they said they believed the paper had
reported on Clinton and Trump “fairly.” Baquet and the Times’
staff
have said repeatedly
that the letter was not an
apology. 

Stelter also asked Baquet his thoughts on comments made by
Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus on ABC’s “This Week” on
Sunday.

Priebus
told host Jonathan Karl
that the administration has “looked
at” how the administration could change libel laws in response to
articles that he said “have no basis or fact.” As an example,
Priebus pointed to reports of contacts between the Trump campaign
and Russia.


donald trump rally pennsylvania
U.S.
President Donald Trump leads a rally marking his first 100 days
in office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. April 29,
2017.

Reuters/Carlos
Barria


Here’s what Baquet had to say in response:

“I think what Priebus said, what the president is doing
right now, to be frank, in regards to the media, is dangerous. I
think that he is portraying the media as his enemy. I think he is
making the media sort of the punching bag. It illustrates,
perhaps, not understanding the role of the media. We’re supposed
to be tough. We’re supposed to ask him hard questions. I’m not
sure he gets that. I think the more he beats us up, to be frank,
I think that’s bad for the country.”

Trump’s comments at the rally occurred as the White House
Correspondents’ Dinner,
an annual gathering of the White House press corps
, took
place. Presidents typically attend the dinner and deliver a
monologue, but Trump
had announced in February
he wouldn’t
participate.

Instead, Trump
held the rally in Pennsylvania

trashing
media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC as “fake news” and calling
the wider Washington media elite “a disgrace.” He ripped the
“totally failing New York Times,” which he said was getting
gradually smaller and would soon “look like a comic book.”



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