More than 200 former employees of ABC News – executives, producers, and journalists – have signed a letter to current ABC News president James Goldston, urging him to speak out against Donald Trump and the White House war on the media. The letter started making the rounds on Facebook after White House press secretary Sean Spicer barred some news organizations from a small briefing last Friday.
According to the AP, the letter demanded that Goldston “take a public stand” against the administration. “Refuse to take part in any future White House briefings based on an invitation list of who’s in/who’s out,” they wrote.
From the AP:
Signees include Reagan-era White House correspondent Sam Donaldson and former ABC reporters Ken Kashiwahara, Jeanne Meserve and Lynn Sherr. Among the executives are four former executive producers of “World News Tonight” and top leaders at “Nightline,” ”20/20″ and “Good Morning America.” Prominent news executives Rick Kaplan, Bill Lord, Paul Friedman, Av Westin and Tom Yellin signed, along with documentarian and the late anchor Peter Jennings’ widow, Kayce Freed Jennings.
The letter called last Friday’s incident “an alarming new development enacted by an administration that has declared war on respected news outlets.”
Well…formerly-respected news outlets.
While these former correspondents are calling on the news media to ratchet up the aggression against President Trump, at least one prominent liberal is calling on them to take another approach. Jon Stewart, who has not been shy about criticizing Trump himself, said he was sick of listening to journalists complain about the president.
“So I heard Donald Trump broke up with you,” said Stewart, speaking directly to the press in a guest appearance on Stephen Colbert’s show. “Finally thought you met your match: a blabbermouth who’s as thin-skinned and narcissistic as you are. Well now it’s over. Good riddance I say! Kick him to the curb.”
Ah, but that’s the one weapon in the media’s arsenal that they will never use. Because for all their whining, these networks and newspapers are addicted to the ratings and revenue their Trump coverage has generated for the last year and a half. They may hate him…but they love what he’s done for their business model.
And, perhaps, all of this is part of “making America great again,” even if it’s unintentional. The news media has something to prove, and they are stepping up their game to meet the challenge. Even Trump’s greatest adversaries are benefiting from his presidency! Even his fiercest detractors may look back on this time 15 or 20 years from now and think, “Damn…that was really something.”
America may be divided, but we are ALIVE again. All by itself, that’s a huge step forward.