The latest unprecedented response to the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency does not involve a newspaper endorsement, although The Washington Post did endorse Hillary Clinton this morning. What we’re referring to is a statement from Sandra Mims Rowe, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ chairman, about the danger to the press posed by a prospective Trump presidency.
“Since the beginning of his candidacy, Trump has insulted and vilified the press and has made his opposition to the media a centerpiece of his campaign,” writes Rowe, before going through a list of offenses familiar to those following the story of Trump’s hostility to the press. They include making fun of a disabled reporter, denying credentials to numerous organizations and making “vague proposals to limit basic elements of press and internet freedom.”
But it goes beyond how Trump has treated the press in the United States. CPJ’s mission is to defend press freedom throughout the world, and its statement reflects the global impact on press freedom were Trump to become president:
A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States, but the consequences for the rights of journalists around the world could be far more serious. Any failure of the United States to uphold its own standards emboldens dictators and despots to restrict the media in their own countries. This appears to be of no concern to Trump, who indicated that he has no inclination to challenge governments on press freedom and the treatment of journalists.
Read the entire statement here.