NY Times Publisher Confronts Trump on Press Attacks: Your Rhetoric Helps Dictators Suppress Media


A.G. Sulzberger — the publisher of The New York Times — confronted President Donald Trump Thursday over his anti-press rhetoric.

During an interview in the Oval Office, Sulzberger informed the president that the paper’s reporters abroad have told him that Trump’s press putdowns have allowed dictators to police their words.

“[O]ne of the things that’s been very striking to me is that as I’ve talked to my colleagues around the globe, you know, working in different countries, particularly working in countries where a free press is already a tenuous thing, they say that they are increasingly of the belief that your rhetoric is creating a climate in which dictators and tyrants are able to employ your words in suppressing a free press,” Sulzberger said.

The Times publisher appealed to Trump to tone it down.

“I guess the concern I want to raise is the effects that this, the broad-based attacks on journalism and journalists continue to have seems to be growing,” Sulzberger said. “And it particularly seems to be growing abroad with folks who aren’t covering your administration. They’re trying to do hard, dangerous work of ferreting out the truth in…societies where leadership often tries to suppress it. And…you know I’d urge you to reconsider these things.”

The President responded by, once again, complaining about coverage of his administration.

“I understand that and I do,” Trump said. He added, “I don’t mind a bad story if it’s true. I really don’t…I’ve had bad stories, very bad stories where I thought it was true and I would never complain. But when you get really bad stories where it’s not true, then you sort of say that’s unfair and you know you have a tremendous power, you have the power of the pen, the power of the ink. You have a tremendous power.”

Read the complete interview here, via The New York Times.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: joed@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo