NBC News Chief Andy Lack Calls Out Attacks on Media From Trump and Coronavirus in Blistering Op-Ed


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NBC News chief Andy Lack called out attacks on the media from two antagonists — President Donald Trump and the coronavirus — in a rare op-ed Monday, but maintained that journalists are “winning” the battle.

In the NBC News article, titled “Journalism is under attack from coronavirus and the White House. But we’re winning,” Lack said that in “the last decade, the ugliest and most cunning threat to journalism comes from leaders in different parts of the world increasingly questioning not just the veracity of what is being reported, which isn’t new, but the integrity of those who report it, which is.”

“Some leaders have gone further and egged on their supporters to target and harass anyone they don’t approve of in the media,” he continued, noting that Trump “came into office railing against many of the foundations of our democratic institutions, including a free press.”

“Forty months into his administration, coverage of the coronavirus outbreak is the latest sign that — contrary to conventional wisdom — he hasn’t laid a glove on serious journalism,” Lack proclaimed, adding, “His attacks, most recently against excellent reporters like Jonathan Karl (ABC), Yamiche Alcindor (PBS), Peter Alexander (NBC) and Paula Reid (CBS), put the bully in bully pulpit, but they haven’t shaken the soul of the First Amendment.”

Lack continued to argue that “journalism has never been stronger,” citing the media’s coverage and fact-checks during the coronavirus pandemic, which “corrected wrong information” and “exposed myths,” as one its proudest achievements, and pointed out that despite continuous mass layoffs in the industry, journalists “persevere.”

In March, President Trump fought with NBC News’ Peter Alexander during a White House press briefing, during which the president called Alexander a “terrible reporter.”

Trump called Alexander’s coronavirus question “a very nasty question,” accused him of engaging in “sensationalism,” and said, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

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