As GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump continues denying allegations of sexual assault against several women who have recently come forward, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) declared the presidential nominee a threat to press freedom for the first time in its 35-year history. Due to Trump’s repeatedly violent rhetoric toward journalists and news organizations, CPJ’s board of directors denounced Trump’s campaign, which would only encourage tyrannical governments to further suppress the media around the world.
“Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values,” Sandra Mims Rowe, the chairman of CPJ’s board, wrote in a press release issued on Thursday. “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.”
Rowe continued, “He has mocked a disabled New York Times journalist and called an ABC News reporter a ‘sleaze’ in a press conference. He expelled Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a campaign press conference because he asked an ‘impertinent’ question, and has publicly demeaned other journalists.”
Besides condoning violence against reporters at his rallies, Trump and his campaign have systematically denied press credentials to numerous media organizations, including The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Politico, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Univision, and The Des Moines Register. Trump has also threatened to “open up our libel laws” during his potential presidency in order to sue news outlets out of existence for writing articles critical of Trump and his supporters.
“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,” Rowe asserted. “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.
“When MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked him in December if his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin was at all tempered by the country’s history of critical journalists being murdered, his response was: ‘He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country… Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too.’”
According to the CPJ, a Trump presidency represents a looming threat to press freedom unknown in modern history. Exhibiting the temperament of an angst-filled teenager, Trump leads a cult of personality hell-bent on violating constitutional rights, reversing Roe v. Wade, and currently posting with this hashtag on Twitter: #repealthe19th.
Caught on video making lewd comments about former Access Hollywood anchor Nancy O’Dell in 2005, Trump and Billy Bush were later seen in the same video acting like scumbags around Days of Our Lives actress Arianne Zucker. Several other women have recently come forward accusing Trump of sexual misconduct and harassment, including People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff, Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks, Mindy McGillivray, and Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington 2013.