Trump lashes out after newspapers launch rebuttal to his attacks

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The Boston Globe made a call last week for a nationwide denouncement of the president's "dirty war" against the media, using the hash-tag #EnemyOfNone. "But insisting that truths you don't like are "fake news" is unsafe to the lifeblood of democracy. I truly believe that America always solves its problems and combating unsafe and irresponsible attacks on journalism is no exception", Schumer said in a statement.

"Trump's anti-press rhetoric is toothless and should be of little concern to a confident, competent news media, the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia stated in an editorial".

The effort comes amid Trump's persistent claims that mainstream media outlets that publish articles critical of him are churning out "fake news". It goes on to say, "We asked editorial boards from around the country, liberal and conservative, large and small, to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words".

The New York Times calls Trump's attacks as risky to the lifeblood of democracy, while the Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas which endorsed Trump in 2016 says they're sinister and destructive and must end now.

Or the San Francisco Chronicle.

The paper on Wednesday published an editorial headlined "Journalists are not the Enemy".

"It's not that we disagree with concerns about the president's language in speeches and on social media", the editorial board said. He tweets that the Globe "is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press". Polls show Republicans have grown more negative toward the news media in recent years: Pew Research Center said 85 per cent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said in June 2017 that the news media has a negative effect on the country, up from 68 per cent in 2010. Presidents from John Adams to Richard Nixon to Barack Obama often scuffled with the press corps. "BUT WE ARE WINNING", he added, returning to all-caps.

But differing from past criticisms, the commander in chief at first zeroed in on "fake news media" rather than the entire press corps, which he has previously condemned as "the enemy of the people".

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Four Capital Gazette journalists were among those killed.

The Globe reported Thursday that more than 300 of them obliged.

"We're just not coordinating with other news organizations because the president's opinion, frankly, is just not that important to us". The paper also quoted the United Nations high commissioner for human rights who said on Monday that Trump's anti-press statements are "close" to inciting violence against journalists.

Others, including Politico's media critic, Jack Shafer, criticised the coordinated effort by the U.S. newspapers, saying the editorials are playing "right into Trump's hand".

However, some newspapers decided not to run editorials on the issue, including The Washington Post.

"It will provide Trump with circumstantial evidence of the existence of a national press cabal that has been convened exclusively to oppose him", Shafer said.

The Globe also argued that Trump's treatment of the press was encouraging authoritarian leaders such as Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan to suppress free journalism.

Growing disquiet at the poisonous political atmosphere has prompted newspapers large and small to speak with one voice in defence of press freedoms, citing the ideals enshrined in the U.S. constitution as a bulwark against further undermining of the media.

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