White House Offers 'Thoughts and Prayers' to Newsroom Under Attack - Just Days After Trump Called Journalists the 'Enemy of the People'

As news was breaking that a Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, was under attack Thursday and multiple people were reported dead, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters issued a statement of solidarity. 


"Our thoughts and prayers are with all that are affected," she said.

And yet the statement rung hollow, given President Donald Trump's relentless demonization of the media and his clear attempts to stoke distrust of and anger at reporters like those at the Gazette.

Just a few days earlier, Trump had reminded attendees at a campaign rally that he loves to call the press the "the enemy of the people."

And on June 13, he tweeted: "Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!"

The Trump-supporting right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannoulos has taken this a step further, telling the Observer this week: “I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.” 

It's unclear what the Annapolis shooter's motives are yet, and they may have nothing to do with Trump or his politics. But the statements of concern from the White House are patently hypocritical in the face of Trump's complete disregard for the free press and his use of inflammatory rhetoric. 

And since a sitting GOP congressman has admitted to assaulting a reporter, slandering him, and lying about the incident to win an election, the party's standing to defend the press is irreparably damaged. 

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.