It has yet to be a full week into Donald Trump's presidency and the new president has declared an all out war against the media. Trump and the news media have had a historically rocky relationship going back to the primary elections. However, in his first presidential speech, Trump called reporters "the most dishonest human beings on Earth."
President Trump declared his war on the media after he claimed there were false reports regarding the size of the audience for his inauguration. In birds-eye view images comparing crowd size for Donald Trump's inauguration with former President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration, Trump's audience is noticeably smaller than Obama's. Secretary of the Press, Sean Spicer fired back at the images calling the audience size at Trump's inauguration "the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration."
Trump's administration is also supporting the president in his battle against the media. Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, slammed media reporters in a press conference at the White House briefing room saying "These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong." Spicer went on to explain that the photographs taken by a reporter on Twitter were manipulated purposely to depict a smaller crowd size. Spicer, however, recently went under fire after research showed that his comments regarding the crowd inauguration were not the largest in recorded history. The Press Secretary defended himself by saying they were "alternative facts." Sean Spicer isn't the only presidential administrator supporting Trump, chief White House Strategist, Stephen Bannon said, "The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut." Bannon went on to mock reporters "The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work," "you're the opposition party."
And it's not just the media that Trump's administration is going after, quickly after taking the Oath of Office, the White House immediately removed any links to research involving climate change. The White House also issued gag orders and freezing of funding to organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Agriculture. An EPA employee also leaked orders from the government agency banning scientists and other researchers from being allowed to share their scientific research on the environment to the public.
And while freedom of speech and the press are protected by the first amendment in the Bill of Rights, it seems to be that the only speech the Trump administration cares to protect is the one that makes them look good. Psychologists and political analysts refer to this tactic as "gaslighting", in which a person uses the vulnerability of confusion to take advantage on another person. President Trump himself, as well as the rest of his administration, have been quick to write off any news story that disagrees with their views as "fake news" in order to ruin their creditability. And while completely bogus stories that are not factual were an issue in the 2016 election, "fake news" should not be used as a cop out to write off something you disagree with.