Statement of the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors Regarding the President's Statements in Support of U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte:
President Trump’s enthusiastic support Thursday of Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte's May 24, 2017, assault on Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, represents a disturbing elevation in attacking the media, which threatens journalists at home and around the world. It shows reckless disregard for the First Amendment.
As representatives of the nation's news leaders, we are also dismayed by his reckless disregard for the impact of his words, given that he was speaking just days after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. The president's words will only serve to embolden despots around the world to treat journalists in a similar manner without fear of repercussion.
The president's continued attempts to delegitimize the press should not be viewed as mere political rhetoric. They have real and dangerous consequences.