President Donald Trump accused the establishment media of elevating hate speech to divide the country, asserting that it was done for ratings, rather than informing the country.
“The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news,” Trump said during his campaign rally in Phoenix on Tuesday.
The president challenged the patriotism of many of the mainstream correspondents, news anchors, reporters, and producers in the mainstream media, but clarified that there were a few “very good reporters” and “very fair journalists.”
“They’re bad people and I really think they don’t like our country,” he said. “I really believe that.”
The crowd booed the press at the rally and chanted “CNN sucks!” after Trump re-litigated his response to the protester violence in Charlottesville and spent 30 minutes trashing the media’s attempt to paint himself and his supporters as racist, white supremacists.
He criticized the media for failing to focus on issues important to the country, choosing to inflame racial tensions instead.
“If you wanted to discover the source of the division in our country, look no further than the fake news and the crooked media which would rather get ratings and clicks than tell the truth,” Trump said.
Trump said the media turned a “blind eye” to issues like gang violence, the failure of public schools, and the effect trade deals were having in middle America.
He also pointedly criticized the media for “unaccountable hostility against our incredible police, who work so hard and such a dangerous job.”