To put this tweet in a little bit of context: on Thursday, Trump held that completely off-the-rails press conference where screamed at the media, pouted that he had to ask for the resignation of his National Security Advisor, yelled about nuclear holocaust, lied about his electoral college win and generally terrified the journalists who believed that they were watching a psychological breakdown in real time. On Friday, he thanked people for all of the “nice statements” about the press conference, Rush Limbaugh in particular. However, President Snowflake apparently did not appreciate the response from other media outlets, and twatted the tweet above.
And — believe it or not — that was the edited version of this tweet. The original, which he took down to add media outlets, read:
The press, unsurprisingly, pushed back, reminding our President that this language is dangerous and un-American. Even Chris Wallace of Fox News — not Shep Smith, but Chris Wallace — said on Fox & Friends that Trump “crossed a line” by calling the press an “enemy of the American people.”
To satisfy his insatiable ego and to try to change the narrative away from the Michael Flynn/Russia story, Trump held a rally in Florida on Saturday, and doubled down on this idea that the press is the enemy of his supporters:
“I want to be in a room filled with hard-working American patriots, who love their country, who salute their flag and pray for a better future. I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news.
“The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources, even though they pretend they have them; they make them up in many cases. They just don’t want to report the truth.
“They have been calling us wrong now for two years. They don’t get it. But they’re starting to get it. They have become a big part of the problem.
“Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln – many of our greatest presidents fought with the media and called them out, oftentime, on their lies. When the media lies to people, I will never ever let them get away with it… They have their own agenda and their agenda is not your agenda. In fact, Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Nothing can be believed which is seen in a newspaper.’
“But, despite all their lies, misrepresentations and false stories, they could not defeat us in the primaries, and they could not defeat us in the general election. And we will continue to expose them for what they are, and most importantly, we will continue to win, win, win.
“We are not going to let the fake news tell us what to do, how to live or what to believe. We are free and independent people and we will make our own choices. We are here today to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I hear your demands, I hear your voices, and I promise you I will deliver. I promise that.
“By the way, you see what we have accomplished in a very short period of time. The White House is running smoothly. So smoothly.”
And every time he mentioned the media, the audience would turn to the press box and boo. Super healthy.
Trump also mentioned a terror attack in Sweden that supposedly occurred on Friday night: “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”
However, nothing at all happened in Sweden on Friday night, leaving the Swedish embassy to directly contact the State Department to demand to know what the hell Trump was talking about.
Chris Wallace, continuing to remember the value of a free press, spars on Fox News with Reince Priebus over Trump’s terrifying comments:
Meanwhile, John McCain speaks truth to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press explaining the obvious: that we need the free press — it’s our only defense against dictators:
Let me just point out that we are living in remarkable times when a sitting U.S. Senator has to FUCKING REMIND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT A FREE PRESS IS AN IMPORTANT DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION.
Meanwhile, Trump sort of attempted to clarify what he was referring to regarding Sweden. It didn’t help:
Remember, this man is privy to classified intelligence briefings, so why is he learning about foreign affairs from cable news?
Trump, frustrated that tweeting “Fox News” at the Sweden situation didn’t magically make questions go away, twats the following:
Aside from using the “FAKE NEWS” epithet again, pay attention to what is happening here: our President is flatly lying to the American public. He was not trying to say in his rally that Sweden is having issues with immigrants — he referenced a specific event that never happened and now he’s trying to pretend he said no such thing.
And that, my chickens, is why we need a free press.
Remember this moment: In addition to making up false terror attacks and then attacking the media for calling him out on it, our President, the most powerful man in the world, is openly calling the free press “the enemy of the American people.” Many have pointed out that this is Nixonian territory, President Nixon having famously called the press his “enemy.” The difference, however, is that even Nixon knew he couldn’t say such a dangerous thing publicly, and only shared his irritation with the press in private. In stark and alarming contrast, Trump is instructing his supporters to view the free press as an active “enemy” to their interests, because the press refuses to report his lies as facts or lavish him with unearned praise. Otherwise known as “doing their job” — their job of reporting on reality, serving as a check on power and protecting democracy as we know it.
And let us be clear, this is not Trump accusing the media of being biased — there is room for an argument that individual journalists might allow their own political biases to shape their reporting on a particular story. But that is not what Trump is saying when he calls what The New York Times or CNN is reporting “FAKE NEWS.” What he is saying is that they are deliberately and knowingly lying to the American people in a vast conspiracy, a terrifying charge if it were true. BUT IT IS NOT.
Instead, we are facing something even scarier: a President who has strong authoritarian tendencies who is encouraging his supporters to not merely disregard news they don’t like or want to hear, but to regard the press who is reporting the truth as enemies out to promote their own sinister agenda. This is a terrifying game that he is playing with our institutions and our Constitution. The only thing scarier is how many Americans don’t seem to mind.
In Other TV News
So, Trump is going to address Congress next week — but the upside is that The Late Show with Stephen Colbert will air live that night to tackle all the crazy.
Rosie O’Donnell might not ever play Steve Bannon on Saturday Night Live, but my buddy Jonathan is never going to stop making mashups of their faces.
Here is a Game of Thrones spoiler THAT I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT, YOU GUYS, OH MY GOD. And here is another Game of Thrones spoiler that I am less excited about, but is interesting nonetheless.
Rue La Rue Cafe, a Golden Girls-themed cafe, is now a place you can go if you happen to be in New York City. But don’t hold your breath for a Golden Girls reboot, because it’s (probably) not going to happen.
Hey, Chad is returning to Bachelor in Paradise which all but confirms that Corinne will be there, too, right?
How old is Carl on The Walking Dead: an important investigation.
I don’t know if you’re watching Riverdale, but this is a decent piece about it that suggests it is a lot smarter than your average teen drama.
FX is cleaning up in the awards categories and understandably so.
Adam Scott is the best. Here’s a bunch of facts about him that you probably didn’t know.
Stephen King and J.J. Abrams are working on Castle Rock, a limited series for Hulu based on King’s short stories, and which feels like one of those ideas that is so obvious, it’s shocking it took this long to happen.
Showtime is working on The Ali Summit, a limited series about Muhammad Ali’s refusal to join the military.
Hey, David Attenborough fans, BBC has greenlit Blue Planet II.
MTV is bringing Parental Control back for some reason.
- Busy Philipps will star in Tina Fey’s NBC comedy pilot, The Sackett Sisters.
- Liv Tyler and Kit Harington are going to star in the Guy Fawkes miniseries, Gunpowder.
- Motherdick! Michael Cudlitz (Abraham from The Walking Dead) has been cast in the ABC dramedy pilot, The Trustee.
- Anders Holm (Workaholics) has been cast in Mindy Kaling’s new NBC comedy pilot along with Andy Favreau.
- Britne Oldford (Syfy’s Hunters), Ben Rappaport (The Good Wife) and veteran Anna Deavere Smith (Nurse Jackie) have been cast in the new Shondaland legal drama pilot for ABC.
- Kimberly Hébert Gregory (Vice Principals) has been cast in the ABC pilot, Unit Zero, from the creator of black-ish.
- Jack Davenport (Smash & Flashforward) has been cast in the ABC drama pilot, Doomsday.
- Bojana Novakovic (Shameless & Rake) has been cast in the CBS pilot Instinct.
- Sonia Braga has been cast as the lead in ABC’s drama pilot Las Reinas.
- Antonia Thomas has been cast in the lead of The Good Doctor, an ABC drama pilot.
- James Earl (Scream Queens) has been cast in the pilot for Hannah Royce’s Questionable Choices.
- Jayson Blair (Young & Hungry) has joined The CW pilot Life Sentence.
Veep retursn to HBO on April 16.
Silicon Valley returns to HBO on April 23rd.
The Leftovers returns for its final season on HBO on April 16.
Kristen Wiig is joining The Last Man on Earth when it returns on March 5th on Fox.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks debuts on HBO on April 22nd.
Animal Kingdom returns on TNT on May 30.
Twin Peaks debuts on Showtime on May 21st.
The Sinner does not have a premiere date on USA as of yet.
Warren Frost, actor in Twin Peaks and Seinfeld
George “The Animal” Steele, professional wrestler
Mike Walden, sports announcer and Super Dave interviewer
Gerald Hirschfeld, cinematographer
Jonni Hartman Rogers, TV producer, PR executive and mother of Lisa Hartman Black
Bates Motel: We are in PRIME Norman Bates territory in this, the final season of the psychodrama. Season premiere 9 p.m., A&E
Timeless: The team heads to D.C. during the Red Scare in the first season finale. 9 p.m., NBC
Unlocking the Cage: A look into the legal fight to give limited personhood rights to intelligent animals like chimpanzees, whales and elephants. 7 p.m., HBO
The Talk: Race in America: A documentary about how parents of color feel they have to talk to their children, particularly their sons, about how to behave if stopped by the police, and what that says about our country. 8 p.m., PBS
The Bachelor: Ah, the Hated Hometowns. 7 p.m., ABC
Billy on the Street: A look at some of Billy’s most political segments. 9 p.m., TruTV
Late Night: Late Night with Seth Meyers: Anna Kendrick, Jordan Peele, Old 97’s, Andres Forero The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Uma Thurman, Jason Jones, Alison Krauss The Daily Show: Trevor looks back at President Obama’s eight years inside the White House. Watch What Happens Live: Kristen Doute, Wendi McLendon-Covey
|CBS||Kevin Can Wait
|Man With a Plan
|2 Broke Girls
|Jane the Virgin
|NBC||American Ninja Warrior