'The Trump Administration Are Not At War With The Media But The Truth'
18 February 2017, 14:32
Here Daily Beast Editor John Avlon calls on his fellow Americans to be "wide-eyed about the challenges" they face in the midst of the Trump presidency.
Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast and author of 'Washington's Farewell' spoke to LBC Presenter Maajid Nawaz following President Trump's attack on the media at a press conference this week.
John said: "There's definitely an element of prophecy...something I think, perhaps, I think our friends in Britain appreciate sometimes more than us here in America, the the larger cycles of history that we need to learn from.
"When we play with these history forces, and we indulge hyper-partisanship, it can open the door to demagogues. When we play, when foreign powers start to try to influence or interfere in American politics, and Washington try to call their defenders "pretend patriots", people who were trying to divide Americans against each other under the auspices of patriotism.
"That's something we deal with in many countries, Washington called those people "pretend patriots".
"It's enormously resonant, and when you see an American President using in language, as Donald Trump did yesterday, a tweet he deleted calling the press 'the enemy of the people', that is chilling. That is not consistent with our best traditions.
"It's a warning...the man who campaigned as a demagogue, which is a clinical term, using the phrase 'us against them', that's always the tell-tell sign of a demagogue, has impulses which are not consistent with our best traditions.
"We're a strong country, we're going to get through this, but we need to be "wide-eyed" about the challenges we face across the Western world frankly."
He went on: "Whether it's his advisor saying there's such a thing as "alternative facts", or the war on the media considering journalists the opposition party...they're not at war with the media, they're at war with the truth.
"They may control the White house for a while, but the truth always ultimately wins."