On Friday, President Donald Trump offered his condolences to the families of the reporters massacred at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland Thursday.
“Journalists, like all Americans, should be free of the fear of violent attack while they do their job,” Trump said. “Best wishes and regrets. Horrific, horrible thing. Thank you,” he concluded.
The President’s newfound respect for the journalistic profession belies the near-constant trashing of the press by the President and his supporters. The President often rants against the media at his rallies, riling his supporters to boo and scream at the reporters covering the events.
Trump’s antipathy towards the press was also on display at the NRA convention in Dallas, Texas this year.
“Now, Paul Manafort’s a nice guy, but you know, he worked for me for a very short period of time — literally, for like, what? A couple of months? Little period of time. Then what happens? He worked for Ronald Reagan. He worked for Bob Dole. They worked, I think, as a firm, for John McCain. They worked for others. Does anybody say that? No. But he’s out there fighting. On fake news CNN… ” as the audience booed in response.
The convention also featured a glossy ad mocking journalists.
“This is a lemon,” the ad said, showing a lemon. “Some might tell you this is journalism. They might even scream, ‘Journalist journalist journalist! But this is a lemon.” (The spot was a spoof of a CNN ad about the state of journalism. In an aptly visceral image, another NRA ad ended with the lemon journalist being ground up in a blender).