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Donald Trump says we’re lower than terrorists, rapists and drug dealers, and it hurts

Donald Trump just threw a punch into the gut of American media, calling us all the lowest of the low.

And it hurt.

Addressing the America’s Central Intelligence Agency on Saturday, in just his second day in office, Trump made a bold, harsh and generalizing statement about every media organization in the country, and every person who works for a media organization in this country – conservatives included.

“As you know, I have a running war with the media,” Trump said. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”

I keep reading this statement, over and over, hoping to find a different meaning than the obvious. But I can’t.

They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”

Wow.

Trump didn’t specify that he was talking about some members of the Washington Press corps and he didn’t suggest that some members of the media are dishonest. He stated flatly for everyone in the world to hear that the media and those working in the media are the most dishonest human beings on earth.

That’s quite a harsh insult.

Our world is filled with many dishonest humans. Terrorists. Drug dealers. Rapists.

Much of my life has been spent in the media, and so has the life of many who work hard beside me. But according to the President of the United States, we are all worse than drug dealers, rapists, and terrorists?

I know many in the national media, including ones I would frame as both conservative and liberal, and frankly most of them are too honest for their own good. Sure, sometimes they get it wrong because the business is tough. And yes, many in Washington and New York lean liberal, but they still have fairness at heart when it comes to filing a news report.

And looking beyond the Washington press corps to the heartland of America is where we find the majority of America’s media – media that was fair throughout Donald Trump’s campaign.

Thousands of newspapers and TV stations and radio stations are made up by hardworking people who are so incredibly fair (many are also conservative, by the way) in what they report and how, that it is troubling to see the President of the United States make such a harsh judgment for all the world to hear.

They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”

I saw Trump’s comment live during the televised press conference Saturday and was stunned, even considering the comment came from a leader known to make harsh generalizing statements.

But almost one day later, with a little more time for the comment to completely sink in, I can’t help but think of all the honest media employees, managers and owners across this vast nation, including many who helped Trump get elected, who just got trampled in the worst way by the President of the United States.

Throughout the election, both we and the majority of American media worked hard to avoid the mudslinging and name-calling and deliver the news fairly and with some integrity.

He could have said we don’t always get it right. He could have said he has a war with some particular media members.

But he lumped us all together and called us “the most dishonest human beings on earth.”

That’s lower than rapists, drug dealers and terrorists.

That’s pretty low, Mr. President.

David Magee is Publisher of The Oxford Eagle.