I was heartened when reporter John Roberts told his Fox News viewers Friday that his NBC and CNN colleagues are diligent journalists, not “fake news” as President Trump proclaimed most recently that morning from London.
Then I wished Roberts had said it then and there, right to Trump’s face and to all the world. Followed by every other journalist in the room.
I’m thinking about the 1960 film starring Kirk Douglas, when the government tells the Roman slaves they will not be crucified if they simply throw that one troublemaker under the bus. Instead, each man, one by one, bravely proclaims: “I’m Spartacus.”
Journalists need to show solidarity.
Not everyone is going to get called on to ask the president a question, and politicians are free to pan the press. But I’ve concluded that journalists from every legitimate news organization must stand up, as often as necessary, against the denigration of fellow journalists.
It’s ingrained in journalists not to become part of the story, but that’s impossible when the president makes you the story. It’s dangerous to be a silent bystander as Trump bashes the credibility of reporters who dare to criticize him.
I don’t know what the rallying cry would be. How about: “I’m Jim Acosta.”