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Trump must be held accountable by the press

Media columnist David Zurawik says that the press has reached another tipping point with Trump five months into his presidency. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun)

Thank you, David Zurawik, for calling attention to the secretive, autocratic leanings of the Trump administration — and our president's demonizing of the mainstream press ("Maybe it's time for the press to push harder," June 25).

"Maybe" is too weak. For some time now, the media should have protested loudly their right to information. The administration, out of its depth in governing, regularly sidesteps, stonewalls or makes a joke of press questions — revealing only its indecision, mixed messages and self-serving machinations at the top. For their part, journalists have been timid.

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Donald Trump has gotten a lot of mileage from painting the media as "the enemy of the American people." His base apparently still buys this line and psychologically needs a bully to tell it what is good for the nation and what isn't. He has persuaded these folks they are losers and they back him in poking a thumb in the eye of venerated institutions whether Congress, the press or democracy itself.

The media, now practically shut out from the executive branch's plans and reasoning, must formulate a strategy for getting serious answers to tough questions and for convincing all of the American public that it needs them. After five months of unpresidential chicanery and distractions, it will be an uphill struggle that the objective media must win. Considering that the Trump administration has taken a page from the playbook of Germany's Third Reich, a lot is riding on how the free press answers the challenge.

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Bruce Knauff, Towson

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