Senator Wyden: Trump's Attacks On Media Threaten Democracy

Feb 20, 2017

Free press, investigative journalism, and government accountability are all at risk, says U.S. Senator Ron Wyden.  He spoke at a town hall in Eugene, Sunday.  

Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, October 2016.
Credit Gage Skidmore /

The Oregon Democrat touched on the Trump Administration’s recent attacks on the media, as well as whether or not the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s funding may soon be on the chopping block. 

Wyden says the president’s dismissal of most major news outlets as “fake news” packs a troubling message.

“They’re signaling to people who may write articles that they disagree with, that they’re going to go after them," Wyden says.  

Senator Ron Wyden, at a town hall event in Lane County.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

"Even apart from formal censorship, this can really start to have people say, “You know, I better not write that article because I’ll be opening myself up to legal repercussions.

"That’s not what the First Amendment’s all about.” 

The Media Law Resource Center has called Trump a “libel bully”, citing 4,000 lawsuits and countless cease-and-desist letters. 

But to date, Trump has not won any libel cases against a media organization.