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'It's really dangerous to demonize the media': Jeff Bezos criticizes Trump for calling the press the 'enemy of the people'

Isobel Asher Hamilton
Jeff Bezos

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts


  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos criticised President Trump's antagonistic approach to the media on Thursday, saying that it is "really dangerous to demonize the media" because it erodes democracy.
  • Bezos said that elected officials have to get used to and even welcome the fact that they are subject to media scrutiny.
  • Bezos owns the Washington Post, which is among the numerous news organisations the President has decried as "fake news."

Jeff Bezos criticised President Donald Trump's approach to the media on Thursday, saying it is "dangerous" to demonize one of the fundamental pillars of democracy.

"It is a mistake for any elected official in my opinion [...] to attack media and journalists. I believe that it's an essential component of our democracy," he said, speaking at the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday.

"There has never been [...] a public figure who has liked their headlines. It's okay, it's part of the process. If you're president of the United States or governor of a state or whatever, you don't take that job thinking you're not gonna get scrutinized. You're gonna get scrutinized and it's healthy."

Bezos then turned more specifically to Trump and how he deals with the media.

"What the president should say is, 'This is right. This is good. I am glad I am getting scrutinized, and that would be so secure and confident," he said.

"But it's really dangerous to demonize the media. It's dangerous to call the media lowlifes. It's dangerous to say they're the 'enemy of the people.'"

Trump referred to the press as "the enemy of the American people" for the first time last February, opening a new front in his ongoing media battle.

You can watch Bezos talking about attacks on the media at 18:35 in this video:

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Despite Trump's antipathy towards the press, Bezos did not seem threatened. "We are so robust in this country, the media is gonna be fine. We're gonna push through this."

Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, which Trump has previously attacked as "fake news." Trump has also come after Amazon in the past, claiming it exploits the US Postal Service. More recently Trump said that Amazon, along with Facebook and Google, could represent a "very antitrust situation."

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