Panel In Chicago Examines Trump’s Contentious Relationship With The Media

(CBS) — The Donald Trump camp and the media have clashed publicly for months, with the latest salvo Thursday from presidential adviser Steve Bannon.

So, how is a free press supposed to exercise its rights now that the Trump Administration is underway?

That subject was the focus of a discussion at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. Among the panelists: CNN President Jeff Zucker and CBS News President David Rhodes.

Their take: Be vigilant. Watch tone. Reject the notion that the rules need to change.

Trump’s us-against-them rhetoric ramped up this week, culminating in Bannon’s statement that “the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”

“This is the most contentious relationship between an administration and the media since Richard Nixon,” Zucker says. “If they want to have that kind of relationship, OK, that’s certainly their prerogative. But it feels incredibly inappropriate.”

He cautioned that journalists should not take the bait, even in situations when Trump verbally attacks a reporter at a news conference.

Rhodes agrees.

“I think you have to be very careful. What everybody has to do in this and any time is just do their job,” he tells CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov. “Keep the same standards and practices that we’ve always had.”

Panelists conceded trust in the media is down – in part, some believe, because society has changed.

“We’re a nation screaming at each other, using our own facts,” says Ann Marie Lipinski, former Chicago Tribune Editor. “That’s a dilemma.”

“You have to prove your credibility constantly,” Rhodes says.

Thursday’s panel attracted a full house. Clearly, there is interest in the topic.

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