Trump and his flack Sarah Sanders have proven again and again they have nothing but contempt for real journalists.
After news reports called out the Trump White House for refusing to fly U.S. flags at half-mast to honor journalists murdered in a mass shooting last week, the White House reversed its decision — five days after the shooting took place.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the Trump White House initially rejected a request from Annapolis, Maryland, Mayor Gavin Buckley to order U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff in order to honor the five newspaper employees who were murdered at the Capital Gazette building in Annapolis, Maryland, last week.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders blamed the initial rejection and delay in lowering the flag on "certain protocol." However, in the past Trump has ordered flags to be lowered within a day of mass shootings.
The White House's proclamation came nearly a week after the shooting at the Gazette, and only after coverage of the initial rejection from the White House.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Buckley made the request last Friday, just one day after a gunman opened fire and killed five people working in the Capital Gazette newsroom.
Buckley told the Sun on Monday afternoon that Trump had rejected his request.
"Obviously, I’m disappointed... Is there a cutoff for tragedy?" Buckley told the Sun. "This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy."
Buckley told the Sun that he had hoped lowering American flags nationwide would help keep national attention on the shooting that killed four journalists and one member of the newspaper's sales team.
On Friday, the day after the shooting, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, ordered state flags be flown at half-staff "as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless act of violence perpetrated ... against employees of the Capital Gazette."
Trump has repeatedly referred to the press as the "enemy of the people." And in an interview on Tuesday morning, in which Sanders discussed the late proclamation for the Gazette victims, Sanders refused to reject Trump's claim that journalists are the enemy of the people or commit to not using the language in the future.
Perhaps Trump would have been quicker to extend this small measure of respect for the victims if they were employees of Fox News.
But they weren't. They were real journalists who worked for a real news outlet.
And once again, Trump and his team have proven the contempt they have for journalists — dead or alive.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.