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Trump's attack on media as 'enemy of the people' is disgraceful and dangerous

Donald Trump has branded many media outlets the 'enemy of the American people'. Credit: PA

Friday night's "enemy of the people" tweet by Donald Trump has created further widespread concern about the direction of this Presidency.

It hints darkly of a Nixon-like mood inside the White House.

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump tweeted many provocative thoughts and insulted many groups.

Some of his core supporters have always insisted to those he targets, including journalists, that we need to have a sense of humour and stop taking him so literally.

But he is now President of the United States. Many journalists and camera operators have risked their lives believing that news coverage is worthwhile and that journalism is a vital public service.

So branding the major US networks and the New York Times "the enemy of the American people" is a disgrace.

It is also dangerous.

Journalists are already being targeted, and are more likely to be after this latest tweet. And this is the nation that enshrines our freedom to report in its First - yes, First - Amendment.

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As some Washington reporters are noting, myself included, if the President wants to make amends he can walk the half mile from the White House to the museum dedicated to the press and its values.

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Inside the 'Newseum', as it's known, is a two-storey wall with the names of reporters and camera teams who have been killed in the line of duty. There are 2,291 names on the wall, and the list grows longer every year.

It is not a shrine to the enemy of the American people, but to those who have died trying to inform their fellow citizens.