COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - President Donald Trump has used some choice words to describe the press. Most recently he described it as the "enemy" of the people and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to denounce the comment during a press briefing.
Former CNN White House Correspondent and South Carolina's own Charles Bierbauer offers perspective. Bierbauer worked for CNN in the White House covering Reagan and Bush for nine years, before eventually coming to USC and becoming the Dean of the College of Information and Communications.
Bierbauer says the tension today between media and President is greater than he ever experienced. Media name-calling is a cause for concern, he feels.
WIS-TV's Reporter Ashleigh Holland asked, "is the Press the enemy of the people?" To that, Dr. Bierbauer replied, "I am not the enemy of the people...and to suggest it is provocative, it is dangerous, and it is really very-sort of- disappointing that the ideas of free speech and free press should clash in the ways that they do. There's a tension."
Holland: "What do the words 'fake news' mean to you? What does that say to you?"
Bierbauer: "'Fake news' is an oxymoron, that is to say if it's fake it's not news. If it's news it had better not be fake. In this context in what President Trump is doing, he's basically demeaning anything he doesn't like."
Viewers and news consumers are weighing-in on distrust in the news. Opinions vary.
"I don't know if they're the enemy or...if they just have an agenda," Lexington County resident Ralph Rodgers said. "They're agenda is to over... I'm going to say overthrow the government."
"Distrust in the media is very, very harmful to our country in my personal opinion," Lexington resident Hazel Clarke said. "It irritates me because 'fake news' is fake news."