After the Capital Gazette shooting in Maryland and amid President Donald Trump’s ever-increasing references to the press as “the enemy of the people,” newsrooms are bulking up on security measures and reporters are actively discussing the daily threats they face.
According to a Thursday Politico report, an end of the summer packed with government-directed rage at the Fourth Estate has journalists speaking out.
“What you do not see are the nasty letters or packages or emails. The threats of physical violence,” said MSNBC’s Katy Tur. “’I hope you get raped and killed,’ one person wrote to me just this week. ‘Raped and killed.’ Not just me, but a couple of my female colleagues as well.”
Though many outlets were hesitant to issue expansive statements, for fear of undermining their security measures, they did point to the increasingly hostile environment.
New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha told Politico that “we have expanded measures to protect our journalists against the overall backdrop of increased threats and verbal attacks.”
“The volume of concerning threats has risen over the past couple of years, and we have been taking the necessary actions to make sure our staff is safe — that includes reviewing our protocols and coordinating with local authorities, as necessary,” added Washington Post spokesperson Gregg Fernandes.
A Fox News spokesperson declined to give Politico a quote, but said that the issue is receiving “increased attention.”
Though Trump has long positioned himself as hostile to most of his own country’s news outlets, the topic has been particularly discussed recently as, per Politico, Trump has referred to reporters as “the enemy of the people” five times in the past month alone.
White House aides have been pressed on the subject, with counselor Kellyanne Conway distancing herself from Trump’s refrain, while press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hewed to the President’s stance, despite pressure.