“The press, Mr. President, is not the enemy of the people.”
That’s former White House communications director and hedge-fund founder Anthony Scaramucci, in an op-ed published Sunday by The Hill.
In a plea directed at President Donald Trump, who often calls the press the “enemy of the people,” Scaramucci said the media, even with its imperfections, “is the guardian of individual liberty.”
“The press may be flawed, it may offer bias, it may be self-righteous and sanctimonious and highly critical, but it is serving the exact purpose that the country’s Founders wanted,” he said.
Arguing that Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous to democracy and scares off moderate voters, Scaramucci said Trump “needs to stop doing this.”
“Mr. President, if you want to win again — and I am certain you do, and likely will — you need to stop calling reporters the enemy.”
While admitting Trump’s anti-press sentiment echoes that of some dictators, Scaramucci said Trump is “far from a tyrant,” but warned of power’s corruptive allure: “I have seen it first hand; people often act nuts when they obtain any sort of power. Nuts and corrupt. The press is there to check them and to hold them accountable to the people whom they are not ruling but serving.”
“He knows better,” Scaramucci said of Trump, “and he should stop punching down with his ire and, instead, start using his rhetoric the way he did in his State of the Union: to be inclusive, optimistic and aspirational.”
“Whatever its biases or opinions, too bad — the press has the right. And I am so very proud to live in a country where it does,” he wrote.
Scaramucci, who is back at his hedge fund, SkyBridge Capital, released a book last year about his time in Trump’s orbit and later, his presidential administration, in which Scaramucci served only 10 days before being fired in 2017.