The 45th President of the United State, Donald J. Trump, has often had a contentious relationship with the media. He has called us “fake news”, even the “enemy of the American people.”
More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States said, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
The first amendment is a beauty. That’s something we all can agree on. The way that right is interpreted is what has everyone in America talking, especially in regard to the media.
Which is why that responsibility- telling your stories every single day, exposing corruption and holding people accountable, is something we never take for granted.
I stood in line with folks waiting to see the President inside of the Charleston Town Center this afternoon, just hours before he was slated to speak at the Charleston Civic Center for his Make America Great Again Rally.
Some folks weren’t so thrilled with my questions about what “fake news” means to them. One man in line to see President Trump said, “Do you have any other cool questions you want to ask? Like hard ones?”
A number of folks in line were very kind. ” Just be honest,” one woman said. “Thank you for doing your job,” said another.
One man walked up to my photographer and I and called us “losers”. Keep in mind, he approached us. I never asked him a question, never even made eye contact with him.
One man told me he “didn’t want to be on TV,” and proceeded to stand in the middle of my shot right before I was getting ready to, what we call in the business, “go live”, middle fingers waving in the air.
According to another man in line, “It doesn’t matter what color you are, what your national geophaphical location [sic] is. We see everybody- black, white, American. We see what’s happening, when someone is trying to get at their own agenda.”
Friends, this is my plea to you. This is not a political plea. This isn’t even about politics at all. I promise… Not that you would believe me if you think my photographer, Elbert, and I are losers. I’ll admit, I’m pretty nerdy. But Elbert? He’s the definition of cool. Just saying. If you’ve ever met him, you know.
We. Do. Not. Have. An. Agenda.
TV news is something I’ve always wanted to do, especially in my home town. I never imagined that I’d be standing in front of the scene where an innocent man was shot hours prior and someone screaming in the background of my live shot that I was fake.
Look, I get that this is what I signed up for. Is it kind? No, but it’s okay. It’s part of it.
We’re people doing our job.
We are so honored to have the privilege of telling your stories. That’s not fake.