President Donald Trump calls on a reporter during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Richard Nixon tangled with reporters in the toxic atmosphere of Watergate, considering them the "enemy".Historians can point to plenty of past presidents who have sparred with the press.The president proceeded to circle back to the press time and again during the news conference to complain about "fake news" purveyed by "dishonest" reporters.At least publicly, Nixon was more circumspect about going after individual reporters and news organizations, even while privately musing about how to discredit CBS's Walter Cronkite and other correspondents, says Brinkley, author of a book on the Nixon tapes.More recent presidents have more episodic difficulties with the press.The bad blood between presidents and the press stretches back to the nation's early years.Two decades later, as president, Jefferson had a different take on the press that sounds something like an early version of Trump's complaints against "fake news".Brinkley said Trump's tactics reflect a broad cultural shift away from news to entertainment, as the former reality TV star tries to keep his supporters engaged.
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