Editorial: More Conduct Unbecoming

While we are on the subject of hateful rhetoric, the president continues to descend into the kind of muck Richard Nixon once smeared on the edifice of the White House.

When he said he was going to drain the swamp, President Donald Trump did not mention he was going to pile the detritus on the lawn of the People’ s House.

The president has routinely been attempting to undercut the institutions he has associated with the swamp he argues he was sent to drain, which includes the intelligence community, the courts, Congress and the press.

Various organizations supporting journalism and journalists have called Trump’s attacks on the media one of the biggest-ever threats to freedom of the press both here and abroad, the latter by providing cover to despots and dictators for their own media.

The president’s attacks on the press have recently descended into farce, or to the point more farcical than usual, with his pronouncement that he would be handing out the Most Dishonest and Corrupt Media Awards to the “fake” news media.

Perhaps in anticipation of the awards presentation, The Washington Post fact checker pointed to almost 2,000 statements Trump has made that are either misleading or demonstrably false, with CNN following up with the visual aide of four jars full of gumballs, each representing one of those 1,950.

The president has postponed the “awards” announcement until this week, though there is little suspense about the outcome. If past is prologue, CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post will be pilloried; Fox and Friends, not so much.

At first we thought about advising the media to ignore the president’s awards to keep from encouraging him, but we think the better approach is to expose the emperor’s nakedness at every opportunity.