UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who will be leaving his post this year, spoke the The Guardian about the dangerous nature of Donald Trump’s relentless attacks on the media — particularly after any outlet has reported on his administration critically — as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people,” both within the United States and around the world.
Zeid, a Jordanian prince, told The Guardian:
“We began to see a campaign against the media … that could have potentially, and still can, set in motion a chain of events which could quite easily lead to harm being inflicted on journalists just going about their work and potentially some self-censorship. And in that context, it’s getting very close to incitement to violence.”
The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
Zeid also said the Trump administration’s abject lack of concern about human rights in general marked a distinct break with previous administrations, and that Donald Trump’s own rhetoric aimed at minorities as well as the press was reminiscent of two of the worst eras of the 20th century, both of which preceded world wars. He also expressed concern that because the United States has been such a stalwart leader, Donald Trump’s behavior is basically giving carte blanche to authoritarian regimes:
“The US creates a demonstration effect, which then is picked up by other countries where the leadership tends to be more authoritarian [in] character or aspires to be authoritarian.”