Trump being a crybaby, as caricatured by DonkeyHotey.

Look, I get it, President Donald Trump is the biggest “snowflake” of them all. He handles criticism with all the dignity and grace of an inflamed hemorrhoid. Frankly, I’ve never seen any politician victimize more people while playing the victim himself in such a sustained, shameless, and callow way.

That’s the way bullies work, though, isn’t it? They go around hurting and hitting everyone and everything else, and when they are criticized for it they become the biggest babies in the sandbox. Sadly, this is the President of the United States about whom we are talking, not the Rugrats. This is supposed to be the leader of the free world, not Angelica Pickle.

Trump made clear long ago that he would set “the media” up as the biggest enemy to his administration. This hasn’t stopped him and his supporters from pathetically attacking President Barack Obama or his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton every chance they get.

Alienating friend and foe alike, Trump flails out at everyone at the smallest slight, unless its Vladimir Putin or Nazis, but we digress. As far as an everyday enemy, nothing in Trump’s fevered, egomaniacal brain surpasses the “fake news” media. This is not only ignoble and ignorant propagandizing, it’s also dangerous to our democratic institutions.

As combative as relationships can get between us in the Fourth Estate and our elected officials, it’s heartening to see some leaders standing up to defend the sacred institution of a free and open press in America.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, did just that in a release Wednesday, followingTrump’s campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona where he continued to attack the press in a full-on public temper tantrum.

Here is Ryan’s statement, in full:

“As an elected official in Ohio for over 17 years, I certainly have not appreciated every news article or story that has been published in the media.  But after hearing President Trump’s tirade last night, I believe it is necessary for public officials to state clearly and unequivocally that a free press is essential to the functioning of our democracy.  It isn’t always fun to have the scrutiny of the press analyzing and critiquing our policies, our initiatives, and even our personalities. But it is exactly that friction that forces elected officials to answer publicly those who question certain ideas and policies.

“A free press gives voice to a free people. If we can’t fiercely and articulately defend our positions and policies publicly then those ideas won’t, and shouldn’t, become the law of the land.  That is why President Trump feels the need to lash out at the press every chance he gets. They are constantly shedding light on his hyperbole, his hypocrisies, his misrepresentations and his ever more increasing falsehoods.

“Our system isn’t perfect, social media has gotten a bit out of control, making political discourse a lot noisier. But the alternative is the secretive, government controlled media system that we see in Russia, China, and developing countries around the world where power brokers are able to operate in the shadows and against the interests of their own people. If President Trump does not like the free press, what would he have in its place?”