By Jason Taylor
Choose your battles wisely is a phrase that doesn’t exist in Donald Trump’s lexicon. The tendencies of an authoritarian are always to control the narrative- by demonizing the free press and its legitimate activities, by denigrating and personalizing legitimate criticism and shaping the public narrative through heavily biased and partisan news sources. This could not be clearer. This is fascism.
We are only one month in and Trump has launched a war against the most fundamental component of our free and democratic society, the press. What more evidence do people need to be convinced that he is a dictator? He just threw the Constitution out of the window. Bannon, his guide, and puppeteer just yesterday proclaimed that he wanted to deconstruct the world order. He wasn’t kidding, was he? This is his first artillery barrage. Trump has installed his number one sycophant and cheerleader to head the justice department. How convenient.
The Democrats must all boycott the State of the Union speech on Tuesday. Forget about this talk of who is shaking Trump’s hand. Refuse to show up. The networks should all refuse to televise it. Black out the dictator. Twitter should cut off his account. That’s it. This is much worse than Nixon ever was. Bannon wants to take the world apart. If this keeps up, the Trump administration may be the first product of deconstruction.
Trump is a dictator. He isn’t a pseudo dictator, he is the real thing.
There comes a time when enough is enough. It sure seems that this is that time. Every journalist in the country should take a strong stand in solidarity, both deny the White House any coverage at all to get it message across, and railing against this anti-democratic, authoritarian regime. This is not America. Trump is clearly an enemy of America. The slippery slope toward violating the first amendment just got a thick coating of ice.
Even conservatives need to fear these attacks on our free press at a time when the President and his top advisors see themselves a “mandated” to tear apart our government and our democracy. Conservatives are not vaccinated from the hatred Trump and his minions express, and they may well pay the price. The media, mainstream or not, needs to fear assaults on our free press, or it will no longer be free but controlled by a government detached and dangerous to the people it is supposed to serve.
At the same time Trump is attacking the media he is forming behind the curtain agreements with Russia, and creating national immigration police force that has no control other than his own. Call it a personal police force for Trump to do with as he pleases. These actions by this administration are not legislative overreach. They are dangerously anti-democratic. We are quickly falling into the “failed state” category of nation. We need to turn that around. Now.
Fox news and right wing talk radio began this propagandizing of the under-educated masses. Now it is fully entrenched by a president that only gets his policy info from conspiracy-oriented goofballs and fox. It is disgusting and will not stand.
ALL of the news organizations who were permitted access should have walked out — EN MASSE! Are Time Magazine and The Associated Press the only ones among the rest of the reporters with any spine? This move has to rank among the most despicable, high-handed actions of a vindictive bully showing off his power. This is a coup. The voters did not vote for a clampdown on freedom of speech or an overthrow of the Constitution. When will the GOP stand up to this? How many more violations will it take, and will it by then, be too late?
Where are the lily-livered Republicans denouncing this turn of events? The outrage amongst politicians should be unanimous. The fact that Trump’s cadre of handlers try to spoon feed him acceptable questions that won’t hurt his ego is beyond the pale. I laugh at the fact that all Trump’s supporters make fun of “liberal snowflakes” when they elected the biggest snowflake in modern political history.
I regard the White House briefing as a public forum. Denying access to reporters from established news organizations because you don’t like what they report, or as a way to control what is reported is a deliberate effort to coerce a free press.
It is very important for the legitimate media to band together to fight this.
I would suggest that reporters who are allowed into briefings bring questions from reporters who are excluded and when they stand up to ask a question, stand up and ask the question on behalf of the organization that was excluded. If he refuses to answer, BOO.
If he continues to bar news outlets so that only Breitbart and Fox are left standing, then the people need to call into question the legitimacy of any news outlet that does attend — — clearly, if only those that are not capable of being critical of the government are let in, then it’s pretty obvious that those news organizations that are in there are merely playing a propaganda patsy role. It de-legitimizes them if they are the only one there.
Finally, the American people need to understand that if this barring of the press, then they are essentially under the same kind of government system that Russia has, where it is virtually impossible for an independent journalist to operate without harassment.
This is not just an attempt to silence. It is an attempt to silence the people.