The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Trump Lashes Out Against The Media

When leaders attack the press they do so out of motive, manipulation and their inner core of authoritarianism.  

During his time in office, Richard Nixon led a movement against US Media (press) which seems to find an echo in our current president. We will visit with Trump's anti-Media (press) campaign in a  bit. First, a reminder from John Avalon's The Daily Beast piece this past September:
Nixon’s senior staff followed their boss’s lead, adding 56 journalists and media executives to their infamous “enemies list.” There were attempts to intimidate through investigations and arrests; there were break-ins staged at private homes and offices. And in the case of the controversial investigative columnist Jack Anderson, Nixon’s operatives explored ways to murder the journalist via poison in his medicine cabinet or smearing LSD on the steering wheel of his car.
We know what came of both Richard Nixon and his criminal VP henchman, Spiro Agnew. The press sunk then both with Agnew falling to fraud charges well prior to Nixon succumbing tot he Washington Post investigation of the Watergate break-in.

US history is infested with comment from quotable sources regarding the press and national liberties.  While Thomas Jefferson wrote about a free society's need for a free press, he later in life grew to distrust the press and wrote in accordance with his mistrust. 

John Adams apparently remain cautious of government intervention if the free press and wrote many passages as such. Here is one such piece of writing.  
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers. Rulers are no more than attorneys, agents, and trustees, of the people; and if the cause, the interest, and trust, is insidiously betrayed, or wantonly trifled away, the people have a right to revoke the authority that they themselves have deputed, and to constitute other and better agents, attorneys and trustees.
John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (1765)
John Kenndy also wrote (and spoke) with regard to avoiding stifling a free press.
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive. ... And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment — the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution — not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants" — but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion. This means greater coverage and analysis of international news — for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security. ... And so it is to the printing press — to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news — that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.
John F. Kennedy's Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association (27 April 1961)
Now for the diametrically opposite view (and policy), from another who placed a stamp on the history of humankind. 

Image result for hitler the press

Image result for hitler the press

Trump lashes out against news coverage he feels is non-supportive as surely as he awakens to tweet each morning. In a softball interview with Lou Dobbs, Fox Business, we see and hear a modern-day reincarnation of Hitler's views about the press. When Dobbs mentioned being treated fairly by media, his interview role was complete.
I’ve really started this whole fake news thing,” Trump told Dobbs. “What could be more fake than CBS and NBC and ABC and CNN when you look at some of these stories?”

Total authoritarianism starts with stifling the free press (media), all that is bad from international leaders follow.

Trump Threatens Rights Of The Free Press By Calling CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, And MSNBC All 'Fake News'

On the Fox Business Network Wednesday evening, Trump threatened the first amendment rights of a free press by calling CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and MSNBC all 'fake news" while citing only two conservative outlets that unwaveringly support him as credible. At the end of his interview with ardent supporter Lou Dobbs, the FBN host opined, "You…

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