Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Trump's War Against The Free Press Supports Autocracy Everywhere

In Trump's mind the free press is his enemy.  He praises Fox News whose target market includes Trump's base, and he has been working hard to convince Americans that CNN and the major news media are sources of fake news.  Its easy to understand Trump's efforts to discredit the media at personal level.  Trump has an insatiable desire for praise and adulation.  He gets that from Fox News.  He does not get that from the mainstream media.  Even worse, the media does not pull any punches when they cover him and his administration.  They violate another of Trump's psychological needs.  He can't tolerate criticism, and he has no use for an objective coverage his policy proposals.  Whatever Trump claims is the truth as long as it serves his purposes.  He frequently alters his opinions on almost any topic when a "new truth" better serves his purposes.

This article reports on efforts to help Trump in his war against objective reporting.  A right wing organization tried to scam the Washington Post.  One of its stooges contacted a Washington Post reporter and claimed that Roy Moore had impregnated her and then forced her to have an abortion. That would have been a major story if it were true.  However, the reporter had several doubts about the woman's story and he did what good reporters in the "fake media" do.  He checked out the story and he found that it was fabricated.  He did not report her story and found that she was connected to a right wing organization that has a mission to prove that the mainstream media tell nothing but lies.

While Trump is unable to tolerate the free press in the US, he has taken his attack on the media to the international level.  CNN has an international audience and its reports and him and his administration has not been good for his self esteem.  Trump fired tweets at CNN's international reporting of "fake news".  His attack on CNN, however, goes beyond the damage that its reporting does to his self esteem.  His efforts to delegitimize objective media sources is consistent with efforts underway in many autocratic regimes to control the information that is provided to the public.  Trump is providing leadership to autocratic regimes everywhere.  One might be critical of government directed US news sources such as the Voice of America in places like Russia, but Trump is trying to discredit private sources of news like CNN which is primarily protected by its reputation for responsible journalism.  Trump understands this and that is why he doing what he can to attack their reputation.

No comments:

Post a Comment