It is not unusual for people, when attacked, to immediately defend themselves in a manner proportionate to the initial assault. When you are punched, you are likely to punch back.
Of course, when Trump lashes the media as being the “Enemy of the People”, it would be expected that the media return fire in kind.
Semantics would detail that Trump’s widespread blunderbuss of flotsam and debris targets the “Fake News” as such an enemy of the people, and not the media at large. However, that is incidental to that I am about to write.
Let’s never forget that the term “Fake News” was also initially mentioned by Clinton and the “impartial” media as one of the reason’s for Trump’s rise to power. For all the mockery of his constant “Fake News” refrain, I’ll never forget that Trump’s use of the term was a reversal of the media’s own weapon.
But, for all the talk of fake news, and the denouncement of the media news complex, there are now sounds being made that Trump’s lambasting is giving rise to the kind of clamp-downs on dissenting voices in North Korea, Phillipines and more recently the case of Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi Arabia.
But while Trump openly and explicitly bashes the media, oftentimes for good reason (and othertimes for not), I am always reminded by the covert methods in which the Obama administration pursued whistleblowers and journalists. I feel that if you want to talk of other nations emboldened by rhetoric to silence dissenting voices (assuming that these other countries take their lead from the US and not, say, their own hubris and corruption), that the Obama administration would have been just as guilty.
For all the bluster about Trump’s fiery and loud relationship with CNN, Obama actively froze out Fox News, to quote:
“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent. As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”
- Obama White House Communications Communications Director, Anita Dunn
Of course, many would scoff and cough at the Fox News being partisan outlets, however this would be turn a willing blind eye to the raging bias exhibited by CNN, MSNBC or other so-called “impartial” platforms.
The difference between Trump and Obama, in this case, is that the media hasn’t been running defense for all the scandals for the former, while they were happy to look away for the latter.
So, I disagree with the idea that it is Trump, and only Trump’s, attacks on the media that are a problem. The media can bleat all they like about being a major supportive beam of a functioning democracy, but until I see better quality reporting from everyone, I’m going to reserve my panic over the matter of a threatened media.