It’s no secret that Donald Trump really, really, really, really hates the media. But his hatred of the media has taken on particularly chilling–and outright fascist–proportions after he took office as president.
To review, he directed his chief strategist and chief brownshirt, Steve Bannon, to tell the media to “keep its mouth shut.” He told his information minister, Kellyanne Conway, to put the media on notice that they’re endangering democracy by calling out his administration’s blatant lies–er, “alternative facts.” He also told Conway to pressure media outlets into firing any reporters who attacked him during the campaign, and “suggested” that someone buy one of his biggest gadflies, The New York Times, and run it “correctly.” And he has let it be known, through one of his aides, that he will consider any even remotely critical stories about him to be “fake news.”
Add it up, and there is no denying it–this White House would like nothing better than to bludgeon the press into submission. This is not something that a president in a democracy would do.
If there is still any doubt that we now have a president who would like nothing better than to be a dictator, it should have been erased just before the close of business on Friday, when Trump fired off this unhinged and chilling tweet.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
So enlighten us, Donald. You mean to tell us that when Peter Alexander called you out for lying about how big your win was, he became an enemy of the people? And when George Stephanopolos shut down Stephen Miller for peddling claims about nonexistent voter fraud, he became an enemy of the people? You mean to tell us that when Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski declared Conway persona non grata on “Morning Joe” because of her blatant lying, they became enemies of the people? And when Shepard Smith and Jake Tapper called your press conference out for the train wreck that it was, they became enemies of the people? And on, and on, and on.
Let’s not sugarcoat this. Trump is effectively saying that if the press dares to call him out, it isn’t going against him. It’s going against the American people. Which means that in Trump’s world, the media has no right to do its job and hold Trump to account. After all, if it does, it has set itself against the American people. Ladies and gentlemen, this is fascism, plain and simple.
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)