We have very strange dynamics playing out here. The actual fake news comes from Fox & the echo, who lie repeatedly to defend a president who’s indefensible. Yet Trump’s definition of fake news has nothing to do with the truth, but instead would be any media which won’t worship his magnificence & brilliance. Trump’s truths are the ones only existing in his own mind. He lives in an alternate reality which his pundits have been more than willing to move into his same phony world. Yes indeed, his state-run media does resort to incredible spin to explain away the inexplicable. The dangers lie in the fact millions of their mesmerized fans believe them. The danger also lies with Trump constantly attacking the media & even questioning libel laws which protect a free press from lawsuits, sending signals around the world that journalists are fair game. We’ve just seen that play out in Myanmar where reporters were unjustly arrested & jailed. We’ve heard of the cases in despot countries where journalists are being attacked & murdered. We’ve even see it play out here in America where reporters have been physically threatened & attacked by congressmen & congressional candidates. Who would vote for such violent/unhinged/thug politicians? It’s become a very dangerous precedent not just for reporters, but for all of us as one of our last lines of defense for preserving free democracies, a free press, has come under direct attack, with the leader of the United States using his enormous influence to spearhead such reprehensible anti-media outbursts.
In reviewing the recent relevant articles below, the dangers we face with this president makes the resistance movement all the more vital. Inside the link trump-is-destroying-a-
Calling out the lies hasn’t stopped Trump. His motives may differ from those of Mussolini and Hitler. He’s not ideological. In his case autocratic instincts come as a psychological motor in the pursuit of greed and the protection of his unbridled and ludicrous ego. The lack of ideology doesn’t make him any less dangerous, though. Trump has no time for scruples. With his lawyers unable to kill Wolff’s book (can book burning be far off in his mind?) he once again threatened to ramp up the libel laws to prevent the “defamation” of people like him. He’s trying to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner in the hope that Time Warner will be forced to divest itself of his bête noir, CNN, hoping that someone more sympathetic to him will take it over.
In this struggle journalism is our last dependable line of defense. It’s no exaggeration to say that the health, security, and integrity of the republic is at stake. History is an unforgiving judge and, just as the history of Europe in the 1920s and ’30s reveals shameful failures in democratic institutions America’s current crisis will be judged by how effectively, or otherwise, the institutions designed to protect democracy worked.
It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader.
The senator will add:
[Trump] has it precisely backward — despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.
Instead, the network often harps on Trump’s former political foe, Hillary Clinton. Fox News viewers reportedly respond in a far more positive way to negative coverage of Clinton and greatly dislike reports against Trump. In turn, the network focuses on coverage tailored to Trump backers and the president.
As usual, Fox has their own section of links below. I used to watch a lot of Fox News, helping to balance out the left-leaning views on the other networks. But the past couple years their lying & obsequiousness have become so over-the-top blatant & pronounced, they have become very hard to watch. They’ve not only become the messaging source echoing the lies of Trump, but they’ve also become masters of deceit, distortions, diversions, exaggerations, subterfuge, gaslighting & playing to their far-right base. They’ve learned to mimic Trump since he’s conditioned his fans to take his side on most everything. That duped gang of Trumpeters are also mostly Fox’s core audience. Ratings & profits largely depend on keeping them entertained & happy. One good reason I tend to focus more on Fox fake-news in my comments & the article links about the echo, rather than the crazy conspiratorial websites/social media groups or even the more radicalized radio talk shows (like Limbaugh, Levin, Alex Jones), is that it’s quite possible some in the Fox audience can still be educated & salvaged. Those hooked on the ridiculous internet/radio far-right messaging have probably already gone too far off the rails, leaving no hope for them. Saving the GOP & conservatism from the radical side back to rational thinking, it doesn’t require convincing most in the base. Even just a minority of Fox watchers coming back to the sane side of conservatism might be enough to save the party, & America would be much better for it.
As an evangelical Christian, frankly I’ve been very disappointed in some of our church’s recognized national leadership. I’ve also been disappointed by many among the congregations who’ve bought into the deceptive teachings of such leaders. At this point, the likes of Robert Jeffress, Mark Burns, Johnnie Moore, Paula White, Jerry Falwell Jr. & others are so accepting of blatant immorality, to some of us evangelicals they’ve become nothing more than former religious leaders. There are articles below exposing them for the charlatans they’ve become. When evangelical leaders use the power of their positions to advocate extremist politics & morally degenerate leaders, they risk so abandoning their Christian values as to cross over into heresy. In part 1 of today’s commentary I pointed out how Trump seems to corrupt anyone who aligns themselves with him, so likewise I can’t help but wonder if religious leaders associated with Trump have fallen under a demonic spell of deception. If Jesus walked the Earth today, he might well refer to these so-called religious leaders in the same terms he spoke of the Scribes & Pharisees.