Chipping Away at the Fouth Estate

89C7E486-BB48-4F09-9D7E-A8345427C1F9Are you ready for this? According to a new public opinion survey conducted by Ipsos, 43% of Republicans think Donald Trump “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior” (i.e., being critical of Donald Trump). This includes media outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

In addition, 48% of Republicans believe that the news media is “the enemy of the American people.” And 80% of Republicans said “most news outlets have a liberal bias,” while 79% of Republicans said that they believe that the mainstream media outlets treat Trump “unfairly.”

I don’t know about you, but I find this very sobering. It illustrates how effectively Trump’s anti-press drumbeat has shaped public opinion — at least among Republicans — about the role the media plays in covering his administration.

Censoring the press and shutting down news outlets is a tactic used by autocratic and totalitarian regimes in order to silence political enemies, dissidents, and the opposition. It is not something that one would expect from a free and democratic society.

In fact, freedom of the press is guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd said,

When the public’s right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are endangered.

You may recall last month, when Trump was speaking before a group of veterans, he said, “Just stick with us, don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news.” He followed that up by saying, “And just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

Yesterday I wrote a post, “Hook, Line, and Sinker,” in which I lamented, “The sad and disturbing thing is that too many people are buying — hook, line, and sinker — what this con artist [Donald Trump] is selling.”

This Ipsos survey demonstrates just how naive and gullible (and either brainwashed or brain dead) Republican voters have become.

25 thoughts on “Chipping Away at the Fouth Estate

  1. James Pyles August 8, 2018 / 6:49 am

    I have been dubious of the objectivity of many mainstream news outlets for a long time, which includes CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, but if we truly are to have a “free press,” then it must cover the widest possible spectrum of views, from liberal to conservative. Often, I have to fact check a story using multiple sources in order to tease out what the facts of any given event might be. As far as I can tell, the Christian Science Monitor is about the most objective. A liberal friend of mine on Facebook posted a matrix of the various news outlets relative to their politics and accuracy. I don’t agree with it 100%, but generally it is informative. Here’s a link to the image (sorry, if this seems like spamming):

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango August 8, 2018 / 8:47 am

      Regardless of whether Democrat or Republican, the President should not have the ability to shut down media outlets for “bad behavior” (whatever that means), and I can’t believe that a large plurality of Republicans believe that he should.

      Liked by 4 people

    • magnoliajem August 8, 2018 / 1:20 pm

      I notice you don’t include Fox in your litany of mainstream media that you fact check. Why is that?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Paula Light August 8, 2018 / 7:22 am

    Ironic (and sad), since the Right is always going on about how they want to abide by the Constitution. They actually don’t care about any of it except the 2nd Amendment, which they interpret as “liberally” as possible.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Léa August 8, 2018 / 9:43 am

      Not true, they do care about it but their goal is to destroy it as it is now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. baddadcartoons101 August 8, 2018 / 10:50 am

    They will ignore the first amendment but don’t interfere with their god given right to the second amendment

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Marilyn Armstrong August 8, 2018 / 11:23 am

    I think we tend to underestimate the temper of our times. On the other hand, I’m not sure I could survive if I didn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. magnoliajem August 8, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    Polls like this are frightening. On a personal note, what’s more frightening to me is that my very liberal, very Democrat sister-in-law is buying into this media mistrust. If the cancer has, in fact, metastasized from trumpers, where does that leave us?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sight11 August 8, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    Sensei I would be fair in my assessment and call Washington post and New York Times dubious and even sometimes racist in their reporting but I agree the Press should have freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 8, 2018 / 9:39 pm

      I do think the Post and the Times have a liberal bent, but I would not call either of them dubious or racist.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sight11 August 8, 2018 / 9:46 pm

        The way treat third world countries is pathetic to say the least, not to mention their reporting on South and Central Asia is dubious, as someone who read them let’s say they put an agenda and bend it their way.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango August 8, 2018 / 9:51 pm

          I mostly read articles in those papers for the political commentary, so I can’t really assess their coverage of third world countries or those in South/Central Asia.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sight11 August 9, 2018 / 1:42 am

            Huh! Don’t feel bad for my upcoming comment Sensei, but Americans are ignorant when it comes to world issues.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Léa August 9, 2018 / 3:41 am

    They take their ‘God’ given right to own weapons of destruction so that they may defacate on the sixth commandment.they say they defend. Hypocritical, n’est pas?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The Haunted Wordsmith August 9, 2018 / 4:53 pm

    It’s not just the media they are wanting to control and shut down. Agencies are being issued what could only be considered an administrative gag order. They are not opening potential rules to the public as required, they are not addressing substantive comments as required, they are limited on what terms they can use, it’s ridiculous. I hate the games the DNC played during the election and would love nothing more than to see the DNC chairman on charges of tampering with the election, but it really was the 49% of Americans who did not or could not vote that irk me the most. Oddly enough, I am part of that 49%. I went down to the courthouse to file a paper voting registration form. Filled it out, showed my SS card, birth certificate, CC statement and utility bill showing current address. And yet they still wanted more. I was told I would get something in the mail in 3 days…yeah, right. I tried to register as an independent. A man in the next line was registering for the first time as a Republican and he left with his temporary voting registration for the primaries. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 9, 2018 / 7:06 pm

      Given that the government is there to serve the public and the elected officials are there to serve their constituents, this lack of transparency is appalling.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Haunted Wordsmith August 9, 2018 / 7:15 pm

        So true, unfortunately his administration isn’t from the political or public servant realm. They never learned the group ethos.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. writebrainwidow August 11, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    I can’t even express how the constant barrage and denigration of the media enrages me. (Some months ago, I wrote a blog on precisely that:

    My late husband was a PR guy who started life as a reporter and I think of him all the time as the rhetoric continues to assault the free press with taunts of ‘enemy of the people’. Sure other have done that – and they have been called dictators. Unfortunately Donny may only have a glancing familiarity with truth so when it’s reflected to him, he does what he knows – lash out, distract and destroy. We’re on to you, imposter Potus.

    Liked by 1 person

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