I read this post yesterday from the excellent blogger behind Write Brain Widow. It’s all about what is happening to America’s free press. And she posted it in August 2017. I wrote in my comment after reading her post, “You wrote this almost a year ago and it still applies today, only things have gotten even worse for the media due to the instigator-in-chief and his inflammatory rhetoric.”
One of her memorable lines in her post was, “Like a mirror, the news is only your enemy if what you see or hear isn’t true, not if it’s just not what you want it to be.” Our president (and I use the terms “our” and “president” loosely) doesn’t like what he sees and hears (I’d say reads, but I’m not sure he actually reads anything other than his teleprompters, and he doesn’t even do that very well), not because it isn’t true, but because it’s not what he wants it to be. And so he lashes out at the press, claiming everything they say about him that he doesn’t like is “fake news” and calling the reporters and journalists “the enemy of the American people.” His rhetoric is actually putting members of the press in jeopardy.
Write Brain Widow responded to my comment on her post by writing,
“I always wonder why the media doesn’t rise up, doesn’t boycott the so-called press conferences, and the ego-stoking rallies; why every legitimate media source doesn’t strike back each time the hateful barbs are thrown. It may not change anything but now, though they take the ‘high road’, their silence is deafening.”
I agree “bigly.” I also wonder why the members of press still attend the White House daily briefings when they know that the smokey-eyed, snide press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is going to lie to them and demean them. Why does the press attend Trump’s rallies, when all he does is spew lies and hate and inflame his lemmings against reporters?
Interestingly, I read this morning’s newspaper column by Willie Brown, former mayor of San Francisco, and he asked the same question. Why doesn’t the press boycott him?
“No reporter or news organization should show up for the White House briefings or for his appearances. Little of value comes out of them anyway.
“All the reporters assigned to the White House could be reassigned to cover the federal agencies where the action really is — the ones that are implementing Trump’s avalanche of executive orders.
“White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would probably welcome it. No longer would she have to embarrass herself by being asked about facts and having to respond with Trump’s fantasies.”
Trump said that we shouldn’t believe what we see, read, or hear. We should, he said, believe only him, the liar-in-chief.
As the Write Brain Widow said at the end of her excellent post, “Remember, it’s rarely true that no news is good news.”