Trump has declared war on the media

If you want to have a discussion about ways to address bias in the press, let’s do it. I’m all in. But banning outlets, with Donald Trump today repeating his “enemy of the people” attacks, is reminiscent of Hitler and the “lugenpresse” (lying press) label.

It is Nazi-like. It is un-American. It is a declaration of war on the First Amendment.

Trump has no trouble with the press as long as it is giving him a nearly free ride (like Fox and Breitbart). He wants a country where the New York Times, CNN, and other outlets are fully discredited or shuttered. Only his narrative will remain. Never in my career as a reporter or journalism educator have I seen anything remotely like it in this country.

If that single narrative is what you want, you do not support freedom of speech or freedom of the press. Attacking the media may be a delight if you support his point of view, but even his supporters know he lies. They are just cynical and think everyone lies. With these attacks, we will wind up with one narrative that no one believes and with nothing to counter it.

Somewhere in the biased reporting (liberal or conservative) is facts. Facts matter. Facts got Michael Flynn fired for lying about his Russia connections. Facts show that Trump has conflicts of interest worldwide (he doesn’t dispute their existence, just whether it would influence his policy). Facts are what the congressional intelligence committees are investigating.

Do not be like mindless robots swallowing the propaganda of the regime. Our democracy depends on it.

It is one thing to try to have your side’s views prevail. It is another to try to silence those with a Constitutional right to hold you accountable.
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