Dave Pell
Dave Pell
Nov 22, 2016 · 2 min read

We Know Exactly Who Strong Arms the Free Press

So a bunch of TV news bigwigs decided to accept an invitation to an off-the-record event with the president-elect. When they got there, they were treated to a lecture on the ways they didn’t understand him and his connection with the American people (specifically the minority of the population who voted for him), listed the ways they had been unfair during the campaign, and strongly schooled them on the many ways their coverage failed. The next morning, he Tweeted several times about the New York Times, who he described as “failing” and “not nice.”

Here are five reasons why you should be worried, and why we better wake the hell up on this issue. And I’m not even going to include the fact that Steve Bannon was by Trump’s side during the meeting.

  1. This guy just got elected to the most powerful office on the planet, and he still wants an apology because society wasn’t nice enough when they handed over the keys to the republic. Couple that with his demands that Hamilton and SNL be nicer and say sorry, and we’ve got a serious case of megalomania on our hands; this a person who wants all the power. He thinks he just got elected CEO of a private company.
  2. Americans went to the polls and elected the most unqualified nutcase ever to run for president, and this somehow happened with a press that was aligned against him? He shouldn’t be scolding the media. He should be handing out cigars. (Even the fake news sites think the mainstream media was too easy on Trump.) If you want to scold the media for something, scold them for attending this meeting in the first place.
  3. Let me make this crystal clear: When a leader yells at the press, he is yelling at the people. This is not you and Donald against the media. This is Donald against you, with the media acting as one of your few remaining modes of defense. If we let our commander in chief be our editor in chief at the same time, we’re toast.
  4. With 100% accuracy, we know exactly what kind of world leaders try to weaken the free press in their own countries: Horrible ones.
  5. It’s one thing when a dude in a campaign slams and strong-arms the free press. It’s another thing when the President of the United States does so. One is damaging. The other is nothing less than an existential threat to our democracy. We’re encountering a lot of those these days.

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Dave Pell

Written by

Dave Pell

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.