Trump called the free press the enemy of the American people.
I grew up idolizing Katherine Graham, Ben Bradley, Woodward and Bernstein. My parents had taken me on a spring vacation from elementary school to DC when Watergate broke. I became obsessed, reading the news every day. I came home from camp early so I could watch Nixon’s resignation.
We’ve been down this road before. I LOVE journalists. They live by a code of honor. They work hard under pressure for little pay, comparatively speaking. Many put themselves in danger, embedding themselves with the military to report on what is happening. Does Trump even recognize that we are still a country at war? That his statements and stupid tweets put American lives in danger? ISIS beheads journalists. That is who Trump has jumped into bed with.
What sickness allowed the American people to vote this unstable personality into office? Does the hubris required to endure an American presidential campaign produce or elicit such deep flaws of character?
I fear America is becoming more and more everyday like Pre-WW II Germany. They thought they were too smart, too cultured, too basically cool to let anything like a Hitler happen.
When we needed Israel to be the light this week, Bibi was too corrupt to do the right thing. And, the next day, when the ultra-Orthodox Jewish reporter from Ami Magazine complimented Trump, and attempted to question him about the uptick in anti-Semitic acts such as the coordinated bomb threats at nearly 50 Jewish Community Centers around the country, Trump shouted the reporter down, ordering him to sit down. He shouted repeatedly at him, “You’re a liar, you’re a liar, you’re a liar!!” The reporter looked stunned, baffled, and humiliated. Trump thought the obviously Hassidic reporter was going to give him a “friendly” question and hence the lie – the question wasn’t “easy” enough. As I watched I couldn’t help but feel that Trump had just put a stamp of approval on anti-Semitic terrorism toward American Jews, simply by the optics alone.
Could it be as Peter Beinart has suggested that Trump is so narcissistic that he was incapable of perceiving the question any other way? Is Trump so devoid of empathy that he is incapable of being a leader of a free people?
Worse, the Ami reporter apologized to Trump later. That is what becomes of a (Jewish) ghetto mentality – a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. The reporter did his job. The President did not do his. Apologizing to your abuser is a terrifying foreshadowing of what is to come in our nation – and around the world – if good people do not stand up to Trump. And those good people are indeed the media.
Trump is gaslighting America. The only fake news is coming from organizations that do not use credible journalism and reporting such as the ultra right-wing Breitbart and a host of others that have sprung up in the past decade, particularly from the Tea Party, but no matter the agenda. The word for that is PROPAGANDA.
Let’s not forget that Trump singling out the NY and LA media is a page out of Bannon’s notebook, an oft repeated anti-Semitic trope of the White Supremacist, alt-right movement – also known as Neo-Nazism. Is this Trump’s way of distancing himself from Jared and Ivanka, in order to hold onto his base? Or is it just a crazy man made more ravenous and enraged by Bannon and Miller whispering in his ear?
America needs to save and heal herself. The media is our beacon of hope. The Women’s March in Washington and around the world showed us just how powerful we can be. We could not have united and demonstrated that power without effective social media communication and media coverage.
Join a social media group for strength in numbers. Subscribe to a newspaper today. Call your congressional Representatives and Senators on Monday.
I LOVE journalists. Without a free press, America will be a failed experiment. We must fight for our freedom, America. Force the tyrants in the White House to step down.