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Friday, January 27, 2017

So, Is This a Surprise? (Update)

You want the White House's real attitude toward a free and independent press? New York Times, via Joe.My.God.:

Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief White House strategist, laced into the American press during an interview on Wednesday evening, arguing that news organizations had been “humiliated” by an election outcome few anticipated, and repeatedly describing the media as “the opposition party” of the current administration.

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call. “I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

Let me start off by noting that the press is supposed to be the opposition. If anyone doesn't understand this country, it's Trump and his advisors. Or, let me say it this way: it doesn't matter whether they understand it or not, because they have no respect and no sympathy for our basic principles and values.

And frankly, if the press were to really examine the way Trump became president, they'd have to admit their own complicity. Here's just one example:

I don't think we get to pretend anymore that there is a functioning media in this country. The nation's 'paper of record' is showing that they are fearful (not timid, damn it, but out-and-out cowardly) of publishing stories about our newly sworn-in president who entered office with a plethora of conflicts of interest and scandals, none of which the Times took all that seriously in their reporting prior to the election. But they will rationalize their inadequate reporting away as 'doing their job correctly' while democracy is being stolen from us by Putin.

Digby has a more detailed discussion.

This is interesting. It posits that in order to achieve Trump's foreign policy aims, the media and the intelligence community both have to be thoroughly discredited.  I'm guess that would be Bannon.

Her "this" is a very interesting article from The Atlantic on why Trump is taking on the press and the intelligence community. Worth a read.

Update: It's already started: journalists arrested for "felony rioting." And note the mainstream press' reaction:

While foreign and new media outlets such as The Guardian, Buzzfeed, City Lab, Daily Beast, and Huffington Post have reported specifically on the arrests of journalists (as has traditional outlet US News) most major media outlets in the United States have remained surprisingly silent. The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and MSNBC have not reported on the arrests at all. Washington Post’s report on the episode was framed in a decidedly pro-police terms–complete with an apocalyptic burning limo (that, it should be noted, was set on fire after the arrests in question) and the ominous, conspiratorial headline: “Protesters who destroyed property on Inauguration Day were part of well-organized group”

It was a nice country while it lasted.

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