"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Today's Must-Read: Trump's War on Democracy, Free Press Edition

This post from Digby is really pretty scary:

I'm glad to see someone of Tom Edsell's stature say this in such stark terms:

More than any president in living memory, Donald Trump has conducted a dogged, remorseless assault on the press. He portrays the news media not only as a dedicated adversary of his administration but of the entire body politic. These attacks have forced the media where it does not want to be, at the center of the political debate.

Trump’s purpose is clear. He seeks to weaken an institution that serves to constrain the abusive exercise of executive authority. He has initiated a gladiatorial contest pitting the principle of freedom of the press against a principle of his own invention: freedom from the press.

This is not something Trump invented:

[Jay] Rosen observed that the history of right-wing attacks on the media extends back through Agnew’s speeches for Nixon to Goldwater’s campaign in 1964 and winds forward through William Rusher, talk radio, and of course Fox News, which founded a business model on liberal bias.

I don't find it surprising in the least that this is coming from the Republican side of the aisle. The GOP has become the resting place of the most retrograde elements in our society, the 27 or 28 percent who, in William F. Buckley's description, have always stood athwart the flow of history yelling "Stop!" -- except that they're yelling "Go back!"

And make no mistake -- the right has never been all that fond of democracy. All the progress made toward extending the right to vote, for example, has been made in spite of conservatives. (Remember that the likes of Tony Perkins consider working to preserve civil rights for all Americans a "radical agenda.")

At any rate, read Digby's whole post.

Footnote: And it's not just the press that's under attack -- it's anyone not considered a Trump loyalist. Which unfortunately includes most of the people in the executive branch who know what they're doing.

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