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Home JackpineRadical Rooms JPR Reading Room Donald Trump and the US media are in a fight to the finish

  • bemildred (1958 posts)
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    Donald Trump and the US media are in a fight to the finish

    Self-absorbed and irrational Donald Trump may well be, but on Thursday he held what was probably the most interesting and entertaining White House press conference ever. These are usually grimly ritualistic events in which select members of the media establishment, who have often come to see themselves as part of the permanent government of the US, ask predictable questions and get equally predictable replies.

    The conventions of democracy are preserved but nobody is much the wiser, and the general tone is one of fawning credulity towards whatever line the administration is adopting. That this has long been the case was shown in the fascinating book about the press coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign, The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse, which notes that negative popular perceptions of the media truckling to power is largely true of the White House correspondents, though not of other reporters.

    For now, Trump reminds one more of a theatrical populist like Silvio Berlusconi than anything resembling a proto-fascist or authoritarian demagogue like Benito Mussolini. This perception may change as he secures his grip on the levers of power as he promises to do, blaming leaks from the US intelligence services on holdovers from the Obama administration.

    But the lesson to be drawn from the history of all populist authoritarian regimes is that there is always a wide gap between what they promise and what they accomplish. As this gap becomes wider, the regime responds by concealing or lying about it through control or closure of the media. This was the trajectory in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is holding a referendum in April which will establish an all-powerful presidency. In the run-up to the vote the Turkish media simply reports military failures in Syria as brilliant successes and even mildly critical tweets can lead to the tweeter being sacked or imprisoned. Press freedoms may never be extinguished to the same degree in the US, but then many Turkish journalists did not foresee what was going to happen to them.

    https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/donald-trump-and-the-us-media-are-in-a-fight-to-the-finish/

    xynthee, ablamj, jwirr and 1 otherazurnoir like this
    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.

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  • FanBoy (6389 posts)
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    1. gee, the media are in a "fight"? too bad it didn't start with bush's

    fake evidence for the war in Iraq.  ever since the fake journalists have had their collective heads up….

    yeah, trump the fascist brought out their “fight”

    this more than anything shows me how bought and sold most people are

    especially those who parade around like they are something special