It might be a strange thing to hear from someone who has spent his entire professional life working in the media, but Donald Trump is right when he says the media are "the enemy of the American people."
At first, it did sound a little harsh to me.
I know I would almost certainly not say it myself without thinking about it. And I had never really considered that kind of rhetoric before. But, after serious thought and consideration, I have concluded Trump is right again, at least in the way I believe he intended it.
How did he mean it?
I concluded he wasn't talking about me, my news organization, the kind of work I have done over the last 40-plus years as a reporter, foreign correspondent, running daily newspapers in major markets and founding the very first independent, online news service.
I know that because Trump has only praised my work and my news organization.
So, I should not take his comment personally – as if it were directed at me.
Secondly, I will admit that my news organization is exceptional in the following way: The philosophy I personally have always followed as well as WND is this: The central role of a free press in a free society is to serve as a watchdog on government with an eye toward exposing corruption, fraud, waste and abuse, including abuse of the Constitution. Too often, in my experience, the Big Media do not subscribe to the Constitution's tight limits on what government can do. Too often the Big Media have served as a lapdog of government rather than a watchdog.
But let's get to the specifics of what Trump meant.
The vast majority of the media have been lying about Trump and his agenda. You will not find a more hostile environment regarding Trump than in most American newsrooms. They hate him. They detest him. There's nothing they admire about him. They don't believe he was really elected president. And they will never stop attacking him – personally, politically, spiritually, you name it. They will even do stories that claim he is mentally unhinged.
They even concoct stories out of whole cloth.
And that's what prompted Trump to call the media "the enemy of the people."
For that reason, I have concluded he's right. It was a fair statement. I agree with Trump.
This hit me right between the eyes the other day when I heard, in a moment of candor, Mika Brzezinski make the following statement: "Well, I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that he is (Trump) trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job."
First of all, let me dissect that statement: Mika Brzezinski is not a reporter. She is not a journalist. She is a TV-radio host and political commentator. But she is part of the media establishment. In fact, her father has long been part of the political establishment – right out of the David Rockefeller-Henry Kissinger wing.
See Brzezinski's remark:
She's also not the brightest bulb in her profession. Most successful media personalities would have had the good sense not to claim that it is their job to "control exactly what people think." Most want to do that, but they would never make such an embarrassing admission while the public is actually listening.
Yet, it's more evidence of Donald Trump's point.
Anyone who wants and seeks to "control exactly what people think" is not someone who is content competing in the realm of ideas. Instead, anyone like that actually wants to force their way of thinking on others.
The most amazing thing about Brzezinski's entire statement is how devoid of truth, intelligence and coherence it is.
Are unemployment and the economy worsening under Trump? What evidence of that is there in his first month in office? The stock market is setting all-time records. No policies enacted by Trump could possibly have affected employment statistics in his first 30 days. The entire comment is so hopelessly disjointed and rambling, you have to wonder how and why someone like this is able to hold on to a media job.
If she's trying to undermine Trump, she failed miserably. Instead, she made his case for him.
The media really are, by and large, the enemy of the American people.
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