More Censorship

    I wrote most of this post a few days ago. Since then we have seen even more from Mr Trump indicating he only wants good coverage. He is willing to blame the media for anything not matching his version of reality….even protests against his Presidency. Rather than go to the media with a press release or news conference, he’s taken to Tweeting just like during the campaign. The latest direct attempt to squash the First Amendment:

Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

4:55 AM – 29 Nov 2016

Never mind that was settled back in 1989 Supreme Court decision, Texas v. Johnson, said burning the flag is a protest protected by the First Amendment. 

    But outside these obvious events there is much more. Mostly subtle but effective in marginalizing the media, blackballing reporters who may not describe things the way Mr Trump perceives himself, and bombarding the public with false statements like this Tweet about winning the popular vote:

In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”

1:30 PM – 27 Nov 2016

    Unsupported fiction but consistent with what we’ve seen thus far, and an important trend to make the public disbelieve the media and believe him, him alone. Throughout Trumps’ campaign and continuing today he has been calling/labeling them crooked media. It’s been sadly effective in making his followers ignore the facts and evidence put directly in front of them by responsible investigative reporters. Consider the work done by David Fahrenthold proving the Trump Foundation was involved in self dealing and violating federal law. Trump denied it, and his followers ignored the evidence citing the “crooked media” out to get their candidate. With the election over the foundation has filed their taxes indicating they had indeed engaged in self dealing. So with the votes now in Trump has openly admitted self dealing, a clear violation of federal law. Yes 29.8% of the electorate voted for a known crook.

    Also seen in this Presidential campaign is the alternative news with their reputation for using bits and pieces of information turning it toward a dramatic headline. The story rarely supports the headline or narrative, and more rare references supporting the headline or story. Prominent examples: Breitbart, Drudge Report, Allen West, all versions of strongly bent far right and often racist position.

On top of all that we now have completely fake news stories propagating on social media filling the void for (alleged) information now that trust in reporters has been undermined. These stories are written with no factual basis whatsoever. Completely made up with names and towns and events that don’t exist, never happened, but they are passed on to the tune of millions of hits. Stunning propaganda machine bending the minds and hearts of those too too lazy or unwilling to look it up. Perhaps don’t want any facts to come into conflict with their preconceived beliefs. On a personal note, I have experienced a discussion with an old classmate. She is self described as very religious but continued to pass on without apology fake story after fake story….even after being approached by friends with facts disproving her position. As one of my friend asked: at what point in religion has it become OK to knowingly and willfully lie? Clearly it is about the hearts and minds.

    So strong is the concern Christiane Amanpour, one of the top foreign correspondents stated that her “blood ran cold” when Donald Trump tweeted out that those who were protesting in the streets after his election win had been “incited by the media.” She has expressed concern for journalists and journalism in the US just as in many countries around the world today. I recommend reading her comments on CBS NEWS World 

    As I mentioned last blog we need to be on watch to not allow our rights to be encroached or lost completely. We lose that, and we have lost our democracy.

4 thoughts on “More Censorship

  1. Anne

    I read an interesting article recently about ‘false news’ adherents. Someone tracked down a source of false news (they use the stories to bring in people who will respond to the accompanying advertisements, which is where they make their money), and they said that they targeted conservatives because they completely believed the false stuff, whereas they avoided liberals (after trying to target them, too) because they ignored it. Revealing…

    Reply
    1. Steve Post author

      Anne, Thanks for the support and feedback. It is indeed crazy the impact of the false news. More to come there as we go through confirmation of Mike Flynn. While folks spread fake stories sometimes aware, sometimes not, Mr Flynn is a trained professional perhaps soon to be leading our national intelligence networks, yet he himself spread a completely fake story just days before the election. So either he is unskilled in his profession or sought to deliberately mislead the public. Neither is acceptable. Again, thanks for the support.

      Reply
  2. Kenneth Heathley Simpson

    Hey Steve,

    Glad to see you posting again. It has certainly been a wild ride in and around their election/media breakdown in 2016. By “their”, I am referring to the owners and renters of both rotten capitalist parties, Democrat and Republican, and their bought and paid for mainstream media. Now, they are ramping up a witch hunt about “fake news” and “pro-Russian” blogs. The Washington Post is leading the charge in a revamped McCarthyite witch hunt against “fake” news. Yes, a lot of what the mainstream media serves up is at best massaged or the “fake” news that they are complaining about. Remember the New York Times fake news that justified the war against Iraq and made the Bush adventure in the Middle East possible? I do. Does Trump lie? Yes. Does Clinton and her minions lie? Yes. The ruling class and their bought and paid for media and political stooges and fixers, like Clinton and Obama, are corrupt. It is they who organized the destruction of Libya, Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine and with it the truth. They helped maintain the failed Euro Zone and the European Union as well as sellout neoliberal “Globalist” trade deals. It is their “regime changes” and their wars that have created the refugee crisis in Middle East and Europe. The blow back goes on and on and the truth has been the first victim going all the way back to 2001 and beyond. Our rights have already been encroached on. Even in the best of times “our” rights have been only for the rich who can afford armies of attorneys, Congress critters and thugs in uniform or behind masks. “Our” Democracy is in actuality is their democracy, not ours. Their democracy owns the two mainstream political parties, big media and the police. The only rights we have are the ones we fight for, and then, they exist only if we win. The Identity politics of the ruling class parties only divides us. We need our own political party, a labor party if you will, that fights for the rights, working conditions, wages, housing and healthcare (not insurance!) and living standards of all workers, white, Black, Hispanic, gay and lesbian, women, children and men.

    Keep on posting!

    Peace and love,

    Ken

    Reply
    1. Steve Post author

      Thanks Ken, Lots to think about and understand and not enough watching. “The only rights we have are the ones we fight for, and then, they exist only if we win” Great summary. Now the far (far, far) right has fought and won. I want that to be a temporary victory. More posts to come. Thanks for the support. Steve

      Reply

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