At times, every presidential administration has had some problems with the press, but Donald Trump’s administration, which has been in power for one week, has already taken things to a new level.
Trump’s chief adviser, Steve Bannon, recently said that the press needs to keep its mouth shut. It’s clear that Trump and Bannon have little respect for the principle of free speech or the role that the press plays in our democracy. As CNN’s David Gregory pointed out, “it’s like they’re trying to create a “ministry of propaganda.”
In fact, Trump’s issues with the press are largely self-created since he is obsessing over conspiracy theories about voter fraud and crowd sizes. As Gregory noted, the Trump administration would be better served by focusing less on these conspiracy theories. If Trump and his officials are going to insist on telling lies and indulging in conspiracy theories, then they should not be surprised when the media holds them accountable.
Of course, that raises the question as to why Trump’s team feels that it is necessary to tell these lies. After all, they must know that these claims of voter fraud and having the largest inaugural attendance in history are easily debunked.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo noted that Trumps’ tactics show that the President is insecure about his victory. The lies regarding voter fraud and crowd sizes along with the attacks on the press highlight a very insecure administration.
‘These are bully tactics by somebody who’s showing insecurity when he should be the most secure person in the United States of America’
To some extent, Trump’s frequent attacks on the media do make some sense. After all, as another panelist noted, one poll suggested that the media was actually less popular than Trump himself, so it makes sense that he might try to focus people’s anger towards an institution that is more disfavored than him.
However, he would be better served by not wasting his time on these issues at all. Aside from Donald Trump, no one cares about the size of crowds at an inauguration. Some people are frustrated that he won the electoral college despite losing the popular vote, but our frustration is meaningless. Trump is still the president of the United States and it is time for him to start acting like it.
For more information, you can watch CNN’s panel below:
Featured image via screengrab from video.