Donald Trump is at war with the press. He appears to be trying to emulate his idol Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. POTUS has done his best to control the House and owns the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). He also owns his Attorney General William Barr and many judges. Now, Trump is striking out in another disturbing direction.
The president’s supporters have been trying to raise $2 million to pay for an investigation into journalists who have uncovered facts that Trump did not like — in other words, the truthtellers. The plan was laid out in a “three-page fundraising pitch,” according to Axios:
‘…to investigate reporters and editors of The New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets.’
It got worse:
‘Axios found that this group has targeted “reporters and editors.” Other Republican people in power will attack social media platforms, claiming bias, which would be enough for the journalists from losing access to Facebook and other platforms. The primary group: Claims it will slip damaging information about reporters and editors to “friendly media outlets,” such as Breitbart, and traditional media, if possible.’
Trump’s people continued with its plans:
‘People involved in raising the funds include GOP consultant Arthur Schwartz and the “loose network” that the N.Y. Times reported last week is targeting journalists. The operations are to be run by undisclosed others. The prospectus for the new project says it’s “targeting the people producing the news.”‘
The group considers these as primary targets:
‘CNN, MSNBC, all broadcast networks, NY Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and all others that routinely incorporate bias and misinformation into their coverage. We will also track the reporters and editors of these organizations.”‘
Trump’s internet strategy for 2020 has been to claim bias. He has already turned most of his supporters against the “traditional media.” Now, POTUS has started working on them against the internet. Once trust in the media is lost, it may never return. Axios reported:
‘In the same way we’ve seen trust in legacy media organizations deteriorate over the past year, there are similarities with social media companies,” a top Republican operative involved in the effort told me.’
These platforms know what is up:
‘…they are cranking up outreach to leading conservatives and trying to push hard on data showing that conservative voices often outperform liberal ones.’
The Guardian reported that in Russia and America, their leaders distract the media with outrageous, absurd, and illogical activities.
In Russia, the media are public servants first and journalists second. Putin has had more time to obliterate his country’s freedom of the press. When he came to power in 2000, he forced all the major TV channels under his control. The Russian president jailed or exiled all the original media owners. By 2006, he controlled most major outlets either directly or indirectly. Putin’s deputy chief of staff Alexey Gromov has determined what foreign and domestic policies were covered. The editors-in-chief have “strategy meetings” with his staffers.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough asked Trump about Putin killing journalists who disagreed with him. Trump said, Politifact reported:
‘He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have on this country. I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know.’
‘I’m confused. You obviously condemn Vladimir Putin killing journalists and political opponents, right?’
The president responded:
‘Oh sure, absolutely.’
A couple of days later, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked about Putin, and Trump defended the Russian president:
‘You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, at least in our country. It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.’
Here are the ways journalists have been murdered since Putin took office, according to The Haaretz:
- Stabbed to death 3
- Shot 5 (some by snipers)
- Killed in his car 1
- Kidnapped and killed 4
- Unexplained causes 3
- Beaten to death 1
- Tortured 2
- Drowned 2
- Fall from window 2
- Bomb 2
- Short-range ballistic missiles 3
- Car crash 1
Featured image via Matt Johnson Twitter page.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.