Mirroring the modern populist/dictators, President Donald Trump is trying to impose the editorial line of the main street media, not only by his overwhelming presence in the news, but by dictating what and how the news must be covered.
Trump has declared an open war against the media; in this order he has taken advantage of his visits to the military and the intelligence communities to expedite his attacks to the press. This is not a random coincidence.
During his first week as President, Trump visited the headquarters of the CIA and accused the media of being dishonest because it reported his own words comparing CIA with Nazi Germany. Now, in his third week, he has attacked the media again, without any apparent reason to do it, and this time in front of the Air Force in the Air Force Base of MacDill in Tampa, Florida.
Talking to CIA and military members against media is intended to show the people that both the CIA and Air Force, support his vision of the corrupted and dishonest media. Of course nobody is going to raise a voice against the President in the middle of his speech. That is a measured risk Trump takes when talking in these scenarios, but at the same time he knows that the perception of this silence -true or not- remains as an acceptance. It may sound like a reminiscence of the McCarthyims, and it is.
This is a very dangerous approach of government, mostly when the new people in the White House don’t have the best credentials as loyal defenders and reporters of the truth, and Donald Trump.
The words Trump used in AFB of MacDill were carefully chosen. “Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando, to San Bernardino and all across Europe,” Trump said. “You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that.”
Thus these words the Commander in Chief is telling the troops that the media has a hidden agenda to favor terrorism. “They have their reasons and you understand that.”
Trump should clarify what those reason are, and if it is true, take action by legal means, because we don´t know what the reasons are, other than report true facts. We don’t understand anything else.
The White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks that the media didn´t report properly according to their opinion. The list included attacks in Paris, Nice, Orlando and San Bernardino that we all remember because they were broadly reported.
Huffington Post UK searched in Google all the 78th events and found at least 1,704,403 results. Six of those listed brought up over 100,000 Google News search results, and only 6 had less than 50 results.
I did my own research to find that only 3 of the events of the list weren’t reported neither by CNN nor New York Times, two main targets of the attacks of Donald Trump. Non casualties or injuries were reported in those three events, which could be contested as terrorist attacks because all 3 were against military targets.
The list of the WH doesn’t include terrorist attacks against Muslim population, like the one in Baghdad killing more than 200 civilians, which was also reported by the press.
The White House cannot be the editor in chief of the United States, a strategy used by dictators like Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez or Nicolas Maduro. Populist leaders around the world are giving lessons on journalism to the professional journalist every time they felt threatened by the news. Chavez in Venezuela, Kitschners in Argentina, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Pablo Iglesias in Spain, and Le Penn in France, for instance, are trying to dictate how the press must inform. Interestingly, they use the impartial media to accuse the media of being biased, as Trump does here in the United States!
The new people in the White House don’t have the most transparent standard to judge and to teach lessons to the media. Sean Spicer tough us how to blatantly lie with the photo of the public during Inauguration Day, Kellyanne Conway has become an expert explaining lies as alternative facts, like the massacre of Bowling Green, and General Flynn spread fake stories of Hillary Clinton trafficking children as sexual slaves.
Nobody should be surprised if the White House starts donating money to alternative media that is showing alternative fact or simply fake news. And nobody should be surprise if Donald Trump decides to have his own television show as a president to present his alternative version of the facts, as Hugo Chavez used to do in Venezuela.