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President Trump versus the media


By Marivel Guzman

In the long run the relation of the President Trump with the press can erode to the point to become a dictatorship right in front of our eyes.

President Trump disregards the press as dishonest. It seems obvious that President Donald Trump wants to delegitimize the media and has being doing it so diligently, making it appear as a harmless game, but in reality Trump is pushing the media out of the White House. He easily refers to media as fake news, not even allowing the reporters that question his actions as our president to speak up. This undermines the role of media in our democracy. By doing this, reporters he chastises are silenced and essentially invisible.

Not only does President Trump undermine the role of media, but with his use of his personal Twitter account as a medium to release information related to his activities as a commander in chief, he bypasses the media and acts his own spokesperson, even. He breaks a traditional flow of communication around the White House and this behavior has his advisers trying to find a loophole in the security apparatus of the presidency in their attempts to excuse Trump’s disregard for the rules in place for a sitting president. For example, traditionally the White House Press Secretary’s primary role is to act as spokesperson for the president. The Press Secretary tells the public what the president is doing, and reporters get to ask questions about it. President Trump’s constant Tweeting does not allow for this regularity, making it difficult at best, if not impossible, for his own spokesperson to do his job.

Also, Trump is attacking TV networks calling them “dishonest” and “FAKE NEWS” at every opportunity he has. Trump has developed the mania to call TV networks dishonest if they do not broadcast news favorable to him.

His first tantrum against the media as Commander in Chief was the day of his inauguration as the 45th president; CNN and Vox published photos side by side of Obama 2008 inauguration with Trump 2017 inauguration, showing a much larger crowd for Obama’s inauguration. This photo got Trump so mad that he called National Park Service, upset over the inauguration crowd.

According to ABC, “President Donald Trump called the National Park Service’s acting director the morning after his inauguration to express displeasure over a retweet of inauguration crowd photos from the agency’s official account, according to the White House.” To put the “rumors” to rest, President Trump, had a photo by Abbas Shirmohammadi, who had been involved in creating images of presidential inaugural since former President Ronald Reagan, placed in the upper/lower press hall.

By replacing inauguration day photos to glamourize his own popularity, he is manipulating public perception, which is something dictators have been known to do.

 

” The easiest way to control a person’s thoughts is when s/he is afraid. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was well-aware of this fact when he cautioned Americans, “The only thing to fear is fear itself”. We have seen the awful repercussions of the Red Scare here in America. However, the most severe evidence of thought control through fear tactics comes from Nazi Germany.” Excerpt from Sierra Martinez’s essay,  June 3, 2003, Stanford University

Trump seems obsessed with tweeting his news directly to his followers. It is unorthodox that a sitting president tweets information rather than allows his press secretary to speak directly with the press in case there are questions that need to be answered.

In his final press conference Obama defended the role of the press and he joked a little bit with them. Obama maintained a cordial relationship with the press because he understood that the press is the only one that can demand accountability from the White House.

 

He said, “You’re not supposed to be sycophants, you’re supposed to be skeptics, you’re supposed to ask me tough questions,”

Remember the press is the watchdog that keeps an eye on the government

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