NZH: Trump shakes core principles in attacks on media

Donald Trump attacks the US media a lot. He attacks a lot – he attacks his own Justice agencies, he attacks his Attorney General, he still attacks Hillary Clinton as if she is still a serious opponent, and he attacks a procession of people who write books about him and reveal recordings about him.

All of this is fairly unbecoming of a US president, especially when he repeatedly and unashamedly lies in his attacks.

Image result for trump nixon lincoln lie

I don’t know if that’s accurate – I don’t know if Trump knows he is persistently lying or if be believes his own bull.

But the most insidious attacks are directed at the media, trying to trash the credibility of newspapers and TV channels that don’t lavish praise on him (most of them).

NZH Editorial: Trump’s shots at media shake core principle

Over the next 24 hours, newspapers across the United States will run editorials decrying President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the media. The Boston Globe has organised the campaign in response to what it calls a “dirty war against the free press”.

Today, the Herald stands with our US colleagues. The campaign is not about politics, Republican or Democrat, but a warning against increasingly dangerous rhetoric designed to undermine the media’s credibility and to fan hostility towards it.

At a rally in Pennsylvania this month, Trump told his audience the media was “fake, fake disgusting news”. He has repeatedly called the press “the enemy of the people”.

He is in the company of some of the world’s worst tyrants in vilifying the media as “the enemy of the people”.

An ongoing concern is Trump’s use of the term “fake news”. The phrase was introduced into the political debate in 2016 not by Trump but his rival for the White House, Hillary Clinton. It described the use of completely fabricated “news” stories to influence potential voters on social media.

Trump quickly weaponised the term to target stories that reflected badly on him, rather than those that were factually inaccurate.

Unfortunately, the term has been adopted by some politicians and business leaders in New Zealand to discredit views that are unwelcome, dismissing stories outright without discussion.

‘Fake news’ has become a euphemism for ‘disagree and discredit’, or like Trump they want to intimidate media into not being critical of him.

The fear is that Trump’s broadsides are designed to shatter all public trust in the media, so the results of important reporting and investigations fall on deaf ears.

That’s exactly why Trump and others do this.

The process of journalism is not perfect and errors of fact and judgment do occur.

However, if we acknowledge that the information in our reporting and investigations is important, then we should not want it obscured by a pervasive mistrust in the media, promoted by the world’s most powerful politician.

There’s quite a lot of people who defend Trump’s attacks, but as time goes on more will see the harm that he is trying too do on the media, and therefore on a core function in an open and free democracy.

Image result for cartoon fake news

35 Comments

  1. Someone who has very difficult job:

    • Corky

       /  August 16, 2018

      The question needs to be asked: ”how much longer can Sarah Sanders keep spinning for Trumpy until she realises her position is untenable? Should she resign, the Trump administration would be in big trouble.

      • Gezza

         /  August 16, 2018

        She’s been a trooper hasn’t she. How long’s she been in the job now? A year? She’s getting that worn down, low-energy, sick of bullshitting for him look now. That’s about as long as people seem to be able to stick it out working for Trump.

        At last she’ll probably never have to work in PR spokesperson roles again when she abandons ship, if she invests wisely what she’ll get for HER book.

        You need a thick skin to be a PR spokesperson for liars. But I shouldn’t think Trumpy will have any trouble getting another Press fall guy. Maybe someone from the Tobacco or Petro-Chemicals or Pharmaceuticals fields – or the Mafia – next time.

  2. Trump doesn’t just criticise and abuse those who criticise him:

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 16, 2018

      Brennan abuses Trump like a frothing lunatic.

      • Same for Trump, except he has a much bigger profile and is in a far more important position.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  August 16, 2018

        BLOTUS ( Biggest Liar Of The US) has revoked a security clearance on the basis of a critic exercising his first amendment rights to free speech.

        Says it all.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 16, 2018

          Amazed it took so long. Brennan had it coming for months – an abusive oaf, most likely a ringleader of the anti-Trump conspiracy.

          • Gezza

             /  August 16, 2018

            Don’t tell us – tell Alex Jones! 😳

          • MaureenW

             /  August 16, 2018

            Yep, he was a ring-leader and right that his security clearance has been removed.

            • Gezza

               /  August 16, 2018

              Don’t start Maureen. I was in the mood earlier but now it’s passed.

    • David

       /  August 16, 2018

      Is that a fake Twitter profile ? Fake news perhaps, partisan perhaps given Trump equally abuses everyone ask Rosie O Donnell, Michael Moore, Robert Pattison, John Brennan and the list is incredibly long.

    • sorethumb

       /  August 16, 2018

      I was listening to podcasts while gardening. I got some black professor who had been a judge but didn’t seem to know the difference between rhetoric and analysis, then a series of TED talks (including a teacher advocating students be taught activism – issues being taken for granted) and the Ben Shapiro. Ben Shapiro pointed out that Trump uses “dog” over and over (for anyone).

      • David

         /  August 16, 2018

        Its pretty awful calling someone a dog but Trump has literally called a 100 people dogs its not a race, sexist thing its just a crass thing. He should just shut up when it comes to this woman.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 16, 2018

          Would it have been better if he called her a bitch? Less or more sexist?

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  August 16, 2018

            Calling a woman a dog means that she is ugly. It’s a personal insult in a way that even bitch isn’t.

            By insulting her appearance, he is doing himself no favours at all. Even if she was ugly, that would have no relevance to anything. He is far too old to be using words like this, it’s totally undignified.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 16, 2018

              “Calling a woman a dog means that she is ugly.”

              No it doesn’t. It means she is useless.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 16, 2018

              In both the US and the UK, it means that she’s ugly.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 16, 2018

              In general terms, a dog is a useless thing, but the Oxford English Dictionary confirms that calling a woman a dog means that she’s ugly.It’s US in origin.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 16, 2018

              Depends on context. Trump wasn’t thinking of dating her, he was thinking of her as author of a book about him and his White House and why she got fired. It wasn’t because she was ugly.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 17, 2018

              You can’t tell me that he used the word by chance. I can’t believe it. The only time it’s ever used of a woman is as an insult. He said that ‘that dog’ was fired. You can’t talk your way out of that.

  3. David

     /  August 16, 2018

    The media are doing great numbers by being ultra partisan, 93% negative coverage, and there is not a single group of people outside of gender studies professors who are more sensitive and precious than journalists. Its very profitable and the likes of Acosta are enjoying being household names.
    You call them out and you are attacking free speech, there has never been more free speech or a more vigorous press..did we ever hear about Obama separating children at the border, his deportation of 3 million illegal immigrants, his mass surveillance that he lied about, the billions secretly dropped in pallets of cash to Iran, the reason why his Attorney General was held in contempt, his hanging with Louis Farrakhan and the list goes on. No because the press were stenographers for their man and that is a bigger risk than an adversarial approach that we have now.
    We know more and have more interest in politics and civics than we ever have with the worlds most transparent politician, warts and all, and that is a good thing.

    • sorethumb

       /  August 16, 2018

      Obama got rid of Churchill’s bust; if not it was an administrative issue. Either way it went east.

  4. sorethumb

     /  August 16, 2018

    For all his faults he puts America First, rather than the globalist machine that was Obama.
    The two main ideologies are nationalism and globalism. The media are globalists who live luxurious lives and in a moral space that makes them feel very good about themselves.
    Elites don’t share the consequences of the Utopian dream.

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  August 16, 2018

    trump isn’t playing to his base so much as giving voice to their common hatreds and empowering them to act them out. He’s hung out a “whites only” sign on the GOP and his followers love him for doing that.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 16, 2018

      Except his Black and Hispanic support has increased as he gets them jobs instead of empty rhetoric.

      • Griff.

         /  August 16, 2018

        Did you learn that from a trump tweet Alan?
        Because I can find little evidence for a ground swell of support fro him among any group expect committed Republicans due to the number of voters deserting the republican party than an actual increase in support .

    • David

       /  August 16, 2018

      Support among African Americans for Trump has near doubled which is something Joe you are going to have to get your head around, not the narrative you like I know but one you may want to take a few moments to understand.

      • Griff.

         /  August 16, 2018

        Trump said, “I doubled my African-American poll numbers. We went from 11 to 22 in one week.”

        Even if you take the Reuters poll at face value, Trump misstated the results. The poll showed Trump’s support doubled among African-American men only, not African-Americans of both sexes.

        In terms of the poll’s accuracy, Reuters’ own polling chief said the sample size was too small to reliably indicate Trump is enjoying a favorable shift in public opinion among black men.

        The poll’s reliability is also questionable given online respondents opted-in to the survey, which is less reliable than using a randomly-generated sample.

        We rate this Mostly False.

        https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/may/07/donald-trump/donald-trumps-misleading-claim-kanye-wests-praise-/

    • sorethumb

       /  August 16, 2018

      The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the New Right

      After Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss to Barack Obama, the Republican establishment undertook a rigorous postmortem and, looking at demographic trends in the United States, determined that appealing to Hispanics was now a nuclear-level priority. And yet their successful candidate in the next election won by doing precisely the opposite. The Trump strategy looked an awful lot like the Sailer Strategy: the divisive but influential idea that the GOP could run up the electoral score by winning over working-class whites on issues like immigration, first proposed by the conservative writer Steve Sailer in 2000, and summarily rejected by establishment Republicans at the time. Now, 17 years and four presidential cycles later, Sailer, once made a pariah by mainstream conservatives, has quietly become one of the most influential thinkers on the American right.

      Perhaps the Sailerist idea most closely echoed by the Trump movement is “citizenism,” which he describes as the philosophy that a nation should give overwhelming preference to the interests of its current citizens over foreigners, in the same way as a corporation prioritizes the interests of its current shareholders over everyone else. Effectuating this philosophy — putting “Americans First,” as he put it in 2006—would, according to Sailer, require a draconian reduction in immigration levels.
      Most liberals would take issue with citizenism as reactionary, and perhaps see it as a closeted form of the white nationalism openly championed by many bloggers on the alt-right. Yet Sailer describes citizenism as <b.the best possible bulwark against ethnonationalist impulses. In Sailer’s view, people are naturally inclined to pursue “ethnic nepotism” — that is, to help those like themselves at the expense of those who are not. The goal of citizenism, therefore, is to redirect these energies by providing a more expansive definition of “us” than the race or tribe.

      http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/04/steve-sailer-invented-identity-politics-for-the-alt-right.html

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 16, 2018

    The Herald runs at least two anti-Trump stories every day, mostly from WaPo. Now its feelings are hurt because Trump is nasty to the media. Cry me a river.

    • David

       /  August 16, 2018

      It was certainly a staggering lack of self awareness from the Herald.

  7. Gerrit

     /  August 16, 2018

    Imagine there was no Trump. What would the media outlets report on? What would the late night show hosts talk about?

    Once Trump goes will the media self implode?

    Will CNN and the Washington Post lose viewer and readership without Trump to “hate” on?

    Will they retain the viewers and readers in a Bernie Sanders “love” fest and non fake news era?

  1. NZH: Trump shakes core principles in attacks on media — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition