The Fog of War
“I have a running war with the Media…they are among the most dishonest people on earth.”
Former presidents have declared metaphorical wars on poverty, drugs, cancer, and climate change. The current president has chosen the media as his target of choice. Using the time-worn third-grade tactic, “I’m no liar…YOU ARE!” he’s repeatedly questioned the veracity and integrity of the mainstream media. Refusing to recognize the CNN reporter at his press conference and accusing him of reporting Fake News. Giving right wing media outlets an outsized voice at Spicer’s briefings.
Now that he enjoys executive powers, The Dumpster has officially declared his War on the Media which he’s spoken about numerous times and as recently as his embarrassing rant at CIA headquarters. He has named them the Opposition Party, which by the way should be a wake up call to the Democrats.
Another salvo was launched yesterday by his top aide, Steve Bannon, former head of ultra-right Breitbart News and white supremacist supporter. He called the NYT to tell the media to “keep its [fucking] mouth shut.” [expletive added by me based on my assessment of what he would have said if he had called at Happy Hour]
Let’s not deceive ourselves – the mainstream media represents the interests of the corporate status quo. Despite the ultra right’s insistence of a liberal bias, no mainstream media outlets supported Bernie’s campaign for example. But the Dumpster’s War on the Media is an attempt to distract people from the lies he and his minions are spewing daily and to keep people from focusing on Russian meddling that helped get him into office… Not to mention the radical right policies he is ushering in by proclamation and the cabinet appointments of Tillerson, Pruitt, Sessions, Perry, DeVos, etc. Gag orders at national agencies. Freezing programs and contracts at EPA. High-level career staffers at the State Department asked to leave overnight. Gutting Obamacare with no replacement in sight. Banning immigrants. Threatening to withhold federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities that won’t cooperate with his deportation plans. Building the fucking wall… You get the point.
All very dizzying and fittingly consistent with the fog of war. But while he’s declared the media to be the enemy to suit his sinister end game, he’s actually declared war on US. You can either read that as us, i.e., the majority of American citizens who in fact, did not vote for him or more formally the country itself, i.e. U.S. More vulnerable groups like Muslims, undocumented residents, the LGBTQ community, people of color, and women are the first in the cross hairs as he executes his draconian agenda.
So if the mainstream media is denigrated and their integrity called into question, if Fake News and Real News are so conflated that it’s difficult to tell them apart, it’s tough to separate fact from “alternative facts,” otherwise known as lies. Once Truth becomes a casualty of war, it becomes hard to comprehend reality as it unfolds in real time. An attack on our vibrant free press is an attack on our democracy and another step closer to fascism. Resist.