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Donald Trump Threatens Press Freedom Worldwide


Donald Trump Threatens Press Freedom Worldwide

Joel Simon

For the first time in history, the Iranian state broadcaster livestreamed the entire 90-minute US presidential debate on Sunday. This was not meant to be a civics lesson. Rather, it was an effort to highlight the dysfunctionality of the American political system to the Iranian public.


To authoritarians like Trump it is necessary to intimidate the press in order to impose power. Being a white nationalist he does not have a global human rights view the world. Only what happens in the US matters to him, What other countries do domestically is not his concern, He is sort of the antithesis of Jimmy Carter. For the many years the US has stood up for human rights around the world and this has caused considerable tension between the US and China and is also a source of tension with Russia. The US has had to back off to some extent on this for the sake of maintaining productive relationships. And there are a number of human rights problems in the US which makes it difficult to advocate for human rights in other countries.


Trump's "evil-ness" has been exaggerated. If he is elected, both parties in Congress and a myriad of activist groups will oppose him including the Western main stream press as they are now doing. He will have only executive powers and except for war making those will be limited, and can be hampered by an hostile bureaucracy. Most of the world wide press has self-censored itself to accommodate the views of their governments as we have seen in reporting about Russia. Not sure how a Trump presidency will endanger those compliant media outlets. Some journalism pundits have made the point that Obama has destroyed for all intents and purposes investigative journalism by the punishment of whistle blowers. Is Trump going to do any different or worse?


"The most transparent president ever" has already impaired press freedom to the extent that Trump will just need to pick up where Obama left off.


Press freedom in the American Oligarchy? LOL!


Hillary on the other hand won't have that problem because she HAS THE PRESS IN HER POCKET.


Is Trump threatening Rupert Murdoch and Newscorp?


I am concerned with the author's premise which is founded only upon emotional speculation. Only Hillary, during her primary, which was based on her own very strict control of information to the press and what was disseminated, has manifested a necessity to control media, either print or electronic. Even during the process of roping the press away from her like mere beasts, her complete lack of openness to the press and her recent demands that Drudge, FOX and others who do not commit subserviently to her version of facts, belie her unrestricted desire to control and suppress information.
Bernie himself questioned the lack of freedom of press during his campaign or did we suddenly forget? The desire to use the press to suppress all other information not to an individual's desire to manipulate and limit information to the population is not nor should it be a goal. Indeed, America's greatness has always been founded on the freedom of exchange of ideas. Even after WW1, communists convicted of incitement to riot and of treasonous statement were relieved of their convictions by the US Supreme Court in their ruling that the first amendment gauranteed their freedom of speech regardless of their outrage to public opinion.
President Obama, as enlightened and effective as he was, was one of the first presidents to request control of information Americans should be allowed to read or see. He has more than once called for FOX to be shut down. These moments were never his finest as it evinced a fear of dissent, the one trait no American President should ever publicly manifest. Bernie and at times, Trump and Obama question what they perceived as the so called mainstream media's misinformation. But of these three only Obama has supported suppression.
Hillary has been recorded criticizing Obama, his supporters, Bernie and his supporters and now Trumpnand his supporters. She has been very vocal
about her own distrust of the media. She has gone overboard in controlling press conferences, shutting down questions from the press, rehearsing "impromptu" question and answer town halls and even sending in advance fluff questions to interviewers about favorite pizza, tv shows and how she likes being s grandmother. This obvious need to control the media and criticize those who disagree all define a person who will not tolerate dissent or dissemination of information she does not favor. In other words, Hillary, moreso than Obama or Trump is simply not inclined to accept first amendment freedoms of speech or press.
Again, it was the press, through very careful control of government leaders in office that destroyed Bernie to allow Hillary her long awaited opportunity to have eventual complete control.
Thus, the author must now be asked, Are you in all honesty stating a speculative premise against one candidate in favor of another with a confirmed history and open desire to control and suppress a freedom you enjoy and our country relies upon for exchange of reason and ideas?