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Trump’s Plan to Neuter the White House Press Corps, and Neuter Our Democracy

Trump’s Plan to Neuter the White House Press Corps, and Neuter Our Democracy

Robert Reich

Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control.


Neutering the Neutered?

Colbert accurately called them out as “Stenographers”, writing down what they are told, at their own Press Dinner, years ago.


I am not a big McCain fan but I hope that old cowboy continues to ferret out the truth about these Russian allegatons. Just read a very good blog entry asking :“If this is just BS, why was the President briefed?” etc (not those words exactly, but the meaning is clear). We may have a real hornet’s nest of a scandal getting ready to explode…

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DT’s statements about how HE will levy tariffs on goods from Mexico, how HE will build a wall, how HE will cancel Obamacare are evidence of the delusional thinking that HE is boss. While a tantrum prone infant with weapons can cause great harm, thinking that HE will issue royal commands and the entire government will jump is not just delusional but comical. World leaders and most of the American public know that HE is a joke. Unfortunately the joke is on US. Hopefully the loss of respect for the biggest bully in the room (the US) will result in less reluctance to confront it.


You speak of the “good ol’ days” when the press was at least good at stenography. Now, the burgeoning right wing press simply make up the news that suits them. Now, the best of the press try to decide if they should call lies a lie or a misstatement. Should front pages be totally filled with the recent misstatements or should it include other news?

The people who support Trump have not trusted what they call the “liberal media” for many years. This is the first time the Rush Limbaugh crowd got their choice for president. What Trump is doing will have a lot of support from these right wing zealots who see the press as just putting out left wing propaganda. The White House press corps often has not done a good job, particularly during the run up the Iraq War and during the aftermath of the invasion. And since Trump basically doesn’t care about the truth I am not sure what value the news conferences would be anyway except to confirm that he is a pathological liar. I imagine the same thing will occur in briefings at the State Department and the Pentagon if they even take place. Apparently for awhile we will be operating as two countries, a fascist country led by Trump with support mainly in rural areas of the US and a democracy led by various politicians and activists which is mainly supported in metropolitan areas. Basically it is two separate groups of people called Americans who are fighting each other to determine what this country is all about.


Making political enemies of so many, having contempt for people’s issues, and backstabbing those who voted for change-at-any-cost, will ultimately lead to self-destruction. The R’Cons by their own arrogance and service to the 1% ultra-wealthy (continued Trickle-Down economics & widespread serfdom) are sowing the deeds of their demise.
Unfortunately there is no opposition party with any shred of integrity either, only arrogant political calculation and self-interest that also serves the 1% - so who will counter “Baby-Man” and his tantrums? A coalition of people of common sense, decency and service to the Common Good who will not be silent in the face of so much corruption, lies and deceit!
https://www.dailykos.com/ Baby-Man, the contrast is stark…

As we celebrate Dr Kings birthday we must remember a leader of true integrity and selfless dedication by his words - words that inspire, not demean!

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality” - Dr Martin Luther King Jr


Or, in the words of our latest Nobel literature laureate, “He not busy being born is busy dying.”


I do not think a country calling itself a Democracy is reliant on stenographers to ensure it remains so.

See North Korea where they have stenographers in plenty.

The Press and media , as part of the Corporate state advancing the Corporate agenda did this to themselves and they , along with the current administration and establishment , are the ones working hardest to shut down the truly independent press by labeling it as “fake news”.

This is not a defense of Herr Trump , it pointing out the mainstream media in the USA has rarely been a “defender of democracy”.


Gotta disagree. The MSM has been a vital part of democracy. In general they follow good journalist principles. They have anonymous sources which are critical for finding out what the government is doing. They check the validity of sources. They fact check. They make sure statements can be validated. They do investigative reporting. They publish stories on corporate corruption and dishonesty. Only the mainstream press has the resources to make the US a democracy but the alternative press also plays a critical role in covering things that not covered by the MSM and providing a voice for those who are politically on the margins. Trump has to discredit the press because his power is all based on lies. The more the truth gets out the less power he will have. It was getting out the truth that destroyed McCarthyism and blacklisting in the 50s. and the MSM press played a big role. Getting out the truth will now be essential and the MSM will have to play an important role in doing that.

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As the Russian hacking of the DNC is transformed into accepted fact, and becomes part of accepted history, there has still been no real evidence or (god help us) proof that it actually happened. Nor if Obama is to be believed (!!) will there ever be.

The Russian “hack” will take its place next to the other major historical myth that never happened, the Lee Harvey Oswald lone assassin myth: Accepted and understood by all opinion-makers, historians, and commentators, as the official historical record. And it never happened.


Yes and Santa has a list of people that are both naughty and nice and those “Journalists” for the New York Times and the Washington Post or an the “nice list” and will get all manner of presents.

Do you still check under your pillow for a quarter in the morning if you lose a tooth?


One problem is that much of the evidence is classified. The security agencies are in a bind because revealing the evidence would reveal their methods and undermine their ability to collect information. There is a lot circumstantial evidence but because of the classified information the type of evidence that would really be convincing may be kept secret.

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You don’t seem to know much about journalism from your remarks.

I am always troubled by people like you who express certainty about an issue that obviously is not 100% certain. In fact, when even Trump admits that it may well have occurred, then it certainly seems more likely than not that the Russian hacking is probably true.

Uh uh. It was the Army-McCarthy hearings that destroyed McCarthy and began the defeat of McCarthyism (never fully achieved by the way). Overall the record of American journalism has been pathetic. With some exceptions of course. Remember Yellow Journalism?

Paul Newman’s character in “Absence of Malice”, to the newspaper executives who ruined him and caused an innocent woman to commit suicide: “You don’t print the news, You print what people say.”


You do not know much of anything.


Sorry, the link I included to the incredible Baby-Man was incorrect - here in all its truth is a hopefully working link

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ooops…hit the wrong reply button

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