Trump is out to destroy the free and independent media

Robert Reich on Facebook:

Historically, despots have used 7 techniques to destroy the independence of the media:

1. Berate the media. Yesterday Trump called two-dozen TV news anchors and executives to the Trump Tower – including Lester Holt, Charlie Rose, George Stephanopoulos, and Wolf Blitzer — to chew them out about their reporting during the election.

2. Blacklist media that criticize them. Trump has maintained a blacklist of news outlets to which he has refused to grant event credentials. This morning he cancelled a meeting with the New York Times.

3. Turn the public against the media. Trump refers to journalists as “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum.” He tweets that the New York Times has lost “thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the ‘Trump phenomena.’” (The Times says it added 41,000 net paid subscriptions in the week after the election.)

4. Threaten the media. Trump says he’ll “open up our libel laws, so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”

5. Block media access. Trump hasn’t had a news conference since July. He has blocked the media from traveling with him, or knowing whom he’s meeting with. (His phone call last week with Putin was first reported by the Kremlin.)

One evening last week he told the media he wasn’t going out again and they left, and then he went out to dinner.

6. Establish their own alternative controlled media. Trump sends messages through Alt-Right Breitbart News and Fox News.

7. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly. Trump uses tweets and videos. The word “media” comes from “intermediate” between newsmakers and the public. Trump wants to eliminate the media.

A free and independent media is essential to a democracy. Even before he’s sworn in, Trump is out to destroy that freedom and independence.

He added a bizarro 8th item today: being inappropriately matey and needy with the New York Times, suggesting editors should call him when they think he’s doing something wrong.

At any rate, yes, what Reich said. He’s acting every inch the dictator with regard to the media, and it’s appalling. We mustn’t let him normalize this behavior.

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