First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
Don’t think for a minute that our fragile democracy cannot experience the type of political upheaval witnessed by Germany between World War I and World War II. Democracies by nature are designed around openness of government and public input and discourse. In order to have public discourse, however, you need to have a free and independent press. It is in respect of the media that much hand-wringing and soul-searching need be done.
Our media has changed from that of an avenue of public notification to that of a business model reporting to shareholders and expecting profits at each quarter. To this end, the high profile news tends to garner more attention and headlines rather than the menial aspects of government and therefore, in order to get your agenda put on the news, you must exhibit outrage and present dire, earth ending consequences for the media to latch onto it. It is in supporting the feigning of outrage that has hijacked media and led to following clicks and tweets for our media outlets. To this end, media has become a propagator of partisan beliefs rather than a forum for which proper discourse can be waged and real dialogue can be discussed about the problems facing America.
For now, Trump=clicks and cash, so they will report on what he says rather than what he should be saying. They will blindly react rather than proact to properly guard the important social issues and governance inadequacies of the time. Media should remember that they are the last line of defense for democracy. This is the reason that they come first in our Bill of Rights. I do hope media generally will shift its focus to what its proper role in this society and become democracy’s champion again.
Hearing Trump spout how the media is biased, corrupt, fails to be fair….this presents a clear attempt at ‘pre-couching’ for when he really screws up, which will happen often. If the media is biased, then his dialogue would read something like ‘the media is blatantly biased against Trump and this report should be disregarded.’ Or as Trump suggested in his primary run that the media should be curtailed and subject to liable and slander laws. Such an environment would serve no other purpose than to chill the import of our First Amendment and is thoroughly unAmerican. I have a firm belief, that Mr. Trump is thin-skinned enough that he will curtail access to independent news outlets that report unbaised news and only allow access to those media outlets which prints ‘Trump acceptable’ news and thereby puppeting the news. This is, in fact, occurring presently and likely is the reason we have had no press conference from Mr. Trump….he can’t control the media and should not be allowed to control. In fact, his constant bellicose ramblings against the media should be trounced by the popular cry.
Why, as a free American, would you want someone to think for you…In the words of Earl Pitts, “WAKE UP AMERICA!”