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Trump’s War With the Media Has Begun And We’ve Seen Nothing Yet

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Trump’s War With the Media Has Begun And We’ve Seen Nothing Yet

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Media, Spicer, White house

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Less than 24 hours after being sworn in, Donald Trump declared the first war of his presidency—on the media.

At CIA headquarters Saturday morning, Trump immediately brought up the “dishonest media,” then transitioned into praise for the agency he said was going to destroy ISIS, then resumed trashing the press, first for saying he didn’t get along with America’s spies (he called them “Nazis” last week), and then for the inaugural coverage.

“And the reason you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media,” Trump said. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth… We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field.”

Trump didn’t stop there—even though his inaugural attendance was lower than President Obama’s, according to numerous overhead photo comparisons. He lambasted Time magazine for saying his staff had removed a bust of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office, saying it was hidden behind a cameraman.

“Now, the big story—the retraction was, like, where?” Trump said. “Was it a line? Or do they even bother putting it in? So I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting.”

Trump’s tirade didn’t stop there. Hours later, Sean Spicer, his press secretary, called the White House press corps into the James S. Brady briefing room in the White House (which last weekend they threatened to close) and lectured them for “deliberately false reporting” on the crowd size and the MLK bust.

“There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable,” Spicer said. “And I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways. We’re going to hold the press accountable, as well.”

The first war under Trump’s presidency is with the press and it’s escalating. It’s not just floating the idea that the White House pressroom may move. It’s not just last week’s pre-inaugural press conference where Trump labeled Buzzfeed and CNN “fake media.” It’s not just his latest tweets criticizing celebrities who don’t like him, or dismissing the millions of women (and men) who marched to protest his presidency on Saturday.

These incidents all raise a serious question: what’s going to happen to the First Amendment with a bully in the pulpit?

The answer, according to a handful of lawyers specializing in First Amendment and press issues, is that Trump is primed to use his office’s great power to intimidate, obstruct, censor, spy on and silence the media. In the most visible instances, bullying, the president faces no restrictions on his speech, regardless of its truth or who he victimizes.

“He can say whatever he wants using whatever means he chooses,” said James Goodale, chief counsel for the New York Times during the Pentagon Papers case and a leading legal expert on the First Amendment, when asked if Trump faces any restrictions on presidential speech and adding that he cannot be sued for his outbursts.

The Bully

But the damage is likely to go deeper and escalate in far more serious ways than a mere war on words.

“Our soon-to-be president could weaken the American system of free expression… [with] techniques that involve weakening and undermining the institutions and practices that enable public opinion to check state power and legitimate our system of democracy,” wrote Jack Balkin, the Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment and director of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, in a prescient article late last year.

Baklin listed five likely abuses of the presidential podium, most of which we’ve already seen from Trump and his aides. They start with the fact that Trump is a habitual liar. Trump “has found a way to lie so boldly and so frequently that it’s virtually impossible to hold him to account,” he said. “If politicians lie all the time, and never pay a price for it, there’s no reason to believe any promises they make.”

Next was the related propaganda technique called “gaslighting,” Balkin said, or “creating a false reality and causing the public to doubt what is actually true or false. By making everything uncertain and a matter of ideological perspective, government officials stoke anger and distrust in elite institutions on the one hand, and produce cynicism, resignation and despair on the other.”

That’s what spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway did this earlier month when she told CNN to stop listening to Trump’s literal words and trust what was in his heart—as if a president-elect’s words have no literal meaning.

As Melik Kaylan, a longtime reporter who has covered authoritarian regimes noted in Forbes, such intentional chaos is a reality TV ploy that also serves political strongmen. He drew on comments to MSNBC by Michael Hirschhorn, a top reality TV producer, that such gaslighting helps authoritarian regimes, because, like a TV series that never ends, “you don’t resolve disputes; you foster them endlessly to retain public attention… You stay entertained but confused, paranoid even. That’s why you need [leaders like] me.”

While that fact-blurring dynamic is becoming the ‘new normal’ under Trump, there are other ways he can go after the media, Balkin wrote, anticipating what we keep seeing. Trump and his team can deny access, or threaten it by closing a West Wing briefing room, and require journalists to take drug tests, as Esquire reported. He can stonewall or not release information, as voters saw with his income tax returns during the campaign, or by not giving media access to administration paper and electronic records.

Most disturbing, Balkin said, was that Trump can use federal surveillance tools against journalists.

“These institutions constructed formal and informal rules and norms designed to prevent abuse by the White House,” he said, referring to the FBI, CIA and NSA. “But as Richard Nixon’s presidency demonstrated, these rules and norms don’t always work, and given enough time, a determined president can chip away at or circumvent many of them.”

This is not a hypothetical threat, said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and Raymond Pryke, professor of First Amendment Law at the University of California Irvine School of Law, in a paper sent to AlterNet. Trump’s hostility to the press is well established, he wrote, giving the best-known examples of going after a disabled New York Times reporter, former Fox News host Megyn Kelly and Kelly Tur of NBC. “The Trump campaign denied press credentials to media that criticized him, including the Washington Post and Politico. His statements about [weakening] libel law also reflect his lack of understanding of the law and the First Amendment.”

On the libel front—where the press can be dragged into court to face accusations of intentionally publishing incorrect and damaging information—the press has less to worry about, the First Amendment lawyers said. On the other hand, they face very real worries about executive branch surveillance and spying.

“Trump can’t change the libel laws. The libel laws are created by state legislatures and are subject to constitutional limitation,” said Goodale. But Goodale said Trump could go after journalists to force them to reveal their sources.

Indeed, Trump has already tried to do this, pressuring NBC to reveal who inside the intelligence community leaked critical documents about him. “If the federal government subpoenas reporters who do not wish to testify about their sources they can go into contempt and defy Trump,” Goodale wrote, adding that was not always successful. “[The New York Times’] Judith Miller tried this and lost. [The Times’] James Risen defied the government and won (they decided not to hold him in contempt).”

Shockingly, it is President Obama who has given Trump a blueprint for going after leakers to the media and sources, Chemerinsky said, by using the Espionage Act of 1917, a broad law allowing prosecution for disclosing national security information. “Since its enactment, 12 prosecutions have been brought for disclosure of information, and nine in those were during the Obama administration.”

“There is no First Amendment right for a reporter to keep a source confidential,” he said. “Many states, like California, have shield laws that allow for this, but there is no such law at the federal level. This gives the president a powerful tool to harass and intimidate the press.”

The First Amendment lawyers agreed that the stakes are enormous, because the media—whether mainstream reporters, alternative press, blogs or social media—function as the Constitution’s check and balance against political tyranny.

On a more day-to-day level, Trump’s deepening war with the media means the public is going to have to get used to a president who lies, distorts, bullies, and evades. Meanwhile, the media is going to have to get used to being threatened, hounded and likely spied on—and possibly prosecuted—when they dare speak truth to power in Trump’s America.

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s democracy and voting rights.

IMAGE: Press Secretary Sean Spicer deliver an statement at the press briefing room at the White House in Washington U.S., January 21, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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52 Comments

  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 23, 2017

    By now, Trump’s brain is a like an acre of groundhog mazes going every which way into dead-ends and ridiculous enclosures, each with bizarre thoughts and perceived enemies.
    Spicer seems to have caught Trump’s illness, going ballistic and given to lecturing and browbeating.
    All in all, Congress might be able to exonerate itself by doing the right thing and toss the emperor out before further damage is done. They might even be able to clear their heads as well, and start governing on behalf of the entire country unconditionally, and not just to stay in a job by catering to a segment of America.

    Of course, for Congress to be able to do that, they’ll need to commit themselves to developing a conscience free of materialist concerns, behaving like enlightened and noble human beings, and not like boorish and ill-bred chumps.

    Reply
    1. I Am Helpy January 24, 2017

      OK thanks for sharing what somebody else told you was your opinion.

      Reply
  2. yabbed January 24, 2017

    A man who lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, just had 5 million people protest in the streets world wide, and came into office with the lowest approval rating in presidential history better watch his step. The media will take FatBoyPeePeePervert down.

    Reply
    1. 788eddie January 24, 2017

      The more accurately estimated numbers are now in; in the United States, approximately 3 million, and worldwide, approximately 30 million demonstrated on Saturday, Jan 21, the day after the inauguration.

      Reply
      1. sigrid28 January 24, 2017

        One urgent need is the creation of a fund to cover reporters and possibly media businesses that could be facing frivolous yet costly lawsuits, perhaps through the Committee to Protect Journalists.

        Reply
        1. Mama Bear January 24, 2017

          good point.

          Reply
          1. sigrid28 January 24, 2017

            I think he might be approaching that point we talked about where a malignant narcissist reaches his limit. Trump’s current efforts to bring the nation in line with his subjective views, even sending Spicer out to amplify them, seems particularly unbalanced. I wonder if it was the lawsuit about his conflicts of interest that tipped the balance.

            Reply
          2. Mama Bear January 24, 2017

            Could be. Could be the more or less constant “bombardment” of reality that he takes as personal attacks and has to spin his self aggrandising offense at. Could be the horrendous stress of it all and the nagging sense that he is not capable. He is a very old 70 don’t forget. Years of cocain abuse, horrendous diet, no real exercise. It could be coming home to roost. But I concur, he is about to blow.

            Reply
          3. sigrid28 January 24, 2017

            I’m not happy to see this, nor are you, I’m sure. Those of us from families where coping with mental illness is not a choice but a necessity know that “making nice” about the situation only makes life worse for everyone, even the person suffering from a disorder. I begin to understand why no one in Trump’s family ever looks truly happy, for all their wealth and privileges.

            Reply
          4. Mama Bear January 24, 2017

            When there is an NPD parent there is a “golden child” and the other kids are dirt, or lower. The are never good enough and will be constantly told that as well as pitted against each other. Ivanka is the obvious golden child and the boys, including dead looking Baron are in such pain. Most likely they are very disfunctional and since males are far less like likely to seek help than females they are in for deep trouble. The only way out is literally out..complete “no contact” with the NPD until at least they have had serious therapy. And your observation of them tells us that they have not had any help.

            Reply
          5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 26, 2017

            “Dead looking Baron”—-I always have a feeling of sadness looking at his photo. It’s like looking at a shot of one of the kids in “Village of the Damned”, without the special eye effects..

            Reply
          6. Mama Bear January 26, 2017

            He has dead eyes, Aaron. He has the eyes you see on all the serial killers. Go back and look at photos of them. I did and it was chilling. The young guy needs intervention and it is heart breaking to think of his future.

            Reply
          7. sigrid28 January 27, 2017

            Serial killer is not the description I would give for any of Trump’s children, especially Baron. Teachers are exposed to many more dysfunctional kids than are most people. I’ve said before that Baron seems to me like a child with ADHD and maybe Obsessive Defiance Disorder, acting out coupled with an inability to concentrate combined with the delightful impulse to confront any authority figure. Both conditions are handled very successfully in schools these days, perhaps even expensive private schools, like the one Baron supposedly remained in New York to attend. Then, I’m told he is being homeschooled. Would that his father had sat in on those classes!

            Reply
          8. Mama Bear January 27, 2017

            I actually did not mean to call him a serial killer, I meant to say he has the dead look of a psychopath. And from what I know about the children of NPD psychopaths, they form an alternative method of coping very early in life.

            Reply
          9. Mama Bear January 27, 2017

            I did not mean to say Baron Trump is a serial killer. I meant that he has dead eyes and those are the eyes we see on serial killers. His dead eyes could be some kind of ocular disease…..although I doubt it. We all know that children of psychopaths do tend to create alternative realities for themselves in order to survive. And we also know that the cruelty of a psychopathic parent can wreck havoc with normal development.

            Reply
          10. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 26, 2017

            Reality, as opposed to reality TV, may make for a powerful antidote for this new pestilence.

            Reply
          11. Mama Bear January 26, 2017

            He will be tranquilized, put in a straight jacket and carried out. Sad to realize so many of us saw it and so many refused to.

            Reply
          12. sigrid28 January 27, 2017

            I assume you are referring to Trump himself. It has occurred to me that having Baron, his brothers, and Tiffany out of Trump’s circle of immediate contacts may be the best thing that could happen to them, leaving Ivanka, the Golden Child, to deal with him. Even she does not look truly happy, for all her ventures and success at such an early age. My fix on Republicans refusing to challenge the violation of nepotism laws in Trump’s appointment of his son-in-law may be their way of abnegating on their responsibility to control Trump’s excesses and throwing that back on his children. Let’s see how that works for them.

            Reply
      2. InformedVoter January 24, 2017

        Oh, Eddie how you make up “facts” is funnier than any of Colbert’s routines.

        Reply
        1. 788eddie January 24, 2017

          Oh look everyone; it’s the Putin-paid Trump troll! He’s back and in great lyin’ form again.

          Reply
          1. InformedVoter January 24, 2017

            You bet I’m in GREAT form. Like when I kept telling you the polls were fake and that HilLIARy herself, paid for some fake polls. She did this to discourage Trump supporters from voting. Boy that worked out well for her didn’t it!
            Yup, I’m in GREAT form. Like when I kept providing links that showed that Trump was ahead. Yup, you mocked me and told me I was lyin’. Well, how did that work out for you?
            So who’s the lying fool? Certainly not me. I had the links that had the correct poll information. You either didn’t or you were lying. Either case, YOU LOST! And President Trump, having been given a MANDATE by the voters, has started to dismantle Obozo’s “legacy” via a pen and a phone.
            Have a nice, low information, lyin’ day. And what about HilLIARy now admitting that she never wanted to run in the first place! Boy did you fools get conned by her.

            Reply
          2. 788eddie January 24, 2017

            FAWOMFT !

            Reply
          3. InformedVoter January 25, 2017

            Yup, you guys are the party of love and peace!
            Oh well, how did believing the FAKE news from MSM work out for you in the election? More of Obozo’s “legacy” was removed today. How many straight days does that make that President Trump, acting with the MANDATE the voters gave him, has begun to dismantle the failed Obozo policies?

            Reply
        2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 26, 2017

          That’s right uninformed one. Good to see Putin kept you on the job to monitor events here.

          Reply
          1. InformedVoter January 26, 2017

            Here’s something for you to ponder over: 15 years ago, while a guest on the Oprah show, Trump was asked if he would ever run for president (he was a Dem at that time). Trump said that “if things ever got bad enough, then I would run”. So, it would appear that Obozo is responsible for President Trump!
            BTW, it still has not been proven that Russia did the hacking. The mighty intel folks know they can NEVER prove who did the hacking.
            So, you may mock Putin all you wish, but I could care less. President Trump has NO business ties to Russia and even if he did, he does not have to divest them.
            You low information lefties, like TNM, are circulating a petition to impeach Trump because he won’t divest his business holdings (already ruled not illegal to keep them) or release his tax records (once more, not illegal to keep them private).
            More damning is that Obozo sealed his college records. Why? Could it possibly be that on his college applications he wrote he was not born in the US but Kenya to get a better chance of being accepted and would qualify for more financial aid. Yup, that’s the line overseas.

            Reply
    2. Mama Bear January 24, 2017

      none too soon.

      Reply
    3. InformedVoter January 24, 2017

      Sorry yabbed, but President Trump won the popular vote by 1.5 million, if you discount the illegal votes in CA. He won 7 of the top 10 most populous states = 70%; he carried 30 stated = 60%; he got 55% of white women’s votes; in every standard of measurement, he got a MANDATE from the voters.
      Regarding approval ratings, this is part of what President Trump is claiming. The approval ratings for Obozo have been inflated by over 20 points for almost 8 years. Obozo’s final approval rating, when adjusted for the MSM bias put him below GW! Meanwhile, President Trump’s approval rating, again adjusted for the MSM bias, is near 60.
      So you can take your FAKE MSM “facts” and cry in the safe rooms the universities created so wimps like you have someplace to have a good cry.

      Reply
      1. yabbed January 24, 2017

        Ah, a numbskull believer in “alternative facts”. He has the lowest approval rating of any modern president – 27% – and he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes. You cannot cite any proof of any illegal votes in CA, most especially not in the millions. That is simply a monumental lie. 5 million Americans marched against him the day after his paltry inauguration which was, by the way, the smallest in modern history. 30 million people marched against him worldwide that day. The stands for his inauguration were virtually empty. He rode in the car with President and Mrs Obama down virtually empty streets with empty stands. We have the videos for you to see. 🙂

        Reply
        1. InformedVoter January 24, 2017

          Yup, you have the photo-shopped and edited videos to prove that the biased MSM is capable of producing fake news. Just as they did with the buzzfeed source.
          Yup, you have the fake polls from the MSM that claimed that HilLIARy was ahead in the polls, even fake polls that HilIARy personally paid for in an attempt to discourage Trump supporters from voting.
          Even left leaning MSM sources are saying that Trump had a bigger audience that Obozo did in 2013, but they challenge the 2008 event. Of course, the MSM is not counting cyber attendees, which were minimal for Obozo in 2008.

          Reply
          1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 26, 2017

            Yup, you still can’t stop being obsequious.

            Reply
          2. InformedVoter January 26, 2017

            Yup, you can make all the stupid posts you wish. President Trump got a MANDATE from the voters and even though you low information fools said he would not keep his campaign promises (like Obozo didn’t keep his), he’s begun to dismantle Obozo’s “legacy” with a pen and phone.

            Reply
        1. InformedVoter January 26, 2017

          You can post all the dumb links you wish, but, the last time I looked, President Trump, operating with the MANDATE the majority of voters gave him, was busy erasing Obozo’s “legacy” piece by piece.
          So tell me again how President Trump didn’t win.

          Reply
          1. johninPCFL January 27, 2017

            As has been explained to you multiple times, he lost the majority vote. He won in the electoral college, and is the president. As also explained to you, the Russian FSB influenced the election, and his continued gay-for-Putin man-crush makes every policy put forth suspect.

            “The headlines from yesterday’s first full weekday of the Trump presidency were dominated by noise. An executive order withdrawing from the awful Trans-Pacific Partnership? Not a surprise. The hiring freeze for federal workers? Whatever, the federal workforce is already the smallest since 2008. A promise to cut regulations by 75%? Believe it when you see it.
            Lost in all that noise was the briefing by the new White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “The U.S. is going to make sure we protect our interests” in the South China Sea, he said.
            Exactly what those interests are, he didn’t say. “If those islands are, in fact, in international waters and not part of China proper, yeah, we’ll make sure we defend international interests from being taken over by another country.”
            Notice how he moved the goal posts from “our interests” to “international interests.”
            The domestic press mostly yawned. But the foreign press took notice. And the Chinese press warned of the potential for a “devastating confrontation.” “

            Reply
          2. InformedVoter January 27, 2017

            As it has been explained to you many, many times, if you exclude CA, then Trump won the popular vote by 1.5 million. CA has long been suspected of having illegal voting for years. President Trump’s claim about illegal voting will be investigated even though the CA folks will fight him. Most likely he will pull their funding out, just as he promises to do with the sanctuary cities.
            Nope! The Russians had no influence on the elections. Those who make that foolish claim are just sore losers looking for any reason as to why they got their butts kicked by the informed voters!
            Given your obsession with gay and man-on-man encounters would indicated you’re bias against gays. You sling around gay remarks aimed at President Trump as if it’s an insult because you are hinting that he may be gay. That alone tells that you are a bigot and find gays to be less than normal.
            Good job proving that you are a gay bigot!

            Reply
          3. johninPCFL January 27, 2017

            Sure, and if you exclude Putin’s fake votes, Agent Orange loses by 20 million votes.

            I’m not hinting. He’s in love with Putin. He’ll be divorcing Melania soon to announce his new wedding plans with Vlad.

            I’ve only proven you’re an idiot.

            Reply
          4. InformedVoter January 27, 2017

            Hey Hater Of Gays, the US intel folks can’t prove that Russia had an influence on the election. Hell, they can’t even prove that Russia did the hacking!
            Yet you continue to make a fool of yourself by repeating “facts” that false. And in a display of your ignorance, you MAKE UP a number like 20 million votes. How dumb does that make you look!
            Yup, leading up to the election you kept claiming that the polls that showed HilLIARy was leading and that Trump would lose in a landslide. (Boy talk about making the same mistake over and over). Anyway, how did your belief in FAKE “facts” work out for you in the election?
            Obozo’s “legacy” wiped out in just a week. Planned Parenthood, defunding on the way: wall being built; Obozocare defunding on the way: SCOTUS now with 5 conservatives; shall I keep listing all the promises that Trump is keeping. Meanwhile we should start listing all the promises that Obozo made but never kept. And don’t repeat the lie that the GOP stopped him. Hell, Obozo had 60 senate seats and the house, but ALL he passed was that soon to be forgotten Obozocare.
            So how long have you hated gays? And do you also hate lesbians, etc.

            Reply
          5. johninPCFL January 28, 2017

            Lying again, idiot? I don’t care if Agent Orange marries Putin. It may be good for him.

            According to Agent Orange, alternative facts are just as valid. 20 million Russian votes must be revoked!

            Hating is your most identifying feature. Please continue demonstrating your stupidity, loser.

            Reply
          6. InformedVoter January 28, 2017

            Hey Hater of Gays, OK provide one, ,just one link that states POSITIVELY that Russia did the hacking. And while you’re at it, provide one, just one link that says POSITIVELY that the Russia hacking influenced the election. Don’t knock yourself out, because NONE exist!
            So why do you hate gays so much?

            Reply
          7. johninPCFL January 29, 2017

            Lying again #TrumpsBidet. Putin and Trump can marry next week for all I care, just resign the presidency so it’s not so obvious that he runs things.

            So why are you such a traitor?

            Reply
          8. InformedVoter February 12, 2017

            Hey Hater of Gays, when did you realize that you hated gays?

            And Putin walked all over Obozo, so if anyone is a traitor, it would be Obozo.

            Reply
      2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 26, 2017

        Where did you dig that fiction up? In Trump’s back yard?

        Reply
        1. InformedVoter January 26, 2017

          Nope! I’ve stated before that I reside outside the US for almost half the year. The foreign news sources have plenty of TRUE facts about the US instead of the FAKE crap that MSNBC and CNN and USA Today spew out. Why do you think you are referred to as “low information”. These foreign sources are the same sources that had their polls showing that President Trump was actually ahead. So you can continue to believe the FAKE stuff, like HilLIARy is leading in the polls or you may wish to seek alternate forms of information
          Classic example: The Detroit Free Press showed HilIARy ahead by double digits in Michigan until two days before the election. Then they showed her ahead by 8-9 points. On election day, using exit polls, the Detroit Free Press declared that HilLIARy had carried MI and had the election locked up! This was at 11 AM election morning!
          So tell me again how my sources have not been 100% accurate and your sources 100% FAKE.
          Before you respond, I’d like to hear your explanation how on the morning of NOV 8, your news sources had HilLIARy with 238 EC votes ALREADY declared for her, but, alas, she seems to have fallen short of that FAKE number. Duh, how does that happen?

          Reply
          1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 26, 2017

            It matters where you reside half of the year, “INFORMED VOTER”. You’re still a captive in Trump’s orbit. Putin’s trolls infest the planet, and sadly you are either one of them or just a sycophant for Trump.

            Is Trump your Prophet and Savior? Your devotion to Trump and total absence of anything substantive regarding spiritual sensibilities would suggest you’re either a man bereft of any Religion, or perhaps you’re just a “Card-Carrying” member of a church, just like Trump is. Neither of the two of you have a shred of decency left, from what I can discern from his behavior and from your posts.

            So, until you prove to me otherwise that you possess some iota of nobility and spiritual virtues left, I’ll have to go on the facts so far evident in all your posts–that your “Religion” is Conservative Ideology, and that your Prophet is a depraved, arrogant, ungodly, and narcissist man called Donald J. Trump, an erstwhile Presbyterian. Is that the kind of person you feel proud to root for and be associated with? Trump displays NO attributes that would identify him as Christian, therefore that throws into grave doubt your connection with Christianity. I keep expecting you to rise to the challenge, but instead you are heedless, sunk in a pit of partisan political mud, wallowing with glee, and not once ever showing signs of an upright and just nature. All you are capable of posting are worthless references to some political facts, or some trivial TV program.
            You have NEVER once posted something that is lofty and free of partisanship. How could you do otherwise, if you’re taking your behavior cues from Donald J. Trump and gain sustenance from deadening and lifeless political trash with tedious regularity??

            Surprise me one of these days, can you??

            Reply
          2. InformedVoter January 27, 2017

            Poor Aaron, there you go again with your FAKE religion! I guess you can’t help it since you put all your faith in the FAKE MSM sources.
            Your description of President Trump is plagiarized from a right-wing article describing HilLIARy. How dumb does that make you look!
            President Trump was not my first choice, but ANY Republican is better than either Bernie or HilLIARy.
            Yup, the foreign press didn’t fawn over Obozo like the US MSM did. Hence I have a broader base of information on which to make my posts. Apparently your religion prevents you from seeing the truth.

            Reply
  3. Kennick January 24, 2017

    First steps of a dictator is usually to control the message the people receive which means control the press.

    Reply
    1. sigrid28 January 24, 2017

      Trump also issued orders to prevent EPA and (I forget will put in later) scientists from communication with the press. I think he forgot that these scientists work for us not for him! I believe that FOIA (freedom of information act) requests by news organizations and individuals can circumvent these things, though I hope lawsuits can question the legality of what he has done. If not, I think they might as well resign and make a big show of it. This kind of act will not succeed in supporting Trump’s false narratives but will instead bring down enormous scrutiny on the actions of these important departments.

      Reply
      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 26, 2017

        Now, that action to silence scientist is truly alarming. But the GOP is asleep at the switch and don’t understand the implications of this sinister turn of events.
        I like your idea of staff resigning, and I just hope they can find work elsewhere, unless Trump’s close allies have already implemented a Gestapo-like network to blacklist all who rise up against him.

        Reply
        1. sigrid28 January 27, 2017

          Since I wrote this post, Senator Grassley (R, Iowa) and several other legislators from farm states expressed rage over undermining the function the Department of Agriculture’s website serves in providing up-to-date, accurate information that affects not only farming practice but the business sector that uses its statistics as the gold standard. I heard that this made the Trumpanistas back away. The climate change page on the EPA website went up again. Spicer said these orders that were “leaked” to the media did not come from the White House. Very loud objections seem to have made the administration back off this first effort to change the information provided by government agencies, so it can no longer be trusted. They will try again, I’m sure, sorry to say.

          Reply
  4. plc97477 January 24, 2017

    trump can not become dictator for life unless he silences the ones who can stand in his way. An honest media, although I am not sure he needs to worry too much about them they haven’t shown much honesty lately.

    Reply
  5. ORAXX January 24, 2017

    Trump whines incessantly about how he is being abused by the media, but instead of adjusting his behavior and giving the press less to comment on, he just keeps pouring gasoline on that fire. Given the chance he would choose to muzzle the press, which is always the first option of a despot.

    Reply

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