Bashing Trump’s Media Critiques
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
His agenda is wrongheaded and dangerous on most everything. Given the deplorable state of America’s major media, giving press freedom a bad name, his criticism is justified – with a warning.
Digital democracy is threatened – in America and other Western societies. Google removed web sites from its search engine, censored others, suppressing content, a flagrant First Amendment violation.
Google and Facebook are at war with digital democracy, featuring managed news misinformation and fake news over the real thing.
Net Neutrality is threatened, letting users access all content without restrictions, limitations, or discrimination, an online level playing field for everyone.
Whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing risk prosecution and imprisonment. Bush/Cheney and Obama were obsessed with secrecy. Trump’s lack of transparency is disturbing.
Dissent in America is endangered. War on freedom post-9/11 risks losing it altogether. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Obligations accompany rights. Press freedom isn’t justification for major media abuses. Trump is right about deplorable fake news, including saying the “dishonest media(’s) agenda is not your’s,” and calling the media the “enemy of the American People.”
Former Jordanian UN envoy Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein is a member of its royal family, the nation hostile to democracy, notorious for human rights abuses, notably lack of free expression, political imprisonments and use of torture.
In September 2014, he succeeded Navi Pillay as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a dismal choice, Hussein operating the same way, serving imperial interests, not principles he’s sworn to uphold.
On Wednesday, he blasted Trump’s anti-media rhetoric. He said calling “news organizations ‘fake’ does tremendous damage, and to refer to individual journalists in this way, I have to ask the question, is this not an incitement for others to attack” them?
If major media operated responsibly, he’d be right. Far from it! Instead of informing readers and viewers, they suppress what’s most important to report and explain.
They turned journalism into presstitution. Harsh criticism is warranted. Not according to Hussein, saying:
“It’s really quite amazing when you think that freedom of the press, not only a cornerstone of the Constitution but very much something the United States defended over the years, is now itself under attack from the president himself.”
Journalist AJ Liebling (1904 – 1963) once said “(f)reedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” Conditions are much worse today than decades earlier.
Journalism the way it should be is nonexistent except through alternative, independent sources. The Internet is the last free expression space, digital democracy vital to preserve.
Monopolies dominate the media landscape, waging war on truth-telling, not supporting it. Hussein denounced Trump for calling journalists “very, very bad people,” saying it jeopardizes their well-being.
He ignored their appalling misreporting. They’re an embarrassment to legitimate journalism.
They give me plenty to write about in numerous media critiques – the deplorable New York Times my favorite target.
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