It is clear, from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s press briefing today, that Trump is trying to control the press. The constant assailing of the press for telling the truth about Trump has been systematic, and today it reached bizarre proportions.
Several people have been puzzled about why Trump is doing what he is doing. What does he hope to gain? Is there a method to the madness?
Yes. In short, this is exactly what Trump would do if he were trying to abolish the free press. Like Putin’s Russia or Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea. Yes, it could really get that bad, if it works.
The method is simple. Rationalize cutting the press off from access to your activities, except for your puppet press. Your puppet press is then the only one that can really report on you, and they make you sound awesome. You gain popularity. And the other starved outlets, increasingly denigrated for the quality of their reporting (which is affected by their lack of access), start to change their reporting to gain access, as well.
And then you control the press. Doesn’t necessarily take long, especially if you hit the ground running. And once you control the press, you control public opinion. And in a democracy (or, if you wanna be technical, this republic), you can then do whatever you want.
Whatever. You. Want. Jail political enemies? Child’s play. If you play it right you could get unlimited terms, for example, increasing your power each time around. Your only limit is the voters’ opinion, which is informed by the press, which you control…so, effectively, there is no limit.
If we lose our free press, we lose everything.
How do we fight?
Where we see the lies, we make clear that they are lies. We don’t listen to the people who tell us to shut up about the truth on social media. We call out lies, and we hold our friends accountable, and we don’t let Trump denigrate the press into silence. And we engage, on the Internet and off, by leaving critical comments and dislikes on bad information, and contacting our congresspeople, and joining marches, and organizing, and staying engaged. The truth doesn’t win simply because it’s the truth — in fact, many people share stories they KNOW are fake, and people don’t automatically share the article you used to fact-check them, while they will often share the original, because they care more about saving face and “winning” than about the truth. You have an advantage if you have the truth, but that’s not enough. You have to be loud and clear that it’s the truth, and not let people get away with spinning lies.
I’ll start here.
Sean Spicer lied and misrepresented an astonishing number of times in the below video of his press conference.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8llFHHAkGcw
Here are the three major lies:
- He said that this was the first time floor coverings were used at an inauguration. He’s wrong, because the same floor coverings were used in 2013. This is not a liberal position. This is not a conservative position. Floor coverings have no feelings and they are not biased against Trump. The press secretary LIED. Plain and simple.
- At 1:45 Spicer says that “no one had numbers” of the people who showed up. This is true. But if it’s true, he can’t say that this is the largest inauguration attendance ever, which he says later. This is clearly contradictory. This is not a liberal or conservative issue. It is just the facts. But, even worse, he said “this is the largest crowd to ever witness an inauguration PERIOD, both in person and around the globe.” That’s false. First, it’s not the largest crowd in person. We have pictures. That’s not a liberal opinion. That’s a fact. Second, it’s not the largest crowd around the globe. Obama’s was, according to Nielsen, which is an enormous company that keeps track of this kind of thing and don’t have that infamous “liberal bias.” They measure viewership. Facts. And Spicer is just spitting made-up BS he pulled out of his ass.
- He said that 420,000 used the DC Metro on Friday, and only 317,000 used it for President Obama. This is a blatant lie. First, according to the Metro (who would know, since they operate the goddamn trains) that 317,000 figure for Obama in 2009 was the numbers ONLY BY 11AM not the whole day. For Trump, by 11AM only 193,000 people had ridden the Metro. What, is the Metro biased against Trump? Of course not. And besides, they posted the figures YESTERDAY — well before Spicer made his press conference. They were right there on their Twitter.And at the end of the day? 570,000 had used the Metro on Friday (which includes any protestors who used the Metro to get into place for the enormous Women’s March the next day — which was, by the way, busier than the inauguration), compared to 782,000 for the 2013 inauguration and 1.1 million for the 2009 inauguration.Spicer LIED here. This is not about liberal vs. conservative or Trump vs. anti-Trump. This is about an out-and-out, verifiable, clear LIE.
Sean Spicer LIED to the American people in the very first press briefing in order to attack the truth — that Trump is seen as (and actually is) dangerous to the American people, and for most of us his inauguration is far from a celebration. He is trying to erase the truth from the American psyche, and we cannot let that happen. If we lose the free press, if we are no longer able to report the truth, America is dead. Don’t let him get away with it this time, or any other time in the next four years. Fight every. single. step of the way. Because after the moment we let our guard down, we will wake up and the truth of the diverse, free country we love so much will be so deeply buried and shackled to lies about our reality and about our individual selves that we will not recognize it anymore.
This is not a drill. Call your friends out on fake news. March. Protest. Keep the freedom and truth in this country alive.
Thank you for reading.
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