Trump Floats the Idea of a State-Owned Press

Trump Floats the Idea of a State-Owned Press November 28, 2018

Donald Trump’s hatred for the very idea of a free press has been blatantly obvious from the start, but now he’s going full-on Orwell and suggesting that we need state-owned media to “balance” the actual media. Pravda and North Korean State Television both approve entirely.

Ironically, he did this on the very same day that the Daily Beast reported that Trump administration officials are given questions in advance for their interviews on Fox News, allowed to approve and disapprove of both potential questions and even the lead-in script for the interviews.

And Pruitt had a good reason to be surprised. In past interviews with President Trump’s favorite cable-news show, the then-EPA chief’s team chose the topics for interviews, and knew the questions in advance.

In one instance, according to emails revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Sierra Club and reviewed by The Daily Beast, Pruitt’s team even approved part of the show’s script.

Fox & Friends has long been a friendly venue for Trump and his allies, but the emails demonstrate how the show has pushed standard cable-news practices to the extreme in order to make interviews a comfortable, non-confrontational experience for favored government officials.

It’s one thing to discuss the topics you’ll be covering in advance; it’s something entirely different to provide the actual questions and give them approval over the lead-in script on those topics. That is, in reality, operating as a state-owned news station. There are a few exceptions on Fox, the actual journalists like Chris Wallace, who did a pretty good interview with Trump last week and pressed him with multiple follow ups rather than just accepting nonsensical answers or lies, and Shep Smith. But Fox and Friends, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, they act as PR flaks for Trump. They might as well start every interview by asking “Why are you so dreamy?”

Trump doesn’t need a state-owned propaganda network. He already has one. If he told Sean Hannity that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia, Hannity would be declaring that to be 100% true and would attack anyone who questioned it as an anti-American commie pinko Muslim Kenyan terrorist illegal immigrant.

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