Trump Inches Closer Towards Censoring Media

For all of Trump’s enmity toward North Korea’s Trump-like leader, the fascist in the White House is embracing concepts that keep Kim Jong-un in power without opposition or dissent. After a typical Trump Twitter outburst yesterday, it appears that he is serious in using the United States Congress to target, investigate, and punish the news media and journalists. Yesterday he called on the United States Senate to “investigate” the various news outlets that publish unflattering, but accurate and truthful, stories about him and his administration.

Apparently when Trump took the “swear to godoath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” he was lying.  Of course he was lying and that became obvious the day of his poorly attended inauguration. Trump doesn’t have much use for the Constitution, much less any intent to preserve and protect it; not when he’s violated it willfully and often for pecuniary gain. But this is the first time he has made it clear he wants to use the federal government to aid him in violating the Constitution’s 1st Amendment to censor the media like his fascist paramours in Russia, North Korea, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.

Trump’s panties were in a wad over a couple of reports, and one report that never happened, regarding his strained relationship with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; a strained relationship like Trump eventually develops with anyone who fails to lick his boots. Apparently Trump was incited to a Twitter outburst after learning that his Secretary of State called him a “moron” with “an R-rated modifier” that rhymes with “trucking.” Tillerson’s aptly-worded remarks were many Americans’ reaction to Trump’s self-aggrandizing campaign speech to the Boy Scouts. For dog’s sake, except for evangelical extremists and Nazis, nearly everyone in America and around the world has called Trump a moron – probably with several “R-rated modifiers.”

A couple of hours before dawn yesterday, Trump “tweeted:

Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”

As any eighth grader knows, the “Senate Intel Committee” isn’t investigating any kind of media because unlike Trump, the preponderance of senators comprehend that the First Amendment forbids Congress from abridging freedom of the press.

It is noteworthy that Mr. Tillerson held a news conference after the reporting that he called Trump a “f*cking moron;” a report he definitely did not deny. Instead, he took the “kind-of” high road and said, “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that.” Still, Trump interpreted Tillerson’s “non-denial” later in the day as proof  the media was lying by claiming the story reported by NBC was “totally refuted” and “made up.”

Not content to use Twitter to spread his own “totally refuted” and “made up” claims about what Tillerson did or did not say, Trump went back to Twitter less than an hour later; surely to impress on his devotees how important it is for Congress to investigate the press. Trump assailed NBC as spreading “fake news” that Rex Tillerson threatened to resign. He “tweeted:”

Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.”

 Besides news outlets or journalists not needing verification (approval) from the liar-in-chief, there is the minor issue of Trump’s wont of spreading “Fake News” to incite rage against the media. It is “Fake News” from Trump that NBC reported Tillerson threatened to resign; it just didn’t happen. What its report did claim was that Tillerson “was on the verge” of stepping down. It is an entirely believable claim after Trump assailed the Secretary of State in public for wasting his time in seeking a diplomatic solution to North Korea.

The insinuation from Trump, and a glaring dog whistle to his zealot followers, is that there is no “real news” except that which he “personally verifies is real” to reporters and news outlets. It is precisely how the “news” is curated in North Korea; only news personally approved by Kim Jong-un is real and verified as suitable for delivery to the public.

Many politicians have rocky relationships with the free press, especially those who lie at about the same rate most people use a toilet. But Trump is a different animal, (all due respect to every animal on the planet). Since his campaign he has made inciting animus toward the press nearly as high a priority as boasting about himself at every opportunity.

Trump has regularly assailed reporters en masse, and very personally. He incites his acolytes, especially in rallies, against various media outlets and reporters, and hypocritically accused individual reporters of sedition. As an aside, writing an accurate story is only considered seditious in countries like North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

During the campaign Trump made a big deal out of wanting libel laws changed to make it easier to sue news outlets he considers spreading fake news; like accurate stories and stories that don’t acknowledge his divinity. He also uses “memes” of violence against news outlets and they are not humorous or inconsequential. They are highly successful incremental acts to incite his followers to violence against the free press.

Although this latest call for the Senate to investigate news outlets is an authoritarian dictator’s move, and it is no revelation that Trump wants the authority to censor the free press, there is the “vengeance” factor Trump is renowned for. Remember, it was the free press that reported every moronic word Trump uttered as well as reporting that Trump is connected to Russia; and that he lies more often than an infant soils its diaper. Those accurately reported stories are one of the reasons the public even knows why the Senate Intelligence Committee, like several other committees and 17 different intelligence agencies, are investigating the corrupt fascist. Getting vengeance on people he thinks wronged him is Trump’s admitted raison d’être. Now he thinks the White House gives him authority to “get back” at his perceived enemies and it explains his attacks on the NFL and now poses a serious threat to the free press.

It is uncertain if anything comes from this latest authoritarian move, at least legally and in the near future. But what is certain is that Trump continues instilling a violent distrust of the media, and the truth, into his feeble-minded acolytes and Americans too ridiculously stupid to recognize a corrupt fascist dictator when they see one.

There is no doubt Trump would unilaterally censor the media if it was within his power, but since he can’t he is doing the next best thing; calling on Congress to do his dirty work. If Trump succeeds, there will still be media in America, but it will be Alex Jones Infowars, Brietbart and Fox News, and the extremist evangelical networks; the only media Trump hasn’t attacked because they are the only groups spreading his fake news.

Pat Robertson’s Christian Network Is Trump’s New Propaganda Outlet

 

Apparently Donald Trump is dissatisfied with Fox News, Breitbart, and Twitter as his primary propaganda outlets crucial to push his fascist agenda, so he is reaching out to an organization with much more experience at propagandizing Americans and spreading lies. Of course the widely unpopular Trump did not have many options available, but he does have a reliably despicable group happy and ready to do his bidding for an entirely self-serving reason. Unfortunately for the people of this country, Trump’s choice is yet another sign that America is on a path towards being controlled by an evangelical theocracy.

Unlike every democratic leader on the planet, Trump has spent the entirety of his time on the national stage demonizing the national media as “America’s greatest enemy;” not unlike the faithful claiming Satan as their god’s greatest adversary.  In Trump’s fascist mind, the media are “enemies” because they report facts as they happen; it’s what Trump labels “fake news.”

It is because the media has used Trump’s own words in fair and accurate reporting that prompted him to threaten creation of his own news network. He desperately needs an established organization to validate every fantastical utterance from his mouth as if they issued forth from the biblical god.  As it turns out, there is already an established network-in-waiting to do what the real media refuses to do and tout everything Trump does as good and godly. It is precisely what anyone with a brain expects from Pat Robertson’s evangelical Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) to do to promote theocracy, portray Trump as godly.

In particular, a partnership between the lying Trump and a CBN program, “Faith Nation” is being heralded as “a faith-based alternative to the mainstream media as well as a mouthpiece for an unfairly maligned administration to get out its ‘true’ message.” In Faith Nation’s premiere episode, hosts David Brody and Jenna Browder introduced the pro-Trump “news program” and immediately hewed to a Trump mainstay – media is fake, deliberately misleading, and can’t be trusted.

“In an age when there’s so much mistrust in the mainstream media, Americans are looking to news outlets like CBN News — and this administration is looking our way, too.”

This partnership is nothing to scoff at, and cannot be underestimated in the danger it portends for the nation’s imperiled democracy. Yes it is despicable and demonstrates how desperate Trump is to reach out to an apocalyptical faith-based “evangelical news outlet” to save his criminal administration, but it is also inherently dangerous. As noted in Vox, when Trump sat down with Hellfire-and-brimstone purveyor Pat Robertson a couple of weeks ago, the tone of the “softball” interview and embarrassing love-fest between the two confidence men informed that, “the intersection of faith, news, and propaganda make it one of the Trump administration’s most potent — and dangerous — mouthpieces.”

What makes the partnership extraordinarily dangerous is the increasing willingness of Trump to use his appeal with the evangelical malcontent class to delegitimize the media and the federal government from two directions; as inherently untrustworthy and now “implicitly ungodly.” It is likely why just recently Trump pandered to his nasty evangelical base when he took to Twitter and  tweeted, out of the blue, that “In America we don’t worship government, we worship god.

Trump’s pandering to the faithful at the same time his new evangelical propaganda network was doing an “exclusive piece about bible study for Trump’s Cabinet members” was no coincidence and likely planned well in advance. The Faith Nation’s special White House correspondent Jennifer Wishon’s “faith exclusive” report about the White House’s weekly bible study group was “explicitly designed to cast Trump and his administration as divinely ordained.

Wishon gave special attention to the Mike Pence-hired biblical leader, Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries’ shame and his unbelievably bizarre comparison of Trump’s administration to Old Testament biblical characters. Ms. Wishon told her gullible audience that:

In [Vice President Mike] Pence, Drollinger sees many similarities to biblical figures like Joseph, Mordecai and Daniel — all men who rose to the No. 2 position in [biblical] governments at different times in history. … Like others, Drollinger compares President Trump to biblical strongman Samson.”

As an aside, it’s doubtless that Trump is furious he was not compared to biblical strongman god almighty, but not quite furious enough to risk alienating his evangelical base by saying out loud what he believes in his narcissistic black heart; that he is comparable to god or at the very least is “a god.

Of course it is obvious that by using a fake (religious) news outlet like Faith Nation, coupled with Trump enabling its religious sophistry, he is pandering to evangelical fanatics. That pandering includes giving the evangelical “propaganda network” exclusive “open door” access to the White House to more conveniently spread pro-Trump propaganda. It is a calculated means of “destabilizing the very idea of truth.

As noted in a recent special report by Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss of the Institute of Modern Russia, Trump is following closely in the footsteps of his love-interest Vladimir Putin. The two journalists argue convincingly that Trump is using Putin’s tactics “that are central to the Kremlin’s diplomatic aims in Russia’s ‘misinformation’ war and use of blatantly fake news. The aim is not so much to persuade (as in classic public diplomacy) or to earn credibility, but to sow confusion and suspicion via conspiracy theories and to proliferate falsehoods.”

In Trump’s case the falsehood he and the Christian Broadcast Network are spreading is that only Trump tells the truth; the conspiracy theory is that mainstream media is not only untrustworthy, but ungodly. And, as is always the case with religious and fascist propaganda throughout history, if they repeat a lie long and loud enough, eventually greater numbers of people will believe it is true and offer their unconditional support. Unfortunately for a secular nation, that unconditional support can reach a fevered pitch and as Nazi Germany demonstrated, even “good people” can be caught up in religious fervor and commit horrendous atrocities. And like Nazi Germany, it all started by portraying the media as “ungodly and the enemy” and the fascist leader as the sole source of “godly” truth.

Many Americans are wont to blow off warnings about the threat of a theocratic cabal taking over America, but at this point they aren’t confused or ignorant, they are blind idiots. Trump is a lying sinner, but his religious right fanatics are true believers and his underlings are using their Cabinet level positions to “advance the kingdom of god” and preach that the Constitution’s Separation Clause is patently unconstitutional.

Now the White House is using apocalyptic Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network as its premiere propaganda outlet to portray the media as of Satan (ungodly) and Trump as America’s messiah ordained by the biblical god. That is not a conspiracy theory, it is not fear mongering, not fake news, and not ungodly; it is straight from the lying evangelicals’ lips and gleefully sanctioned by their lying demigod Donald Trump.