Of all the things Donald Trump hates about America and particularly the U.S. Constitution, besides a robust system of checks and balances to prevent him becoming emperor he despises freedom of the press. The aspiring tyrant has made little secret that he would imprison any journalist who failed to report on the greatness of Donald Trump or that the entire world didn’t support him; if not for that pesky First Amendment. Trump has stated often that the only news Americans will ever need are whatever lies come out of his mouth or through his Twitter feed. Absolutely anything else, according to Trump, is “fake news.”
In an attempt to expand his reach in excess of social media, and to seize control of a large sector of the media, Trump made two moves this week that would impress Adolf Hitler’s Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels (sod off Godwin). The despicable actions are in preparation for a taxpayer-funded Trump propaganda network that will have worldwide coverage as the official alt-right news outlet of the United States of America as presented by the Trump.
First, when Trump provided waivers for his senior staff giving them permission to disregard ethical conflict of interest laws, he made sure Brietbart chief Steve Bannon has free rein to run the alt-right conspiracy site from his White House position funded by taxpayers. As noted In the Washington Post, The waiver gives Bannon “permission to communicate with Breitbart News, the conservative website he used to run.” What the authority to violate ethics and conflict of interest rules really does is give Bannon unchallenged authority to “run a pro-Trump propaganda outlet with a sordid history of white supremacist content, while working in his taxpayer-financed White House position.”
It is no surprise that Breitbart championed Trump; there were rumors from Breitbart employees that Trump was paying the alt-right news site to do his campaigning. Breibart is a perfect fit for Trump because Bannon boasted regularly that the conspiracy site was “the platform for the alt-right;” the misogynist, white supremacist, anti-immigration movement that is now a dominant force within the conservative movement and running Trump’s administration.
To accompany Bannon’s new authority to use Brietbart as the official White House domestic media outlet, or use his White House position to set the editorial direction of his and Trump’s alt-right perspective via Brietbart, Trump is preparing to install a Bannon devotee as the CEO of the “taxpayer-funded Broadcasting Board of Governors.” Although that position may seem like just a title and a thank-you gift appointment to Bannon, it is a position with worldwide reach and the implications that it will be Trump’s personal alt-right (Nazi) propaganda network are as certain as the knowledge that the Sun will rise in the East.
The position of CEO of Broadcasting Board of Governors has purview over “the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and the Middle East Broadcast Network. Those taxpayer-funded networks combined reach over 278 million people around the world and broadcast to 100 different countries in 61 languages.” Now those millions in 100 different countries will experience the world as told by “the voice of Trump;” and it will be regarded as officially the voice of the America.
As one might expect from a government operation, previous CEOs of the Broadcasting Board of Governors had well-founded experience as journalists and with the media; they certainly were not partisan political activists or alt-right fascists. For example, John Lansing, the current BBG CEO was the president of Scripps Networks and prior to him Andy Lack, the current president of NBC News held the CEO position. Now a Steve Bannon zealot will lead the BBG and if any American thought there was a built in protection against partisanship in taxpayer-funded media, they are going to be disappointed.
As Oliver Willis noted, “In the past the [CEO] position was walled off from directly controlling the output of the network by a bipartisan board. But Republicans in Congress disbanded the board in a provision tucked into the Defense Authorization Act that passed in December.”
One anonymous senior government official fretted to Politico that, “The White House could theoretically use the BBG for any kind of messaging” and there is no doubt in most people’s minds that Trump and Bannon will use the BBG for the same “mendacious messaging” as that seen daily in Trump’s tweets. Another Republican official told Politico a few months ago that “There’s some fear among the folks here that the firewall will get diminished and attacked and fall victim to propaganda.” Apparently that “Republican official” failed to see that his congressional Republicans decimated that firewall in December, possibly to make it easier for Trump’s worldwide propaganda network to operate unimpeded.
To get an idea of the type of person Trump wants spreading his lies and propaganda around the world, besides being a Bannon-Breitbart disciple, Michael Pack has no journalism experience; save being a worshipper of Steve Bannon and Breitbart. Pack is currently the president and CEO of the Claremont Institute, an organization the Chronicle of Higher Education described as the “academic home of Trumpism.” As an aside, use of the words academic and any variant of Trump in the same sentence is the definition of an oxymoron.
Under Pack’s leadership, Claremont Institute has been a staunch supporter of Rush Limbaugh’s misogynistic and racist radio show and has been instrumental in keeping it on air via expensive ads sponsoring his program, his racism and his misogyny. In fact, Claremont under Pack’s leadership gave Limbaugh its Winston Churchill Statesmanship Award, and now its CEO will be running the BBG as CEO to spread Trump’s alt-right racism and bigotry around the world; paid for with taxpayer dollars.
During the campaign Trump threatened to start his own media empire, but that was prior to being installed in the White House by the Russians and emoprogs. Now that he has taxpayer money at his disposal, he is starting his own media and news network to spread alt-right propaganda around the world as the official voice of America.