CLEVELAND, Ohio -- President Donald Trump, the so-called 'Leader of the Free World' escalated his attack on the free press with two repugnant tweets calling US news organizations the "enemy of the American People!"
Trump first tweeted: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN,@NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!"
That tweet was deleted and replaced 16 minutes later with this amended version: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC,@CBS,@CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!"
Trump's tweets read like they could have been written by Richard Nixon at the height of Watergate or any Authoritarian and Fascist leader throughout history.
"The Press is the enemy, the establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy." --President Richard Nixon
Carl Bernstein, who along with Bob Woodward, won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing Nixon's misdeeds, called Trump's attacks on the press "more treacherous than Nixon's."
"The most dangerous 'enemy of the people is presidential lying--always. Attacks on press by @realDonaldTrump more treacherous than Nixon's." --Carl Bernstein
On "Meet the Press" Senator John McCain said Trump's attacks on the press are how dictators get started.
"If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That's how dictators get started. They get started by suppressing free press, in other words, consolidation of power-- when you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press," McCain told Chuck Todd, in an interview airing today.
Do Trump and Steve Bannon really want to "preserve democracy" or do they want to establish a Trumpocracy and Bannonocray?
Last year, Trump's ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, said Trump's first move as president would be to target the free press.
"On day one he would end a free press. In any way that he could, he would use the government to shut down a free press, and listen, he has plenty of precedent for doing that, including his hero Vladimir Putin, " Schwartz told The Independent.
Here is what John F. Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson had to say on the topic.
"Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed-- and no republic can survive." --John F. Kennedy -
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong...is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." -- Thomas Jefferson.
American journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS. Does Trump think Foley is an enemy of the American people? Would he dare say that in person to Foley's parents?
While Donald Trump was getting dubious deferments to stay out of the Vietnam war and stay in New York City nightclubs, Dan Rather and plenty of other American reporters were embedded with American forces in Vietnam. Was Rather an enemy of the American people then? Are all the journalist who were and are embedded with American forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, enemies of the American people?
The Journalist Memorial at the Newseum in Washington D.C., names 2,291 journalist who have been killed covering the news around the world.
Trump can be considered an authority on 'Fake News'. He's not only Commander-in-Chief, he's been the Editor-in-Chief of Fake News.
When Trump talks about Fake News he's talking about himself, his favorite topic. Trump and his staff have been prolific in propagating fake news, starting with Trump adopting the racist Obama 'birther' story eight years ago.
During the Republican primary, Trump spread a story about Ted Cruz's father being involved with Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of JFK.
Since being sworn in, Trump and his staff have sworn that Trump's Inauguration crowd was the largest in history, that 3 to 4 million people voted illegally, and that Iraqi nationals carried out a massacre in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
While on the National Security Advisers staff, Michael Flynn Jr, spread a fake story that Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff were running a child sex ring from the basement of a D.C. pizza parlor. The fake story prompted a man to open fire in the pizza parlor.
On Air Force One, Trump falsely reported he knew nothing about the report that Michael Flynn talked to the Russians about sanctions, and misled Vice President Mike Pence. Trump knew the information back in January.
During his chaotic press conference last week, Trump boldly bragged that he had the largest Electoral College victory in history. The false claim was debunked in the press conference.
Trump's outlandish attacks on the press, only give more credence to what's being reported.
President Trump has been consumed with trying to kill the messenger. He needs to put that energy and effort into doing what he was elected to do -- govern, as a dignified leader of the United States, with a sound mind and principles, without denigrating its free press and without lying to the American people.Photo from the "My Vietnam Experience" blog shows Chaplain John McNamara administering the last rite to Dickey Chapelle, the first American female reporter killed in action, on November 4,1965 in South Vietnam.Jeff Darcy, cleveland.com
The photo above is taken from Dan Rather's 2014 post on the "My Vietnam Experience" blog.
The photo shows Chaplain John McNamara administering the last rite to photojournalist Dickey Chapelle in South Vietnam on November 4, 1965. Chapelle became the first American female reporter to be killed in action. She was covering a U.S. Marine unit when she and four Marines were wounded by an exploding mine. Chapelle died in the helicopter flying her to the hospital. I've cropped the photo to not to show her face, out of respect.
What was Donald Trump doing on November 4, 1965?
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