The Press: Friend or Foe of Freedom?


by Phil Erwin

This Thursday, The Boston Globe has called upon all American newspapers to offer up editorials excoriating President Trump for his “attack on” their profession – specifically, his suggestion they may be an “enemy of the American people.”

The Globe decries what they say is Trump’s “dirty war against the freedom of the Press.”

Now, since newspapers are news organizations, supposed to be dedicated to the business of accurately capturing and disseminating news, one might expect them to have captured Trump’s criticism accurately, and delivered that news item correctly.

Not so. What the President actually said was that “The Fake News is an enemy of the American people.”

So, either the Globe considers itself to be “Fake News,” in which case, who cares if they feel slighted?  Or else, they do not consider themselves to be “Fake News,” in which case, what the Hell are they all up-in-arms about?

To be sure, there’s no real definition of Trump’s term, “Fake News.” It’s kind of obvious, but Trump is typically non-specific, so we can interpret as we choose.

Here are three sorts of problems that “Fake News” represents:

  1. On the so-called “mainstream” media networks, one is exposed to only the facts supporting their preferred perspective. All facts that might contradict their viewpoint or suggest other ones are intentionally avoided. And their “analysis” of the “news” drives home their presented perspective, while hiding that it’s a one-sided picture. Fake News. This is called “propaganda” when done by the news agencies of dictatorial governments, such as the Nazi’s press machine under Joseph Goebbels or the USSR’s Pravda [which name ironically translates to “Truth.”] The Globe’s misguided response to Trump’s assertion is precisely this sort of misleading coverage; a fraudulently manufactured controversy.
  2. A news “discussion” might be little more than a gossip-fest based on inaccurate, incomplete or cherry-picked facts. Anyone foolish enough to sit through several minutes of ABC’s morning show, The View, knows what this is like. Sadly, portions of the Trump White House Press “briefings” have descended into this low-value realm under the unbridled influence of “correspondents” like CNN’s Jim Acosta and April Ryan, who often argue with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders over semantics or point-of-view. For example, Acosta recently demanded, repeatedly, that Sanders acknowledge on camera that the “Press” is not an “enemy of the People.”
  3. A news story might be about an entire pack of fibs, lies, exaggerations. From the furor over Omarosa’s forthcoming “tell-all” book, I’m guessing it will fall squarely in this category, as did the previous White House “expose,” delivered by oft-refuted and debunked gossip-monger Michael Wolff – which was nevertheless covered as news by all the “Mainstream” media.

If you get all your news from the likes of CNN, MSNBC, and the broadcast networks, you will see the same news, delivered in precisely the same language, on all of them. That they use the same phraseology is clear evidence that their “news” all comes from the same, shared original source.

They don’t really do their own reporting; they just parrot what they’re told is “the news.”

If you get at least some of your news from the FOX networks, One America News Network, Conservative talk radio, or a smattering of non-biased Web sources such as the Daily Caller, you will be exposed to virtually all the same stories and verbiage as you get on the Leftist sources. But you also are exposed to competing facts, perspectives and analysis that serves to balance out the range of information available to you, so that you can arrive at better, more thoroughly informed opinions.

That is the purpose of “The News.” That is, in fact, precisely the reason the Founders guaranteed the freedom of “the Press.”

But that is most decidedly not the intention of the “Fake News.”

Outlets such as CNN and MSNBC have absolutely no interest in providing you with the full range of available newsworthy information in order to fully inform you. Their purpose is not to inform; it is to convince. To convince you that their way of seeing things is the only possible way to see them.

Almost all of the “mainstream” news outlets today are of Type 1: Only one side of an issue is covered.

That is not “news.” That is propaganda.

And it is most certainly the enemy of the American people.

Consider how the reality of a primarily “Fake News” Press has impacted the nation since Trump’s election:

  • On the one (Left) hand, every “mainstream” news organization has screamed for two years that Trump and his team “colluded” with Russia to “steal” the election; implied that our only hope for political salvation is for Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team to bring Trump and his thieving cohorts to “justice”; and suggested that the Republicans in Congress are protecting Trump and obstructing Mueller in his effort to achieve a “just” outcome.
  • On the other (Right) hand, the non-Leftist news sources are also reporting that the Special Counsel investigation was predicated on fraudulent propaganda funded by Democrats and their operatives; that it appears to have been a ruse to frame Trump for “colluding” with the Russians; that the purpose was to guarantee Hillary a victory; and failing that, to have a fallback mechanism for interfering with Trump’s Presidency and, ultimately, to impeach him.

Those are two incredibly different views of the very same political events. They cannot both be true. So one camp or the other is absolutely reporting falsely to you.

As it stands, the Left believes that Hillary “really” won, and desperately wants the Special Counsel (engineered by now-disgraced James Comey and others at the FBI and DOJ) to undermine and ultimately remove Donald Trump from the office to which he was duly elected by more than 60 million Americans.

Many of those sixty million voters, much like myself, were very conflicted about electing Trump, and have since been greatly relieved and encouraged by Trump’s actual performance [not his Tweeting! ]. So the idea that his performance might have been much better had he not been saddled out of the gate by Mueller’s “witch hunt” is at least annoying, if not maddening.

But the idea that Trump’s tenure as President might be terminated by a fake investigation spun up on fraudulent charges based on fictionalized “facts” presented to the FISA Court in order to justify surveillance and then formal investigation is infuriating. This seems like nothing less than an attempt at a coup by litigation, and is as much a danger to our American government, culture and way of life as any invasion by a foreign entity.

When a duly-elected President might be removed from office by a legal fraud, the nation’s future is indeed in jeopardy.

And that fraud has been aided, supported, promulgated and abetted by virtually the entire “mainstream” media.

So when Trump says that “Fake News is the enemy of the People,” what he means is that fraudulent propaganda masquerading as “news” is being used to undermine his Presidency, with the intent of taking over control of the government.

And any entity working to achieve such a coup is most certainly an “Enemy of the People.”

Phil Erwin is an author, IT administrator and registered Independent living in Newbury Park. He would like to support some Democrat ideals, but he has a visceral hatred for Lies and Damn Lies (and is highly suspicious of Statistics.) That pretty much eliminates supporting most Democrats, and a bunch of Republicans to boot.

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