Donald Trump's War on Truth
When Donald Trump melodramatically proclaimed a free, independent press the enemy of the American people he was essentially declaring war on the media, or at least the sizable contingent of the media that, unlike Sean Hannity or Alex Jones, sees his presidency as a threat both existential and alarmingly practical to the future of American democracy and the successful functioning of our nation.
What is an enemy if not someone who stands against you, in open combat, be it psychological, emotional, physical or military? An enemy is out to destroy you, to undermine you, to sabotage you and keep you from succeeding by any cost. You kill the enemy in war, sometimes with extreme prejudice. You see them as less than human because they are your enemy, and that supersedes everything.
Donald Trump’s war on the press, or what he dubs FAKE NEWS, is really a war on truth. For it is the press’ job, or rather its sacred duty, to report accurately on what an astonishingly terrible job the President and his administration are doing, and how their horrific bungling is creating problems that will take generations to undo. The job of the press, or rather the newspapers, is also to provide baseball scores and a place for people to read the comic strip Hi & Lois but that doesn’t have anything to do with Trump, thank God.
The unsuccessful attempted banning of CNN reporter and all around pain in the ass Jim Acosta from press conferences represented a bold strike in the Trump administration’s ongoing war on truth. Because it was, and remains Acosta’s job to continuously challenge the Trump administration with inconvenient truths about their villainy and chicanery that obviously drove Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders into a boiling, murderous rage.
Acosta is a showboater. He eats up the oxygen in the room in part by saying and asking all the other things his colleagues would like to but cannot and will not out of fear of losing precious, precious access to an administration that isn’t shy about rewarding sycophants and super-fans and punishing critics.
So the administration set up Acosta, doctored some footage like the bad guys in a cyber-thriller they kind of already actually are and attempted to give Jim the old heave ho, presumably with the intention of making it much harder for him to be able to do his job of continually saying, in one way or another, “How dare you, Sir!?!”
Trump has very different ideas about how the press should operate under Democratic and Republican presidencies. Under a Democratic presidency, he thinks the press’ job is to help him on his racist campaign to undermine the legitimacy of our first black president by pretending he’s an illegal immigrant from Africa and relentlessly attack people in power. Now, however, Trump clearly sees the job of the press as being a publicity outlet for his Executive wing, one that sells Trump’s actions to the public instead of investigating or reporting on them.
To that effect, Trump continually spreads wacky falsehoods. Sneaky Democrats are making like Pistachio Disguisey and trying on nutty get-ups in order to circumvent voting laws and vote repeatedly! The caravan is being led by wrestler the Iron Sheik and has the H bomb! The Central Park 5 is guilty because I say they’re guilty and my racism is never wrong!
Trump has enlisted all manner of alternative facts in his war on the truth and his war on the press, the most glaring being that the words of his critics constitute “FAKE NEWS” if they are not flattering or complimentary towards his administration.
I’d hope that Trump would ease up on the “FAKE NEWS”, “enemy of the people” propaganda once his fans started trying to kill members of the press Trump had devoted so much time and energy to demonizing. How adorable! I wildly over-estimated Trump’s tact and sensitivity.
Like the War on Terror and the War on Drugs, Trump’s War on the Press and War on the Truth can never be conclusively won, just fought endlessly, vaguely and messily, with no clear objectives, as evidenced by its decision to try to take Acosta as a casualty, a decision so wrong-headed and self-interested that even Trump’s super-fans over at FOX News, which is pretty much a Trump television fanzine at this point, have come out publicly against it. And when Fox doesn’t have Trump’s back, you know he’s seriously misstepped into an even bigger pile of shit than usual.
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