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We Can’t Let Trump Take Control of the Media

Photo by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais

On Friday, our cheeto in chief found himself a little upset. So, like any other mature and responsible leader, he took to Twitter to express his grievances.

His tweets followed what could be considered a meltdown of a press conference. Littered with inaccuracies and false accusations, Trump’s press conference was anything but smooth.

The beginning was spent discussing, yet again, the “dishonest” media, also known as the media that reports facts (and not the “alternative” ones). Though he’s well aware that his success is based on a platform of lies, he’s doing his best to cover that up by cutting out the middleman (the media) and speaking directly to the people. The press is, effectively, a filter, and his type of leadership (which is fascist-esque) is most successful when unfiltered.

Donald Trump’s attacks on the “alt-left” media are not unlike those that Adolf Hitler made. Or those of Joseph Stalin. Or Hugo Chavez. Hitler’s Propaganda Ministry, headed by Joseph Goebbels, was infamous for their censorship of all media detrimental to the success of the Nazi Party (Source). Books were burned, genres of music were banned, and news was filtered. Joseph Stalin executed those that opposed him, and then erased any mention of them from Soviet history (Source). People were airbrushed out of photos, names were deleted from city records, they just… disappeared.  Hugo Chavez established a penal code, saying, “Anyone who offends with his words or in writing or in any other way disrespects the President of the Republic or whomever is fulfilling his duties will be punished with prison of 6 to 30 months if the offense is serious and half of that if the offense is light,” (source).

While Trump has not censored the media in quite a militant fashion, he has done anything and everything to derail the credibility of the media, which is at an all time low, according to a Gallup Poll. His vilification of media sources (specifically those that don’t paint him in a positive light) establishes him and the conservative media as main sources of information for his supporters, and those that don’t know any better.

Those who didn’t see Thursday’s press conference live, saw or read recaps of it from their favorite media source. Some recaps of Trump’s press conference, however, were so completely and utterly biased, you’d think Trump, himself, wrote them. Sean Hannity called it a “devastating knockout [of the press]”. Rush Limbaugh told his listeners it was “masterful” and “spontaneous”.

Trump’s blatant misinformation of the public and indifference to the truth, however, has and will continue to endanger others, specifically minority groups. When Trump was elected, the country saw a spike in hate crimes. When he signed his order immigration and travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim countries, a mosque in Texas was burned to the ground. His hateful rhetoric, and the endorsement of it by some media sources, create an unsafe atmosphere for the minority groups of the country, whether they be people of color, the disabled, or the LGBTQ+ community.

Though there will always be media bias, it’s scary to live in a time at which specific media sources have so little regard for the truth. On their agenda, what’s of most importance is pleasing Trump so that he will continue to promote them. Their obsession with views and ratings is almost as bad as his, if not worse. They’ve succumbed to his pressure with hardly a fight. They’ve allowed him to dictate what they will, and will not, report on; what the American people will, and will not, know.

Trump’s America is very much reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. In fact, since he was elected, bookstores across the country have seen a spike in sales of 1984, an occurrence I’m sure he finds purely coincidental.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought” (George Orwell, 1984).

 

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Allison Kirste
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An 18-year-old Los Angeles local, Allison loves coffee, books, and hiking. Her love for the outdoors is surpassed only by her aversion to cold weather, and, on days under 60, she can be found bundled up in enough layers to give the Michelin man a run for his money.

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