With all the talk of fake news and name calling of officials, Donald Trump has become the most controversial, obscene and upfront president in American history. The fact that he has isolated certain news networks and completely ignored advice from his aides shows how abrasive he is. He doesn’t seem to listen anyone else but himself, which is quite unheard of for a president.
Trump’s split-second decision making has changed the way journalism works and how news is reported. It seems that every day there’s some sort of breaking news, giving news sites more and more stories to tell throughout the day. Each week is different from the last week, the week before that, and so on. The constant news stories about the Trump administration give us a better idea of what is really going on on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Recently, it was revealed that Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, lied to the FBI about his connections with Russia officials and payments that he had received from Russian companies. Flynn even plead the fifth to avoid incriminating himself through his own testimony. Usually, when reporters and political analysts report on what is going on, they give a summary of the news story and how it could affect the American people. Now, there’s not really a clear idea of what’s going on.
In an interview with Seth Meyers, Rachel Maddow, the host of The Rachel Maddow Show, talks about the Trump administration and how it has changed the flow of news. She explains, “The rhythm of the news is different than it used to be…If you do mostly news about politics, then the sun of the center of the solar system is the administration. In this [Trump] administration, it’s not like that. The news is not made by them, it’s made about them”. Maddow points out that there is a sort of uncertainty that makes everyone uncomfortable. In the example of the Muslim ban, there was a huge shockwave that traveled through news outlets. No one knew how the ban was going to be implemented, how many people it would affect or when it would happen.
The fear of the unknown is something that is known to make Americans extremely defensive. This has been shown through a recent poll, where Trump’s approval numbers have dropped to their lowest point since Trump’s Inauguration Day. There are many reasons cited for this. One is the firing of FBI director James Comey and Trump associate’s suspicious ties to Russia, which have been speculated about since the middle of 2016 election season. This fear of the unknown has naturally caused people to pull away from Trump. Originally, people did like his unpredictable nature. Now, it is widely seen as a negative. Something that could have drawbacks in the future.
Recently, there seems to be a lack of ethics, logistics, and reliability in the White House. While it is dangerous not knowing much of what is going on in the government, it is an advantage that there are journalists that can report the news each day and give us insight on what is known. It is why the idea of freedom of speech, one of the cornerstones of democracy, is so important. Without freedom of speech and freedom of expression, there would be no news. Journalists are vital to our society. It is important that they are heard, now more than ever, in this era of the unknown.