On Day 1, Trump makes authoritarian attack on journalists and the media

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.

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During his first day as President of the United States, Donald Trump uses his position to attack journalists and accuse the media of controlling U.S. intelligence agencies.

Attacking a free, independent press is a well-known authoritarian tactic to confuse the public and intimidate journalists. This tactic is how other countries, like Russia and North Korea, end up with state-controlled news organizations.

In a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency intended to showcase his support for the intelligence community, Mr. Trump ignored his own repeated public statements criticizing the intelligence community, a group he compared to Nazis just over a week ago.

He also called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and he said that up to 1.5 million people had attended his inauguration, a claim that photographs disproved.

Later, at the White House, he dispatched Sean Spicer, the press secretary, to the briefing room in the West Wing, where Mr. Spicer scolded reporters and made a series of false statements.

He said news organizations had deliberately misstated the size of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Friday in an attempt to sow divisions at a time when Mr. Trump was trying to unify the country, warning that the new administration would hold them to account.

The New York Times

Less than a week later, Steve Bannon gives an interview claiming that the media is the “opposition party” and can’t be trusted by the people.

The “fake news” conspiracy will continue throughout his presidency (and probably after, since the conspiracy has become a regular talking point for the Republican party).

Sources

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/politics/trump-white-house-briefing-inauguration-crowd-size.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/business/media/stephen-bannon-trump-news-media.html?searchResultPosition=149

Photo: Public Domain

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