Naked Politics Blogger
Last week, President Trump barred several media outlets from attending a ‘press gaggle’ which in this case was an off the camera, informal briefing and Q&A with his media spokesman Sean Spicer. Some of the media outlets that the President barred included: CNN, The BBC, The Guardian, The LA Times, BuzzFeed and the Daily Mail. Naturally, people are outraged at this, but also thrilled because it allows the anti-Trump crowd to reignite the flame of the ‘Trump is a Fascist’ narrative. This flame is then fanned by organisations such as the National Press Club by claiming that this ‘ban’ was an act of ‘unconstitutional censorship’ which gives a sense of credibility to the narrative. This then becomes the prevailing narrative.
But what does an “evil, bigoted, uninformed, racist, sexist, islamophobic, fascistic” Trump supporter, like myself, think of this situation? Personally, I think he’s right to bar them.
Dean Baquet, editor of the New York Times, claimed “Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties”. Except it has, hasn’t it Mr. Baquet? Something like this has happened before. President Obama’s administration essentially declared a holy war upon Fox News during his time in office with his then White House communications director Anita Dunn, claiming that “FOX News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” In addition, the then Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest wrote in an email stating “We’ve demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews…” . But where was the outrage then?
This barring wasn’t one based upon ideology. Sure, Breitbart News, the One America News Network and the Washington Times were allowed into the ‘gaggle’, as well as a few TV networks such as CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC. But I would hardly call most of these – except for Brieitbart of course – ‘Pro Trump’ outlets. This shows that the President isn’t opposed to criticism from media outlets who don’t blatantly lie about him and slander him at every chance they get. It also reveals that he won’t put up with the slander anymore, which only makes me hold him in a higher regard. There is a big difference between slandering someone and critiquing someone. Just because you disagree someone it doesn’t give you the absolute right to slander them with false accusation and political buzzwords. Criticism? Yes. Slander? No.
Many people, but mainly people who I would categorise as Progressives, are getting on their high horses about this issue, by claiming that barring some media outlets is against the spirit of the law and that he is being dictatorial. But they’re not saying this because they care about the equal opportunity of the press. Most are only saying this because it’s a political talking point against Trump, whom they despise. All they really care about is undermining President Trump – in any way they possibly can.
Furthermore, the idea that Trump has declared war on the media is nonsense. The media declared war on Trump long before he was even President. When he was running, CNN, The Guardian and other news outlets made it their duty in life to smear Trump in any way they possibly could. The media fabricated what he said about Mexicans to make him out to be a raging racist, while forgetting he was talking about a specific group of Mexicans; illegal immigrants. They lied about him mocking a disabled reporter, while excluding the fact that he didn’t know he was disabled and that Trump had been making funny hand gestures like that for years. They made him out to be the most anti LGBT candidate, while ignoring the fact that he is the most pro-LGBT Republican nominee to have ever stood for President. Despite all this media spin it didn’t seem to affect the result. The US media that has lost control over the American people – hence Donald Trump’s stunning election victory.
This bar hopefully will make the outlets who were barred to look into the mirror and realise that their constant vilification, lies and (dare I say it) fake news about the President is both getting them nowhere with the new administration. Not only that, but it is also undermining their position with the public as journalists, reporters and broadcasters as only 6% of the American public have a great deal of confidence in the media. Also and most interestingly many believe that the media is too harsh on the President. The journalists at CNN and the LA Times should re-learn how to conduct investigative journalism, and focus on the job he’s been elected for, instead of spewing ideological hate at him. President Trump can win against the media by simply not engaging them and his announcement that he won’t be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is testament to that strategy. If he wants to get his message out he’ll go to a rally, post on his Twitter account or make a video and post it on Facebook. He doesn’t need the media to get his message across and many Trump supporters and Americans alike appreciate that he’s taking the time to address them directly.
Large sections of the media shouldn’t have declared holy war on Trump without expecting repercussions if he got into office. But even then they never considered that because they were all too busy being arrogant, out of touch and cheerleading for Hillary to really understand what the mood in America was. And that’s their fault; not Trump’s.
CNN, BuzzFeed, The Guardian and the other media outlets that were barred have made a bed for themselves over the last election cycle. President Trump is just making them lie in it.