Monday, July 10, 2017
Trump Targets CNN In His War on Free Press
Donald Trump is “biting the hand that fed him.” Throughout Trump's career he gained prominence in society by using the media. As a playboy, he sought media attention and got it! Lots of it. As a businessman, he used the media to promote his projects. During lawsuits and marriage break-ups, he used the media to plead his case in the court of public opinion. He was his own publicist, often calling reporters using the name of John Barron or John Miller to give them a big tip on what he was doing or to put a positive spin on his controversial New York business dealings. As far back as the 1980's, members of the media have asked him if he'd ever run for President. Surely they did this as a joke, but this suggestion stoked Trump's ego and contributed to creating this megalomaniac. Now as President of the United States, the top of the ladder for man in our world, he castigates the media as “Fake News,” and encourages violence against journalists and media outlets.
ONE SUCH media outlet is CNN News. Trump always needs an enemy for his base to hate. He has decided to make that enemy CNN. During Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, CNN did everything in their power to help him. They ran daily start-to-finish coverage of all his rallies across the country. They hired Corey Lowandowski as commentator after he was terminated by Trump as his campaign manager. These moves by CNN did not sit well with their viewers because they wanted the news, not entertainment. Hence, Trump perceived CNN to have a weakness; that's why he singled them out to destroy. When CNN retracted a story and fired three journalists, Trump moved in for the kill with his WWE video showing him pummeling a person covered in a CNN logo. CNN, owned by Time Warner, is part of a merger deal that must be approved by the Justice Department. There are rumors that Trump is lobbying Attorney General Jeff Session to deny the merger that otherwise would have been approved as routine. Without the merger, Time Warner may be forced to drop CNN. Travesty!
WE IN Georgia, more than anywhere, should be outraged about Trump targeting CNN for destruction. On June 1, 1980, with it's first broadcast of the 24-hour news channel, Georgia was put on the world map. Headquartered in Atlanta and Ted Turner at the helm, CNN cast a spot-light on Georgia in a positive way. Georgians should take this attack on CNN personally. CNN made us proud of their contributions to our world.
CNN MADE it possible for people to watch news as it happened, 24/7, without having to wait for the 30-minute version of the news at 6:00 pm. Today, CNN has 11 domestic bureaus, 31 international bureaus, and 900 affiliated local stations. There's not much news happening anywhere in the world that CNN cannot cover with a journalist on the ground, up close and personal. Most of you will remember the beginning of the Gulf War. CNN was the only station with a journalist in Iraq when the bombs started dropping. The world was mesmerized by the reporting. Any time a disaster happens, or a terrorist attack both here and abroad, CNN is there. They were the first to report the 9/11 attacks and run live coverage. For all of this, we owe them a debt of gratitude both as Georgians and Americans.
AND WHAT channel would Trump suggest we get our news if he is successful in killing CNN? Certainly not FOX NEWS. Fox News, by their own admission, is not a “news” channel. They are registered with the FCC as an “entertainment” station. Also, in 2012, Rupert Murdoch placed FOX NEWS under the entertainment portion of his business, reportedly to protect against lawsuits. You see, if you are considered “entertainment,” you can say anything you want without regard for the truth. News outlets are held to a much higher standard.
I SAW an under-reported occurrence at the G-20 Summit last week. As the media was leaving the room at the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, Putin laughed and asked Trump, “Are these the ones who are insulting you?” Trump laughed and said, “Yes, these are the ones!” Then they yukked it up together. To malign and disparage our journalists in a foreign country, to a foreign power, by a U.S. President, heretofore has been unthinkable. It threatens our sovereignty and makes a mockery of the First Amendment of our Constitution. And, it borders on treason.
I RECEIVED a text message from my dear niece stating she ordered a CNN t-shirt for me. I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival so I can advertise my support for CNN. You should know that I don't care if CNN is not your favorite news source. But, it is incumbent on all Americans to protect our free press and to stop the attacks on any of these sacred institutions by the President.