And now the Orange Horror has barred select news outlets from the White House press briefing. CNN, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, the BBC, Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post were each excluded from the February 23rd chinwag hosted by the president’s press bloviator, Sean Spicer.
The Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted in protest.
To quote Dan Rather: “The barring of respected journalistic outlets from the White House briefing is so far beyond the norms and traditions that have governed this republic for generations, that they must be seen as a real and present threat to our democracy. These are the dangers presidents are supposed to protect against, not create.”
I wonder if the Orange Horror recollects the following 35 words: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
I wonder if the Orange Horror recollects the following 45 words: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It’s the First Amendment of the living document he has sworn to protect.
You’ve heard of the enemies, foreign and domestic, that members of Congress and commissioned military personnel swear to defend the Constitution against? The Orange Horror is one of them.
The Orange Horror is a domestic enemy.
And it looks, increasingly, like he’s had foreign–specifically Russian–help in his efforts.
According to The Washington Post, White House staff attempted “to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.”
And when that was unsuccessful, again according to The Washington Post, the Trump administration enlisted “senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia.” Those “senior members of the intelligence committee” include Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and our own Representative Devin Nunes, the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees, respectively.
The innocent do not enlist surrogates to beseech the investigating authorities on their behalf.
Much like those with nothing to hide don’t cherry-pick the journalists who will cover them.
Consider the following from UC Berkeley Public Policy Professor and Former United States Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich: “7 Signs of Impending Tyranny.”According to Reich, as tyrants take control of democracies, they typically do 7 things–
1) They exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a “landslide” even after losing the popular vote. They criticize any finding that they or co-conspirators stole the election. And they repeatedly claim “massive voter fraud” in the absence of any evidence, in order to have an excuse to restrict voting by opponents in subsequent elections. 2) They turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum,” and telling the public that the press is a “public enemy.” They hold few, if any, press conferences, and prefer to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements (or what we might now call “tweets”). 3) They repeatedly lie to the public, even when confronted with the facts. Repeated enough, these lies cause some of the public to doubt the truth, and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals. 4) They blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias or even violence against them. They threaten mass deportations, “registries” of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees. 5) They attack the motives of anyone who opposes them, including judges. They attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties. 6) They appoint family members to high positions of authority. They appoint their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public. And they put generals into top civilian posts. 7)They keep their personal finances secret, and draw no distinction between personal property and public property – profiteering from their public office.
Ring any bells?
The question is how to un-ring this particular one.