President Donald Trump’s battle with “fake media” and “alternative facts” has always seemed facetious and somewhat laughable, but it is becoming increasingly similar to President Nixon’s campaign in the late 60’s to rid himself of the government’s fourth member of the checks and balances system—the press.
The framers of the constitution were pressed to ensure certain rights for citizens: to practice religion, assemble, petition, speech and press. In framing our government in this manner the Founding Fathers ensured a check on governmental powers that was not in fact a government entity.
The press or media, has for the most part, taken this role seriously and has been responsible for exposing problematic government behaviors and informing the American people on the things that matter to them. As our country grew more industrialized, capitalism and monopolization became facets of our everyday lives.
A few companies hold transportation, our money is in the hands of octopus-like banks with tentacles reaching in every direction and our news is being fed to us by media conglomerates—and if this was Trump’s true problem with the media then he would be worth listening to.
However, that is not the case. During his campaign, Trump used the media’s obsession with sensationalism to catapult him into the Republican primaries, then to the actual election and eventually into the presidency. Media was, and always has been, Trump’s friend, and instead of acknowledging his success that was capable because of media—both liberal and conservative—Trump now uses it as his scapegoat.
Whenever Trump wishes to distract people from his apparent inadequacies in office he calls CNN “fake news.”
When Trump has made another blatantly incorrect statement that is then fact checked by a news outlet he blubbers, “alternative facts.”
Surely, if we were constantly messing up our job on the daily, we wouldn’t want it broadcasted to the world. However, when an individual steps into an elected office their screw-ups become America’s problems. The people have the right to know the country has problems and what they are.
Distrust of the media is not a new sensation but it is disturbing when the president’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, is not allowing different news outlets access to White House information.
It is disheartening when the president favors politically biased news organizations that lean in his favor and slams those that do not.
The United States is a country bound by the ideals of free speech and equality. It is dangerous when the president discredits the media and declares it an “enemy of the people.”
We need the media to hold our officials, and ourselves accountable. At The University Star, we will retain and respect our position as a “watchdog” and we shall be reporting whether or not people like what has to be said. Our job is to inform you on the issues and matters that will affect you.
Trump cannot take away our First Amendment right, and he will not take yours.