By K. Brandon Perez, history junior
This letter is in response to an opinion column published March 7, 2017 titled “Trump’s anti-press rhetoric is dangerous to democracy”
I want to begin by agreeing that in order for a democracy to function properly, at least in America, the press has to hold the various office holders accountable. The country needs journalists and investigative reporters to comb through complex information and inform the public about issues.
That said, I think President Donald Trump is somewhat justified in attacking the media and this is not dangerous to democracy. However, blocking The New York Times, the LA times, CNN, and BBC, among others, from attending the informal “gaggle,” in the office of the white house press secretary, Sean Spicer, is inexcusable.
I’m assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that snubbing most of the mainstream media is simply retaliation for their numerous attacks on the president.
Some may argue they are simply reporting the news and doing their job, but I would have to partially disagree. It is no secret they are against Trump and are actively looking to undermine the commander-in-chief.
What infuriates a lot of people—myself included—is that the mainstream press views itself as untouchable and virtuous because of the work it does. But it is important to note this is a bit misleading.
The mainstream media—NY Times, LA times, BCC, CNN, NBC, CBS etc.—is not unbiased and has an agenda. There is nothing wrong with having a bias, or a political inclination, but what rubs people the wrong way is the sham that these news outlets portray.
In Europe, the press is clearly defined by what part of the political spectrum they lie on, while in America, the press insists on calling itself unbiased and nonpartisan, but this is simply not true.
Again, I believe banning certain media and press outlets from participating is indefensible, but as for Trump’s attacks on his enemies within the press, I would hardly call it dangerous to democracy.
I would have to side with the President on this one because, in all honesty, what did the mainstream media expect? They wrote article after article attacking and portraying the President in a negative light. They should have expected this kind of reaction from Donald Trump, a man who has filed lawsuits for the most trivial of reasons.
In all seriousness, is calling CNN fake news really that far off the mark? News outlets are, after all, slaves to TV ratings and advertisers. To think that these factors don’t influence reporting is silly.
CNN isn’t the only perpetrator, as all the news outlets are beholden to their income. This includes President Trump’s beloved Breitbart News.
The topic of fake news is a very complex issue, but I maintain Trump’s retaliation against the media is no more dangerous to democracy than satire is.