Trump’s Attacks Against Press Sound Like Hitler
To The Reader’s Forum:
Since I grew up under the Nazi regime in the 30’s, every time I hear the term “Fake News,” I am reminded of the term “Luegenpresse” ( Lying Press) used to disparage free expression by the Nazis. This was repeated endlessly by those who wanted to squelch any criticism of Hitler. Soon the propaganda campaign calling the press “The Enemy of the People” took its effect: reporters of the news were arrested, and only those who reported favorably to the regime were allowed to continue.
Of course, this is not unique to Hitler. Every autocrat who fears that the truth about him will be exposed does the same. Stalin, Mao Zedong, and in our present time the dictators in North Korea, ( Kim Jong-il); Russia (Putin); Saudi Arabia, (KingAbdullah); Iran (Al Khamenei); China (Hu Jintao) and Zimbabwe (Robert Mugabe) all suppress journalists often simply jailing or murdering them. (Russia alone has killed over a hundred, and their murders are largely unsolved.)
The terms “Fake News” and the more ominous one, “Enemy of the People,” used by President Trump, resonates with dictators. “Fake News,” of course, means any news that is critical of the dictator, and “Enemy of the People” really means ” Enemy of the Dictator.”
For that reason, newspapers all over the U.S. reacted by upholding the freedom of the press as one of the critical foundations of any free country. The recent editorial in The Post-Journal said it well, but left out important information. It’s not only local newspapers who are not “Fake News.” It is also those newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and our nearby Buffalo News who do honest, factual reporting of local, national and international news. Reporters do make mistakes, but they correct them, too. Journalists are fact checkers, who often uncover inconvenient truths.
The current administration under Trump has done much deliberate damage to honest reporting, breeding distrust in many people. This not only results in a public that is becoming less well-informed, but also in a public that is more easily manipulated.
And that spells a clear and present danger to a free society.