Please play this link until it gnaws away your last nerve.
Significant investigative journalism from The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major (and some not-so-major) news organizations is an essential check to the dangerous erosion of democratic principals and the rollback of important policies taking place under the Trump administration and the concurrent complicit Congress.
However, many Americans – roughly 50 percent of the voting population – does not trust legitimate news organizations, in part due to a constant barrage of badmouthing from Trump. Trump calls any unfavorable news “fake news” and tens of millions of people believe him. TENS OF MILLIONS.
No matter how insightful or revealing a news story might be, if Trump supporters don’t believe it or don’t ever see or hear about it, the story is of little value in earning back their trust. And while such stories might motivate some Congressional fence-sitters, they and the true-nonbelievers typically play to the disgruntled base of Republicans who support Trump through thick and thin.
So in addition to the news stories, the legitimate press needs to get out of the defensive mode and mount a counter-offensive against the “fake news” attacks.
Major news outlets and journalism organizations needs to band together now.
PROPOSAL FOR A CAMPAIGN DEFENDING FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
Public trust in the news media hit a record low in Sept. 2016, according to Gallup.
For years, the news media has weathered sustained attacks by the right-wing pundits, supporters and news outlets, especially those fueled on fear and devoid of facts.
New technologies and social media have given individuals—be they high profile or totally anonymous, knowledgeable or wholly ignorant— unprecedented reach and, in some case, prominence in the marketplace of ideas.
President Trump, during the 2016 election process and since his election, has attacked the news media relentlessly, particularly when presented with unfavorable news stories about him or his administration. He has called legitimate news outlets “fake” and on Feb. 17, 2017 tweeted that the news media was “the enemy of the people.”
With the communications capabilities of a large media company within the reach of his two thumbs and a Twitter account, President Trump is dangerously dismissive of and hostile toward facts, justifiable questions and critical observations.
All of the above-mentioned factors create immense challenges if not outright existential threats to Freedom of the Press and American democracy itself. Under today’s unique political circumstances, it is essential that the Fourth Estate regain and exercise the vital role it plays in this nation’s governing machinery which has become too large and complicated for any one individual or institution to monitor and explain to the citizenry.
Hard-hitting investigative pieces, important as they are to exposing incompetence and corruption in the Trump administration, are distrusted or ignored by many of his supporters. In-house ads and PSAs promoting Freedom of the Press, critical and clear thinking do little to reach the people who need it most. More urgently needs to happen.
Increase public’s trust in the news media. Attain respected position in political process.
1> Restore trust in news media with mass media and social media outreach campaigns.
2> Promote the professionalism and practices of legitimate journalists and news outlets.
3> Design a fair and consistent system of fact-checking major speeches, reports, etc.
4> Maintain a steady flow of accurate news that is fair to everyone yet fearful of no one.
Freedom of the press was wisely included in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. That freedom must not be intimidated or impeded because the very Constitution which enables the amendment also relies on the amendment for its continued existence.
DETAILS FOR A CAMPAIGN DEFENDING FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
While current campaigns and slogans from individual media are positive steps, a large-scale, united campaign would be much more effective.
1>>> The campaign should explain why the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press are essential in a thriving democracy.
> Themes should include: government transparency, accessibility and accountability; real news versus fake news; critical thinking; freedom from intimidation; and other related issues.
> The campaign should use traditional mass media (television, newspapers, radio, billboards, bus boards, direct mail, etc.) and social media with a consistent logo, style and messages.
> Since many Americans use only sources that reinforce their social/political beliefs, placement of ads should be in unexpected places such as sports or entertainment environments and “outside” using billboards, bus boards, etc.
> The message should be straightforward and bold (e.g. “TRUTH IS OUR DUTY” or “PRESS FOR THE TRUTH” [if available]). Much research already exists to help create effective messaging.
2>>> Explain to the public that today’s professional journalists have solid educations; understand their subject matter; seek out multiple, reliable sources; fact check; accept oversight from experienced supervisors and will correct mistakes.
> Furthermore, freedom of the press is worthless if not tied inextricably to a professional and ethical obligation to be accurate and truthful. Journalists are not perfect, so the public needs to be reminded that reporters almost always pay a price for their mistakes.
> The industry should identify reporters and news organizations that adhere to a code of ethics and professional standards as outlined by several news associations and organizations and display such designations just as other professionals do (e.g. CPAs).
3>>> News organizations need to offer the public a basic, agreed-upon industry-wide “fact-check” system displaying the accuracy of stories, reports and speeches. It should focus on national, state and local officials and, importantly, the news media itself.
Submitted: Don Mooradian, firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not selling anything and have nothing to gain from this proposal other than the satisfaction in having tried to counter the dangerous Trump agenda and the lunacy that is overtaking the United States of America.
You will feel better and you will make the Resistance stronger.
Recently, I had dinner with family and friends, one of which I had not seen since last summer (2016). Not previously prone to political discussions, I had only known her to be a moderate Democrat. However, during the recent gathering, she expressed anger, frustration and fear against the Trump administration.
I have been telling people that it is understandable if you can’t march or rally or become extensively involved in political actions. However, IF you take membership in a progressive group representing a cause important to you — ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NAACP, Moms Demand Action (gun safety), Nature Conservancy, or anything BIG and reputable — you will feel like you are doing something to resist the dismantling of progressive policies and programs by Trump. You will feel less despair and more empowerment.
The important thing is to do something to support the resistance to Trump’s radical dismantling of America, his divisiveness, his personal corruptions and his possibly traitorous collusion with Russia.
Join a progressive group today. You will feel better and you will make the resistance stronger. PLEASE SHARE AND SPREAD THIS MESSAGE.
Trump Thinks Both Sides Were Responsible for World War II ?
Free movie online (a little choppy, wavy).
Almost a bygone era. One of the best films about the newspaper biz.
During these new Dark Ages, it is a great reminder of why a Free Press is important, scratch, essential, ABSOLUTELY essential.
FROM WIKIPEDIA>>> Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and de-legitimize the target’s belief.
Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to a 1938 play Gas Light and its 1944 film adaptation. The term has been used in clinical and research literature, as well as in political commentary.<<<
FROM MEDIA MATTERS>>> https://www.facebook.com/Mediamatters/?hc_ref=ARSjuGVUVrxvU048S8l6QAfUB0ctMnxDqmvFnmfvAsOunqsMeps1khI0brW4-geaXgc&fref=nf
Leaks to the legitimate news media are among the few tactics America currently has against the radical alt-Right Trump agenda. The people leaking (most of them) likely believe that releasing inside information is justified to counter the jerky descent (think of someone tumbling erratically down a steep bumpy cliff) into an authoritarian state never before seen in this country.
The news media needs to band together with a massive outreach effort to counter the label of “fake news.
Worse yet, and now more URGENT, is today’s warning from Attorney General Jeff Sessions that news/information leakers and their news media recipients/users will be prosecuted and punished.
Of course, there have always been guidelines, regulations, laws and judgments regarding the use of anonymous sources and leaked information. The safety of American personnel and the safeguarding of important national security information needs to be respected.
However, Trump and his cabinet members are capable of onerous pronouncements and policies which run contrary to many (most) established protocols.
Whether Sessions intends to go after every leak–significant or not–is unknown. It should be expected that he will at least try to so as to control info coming from the White House and elsewhere and direct news narratives into favorable stories about the administration.
As I have long believed Trump is mostly egocentric (maybe psychotically so) and devoid of any core political beliefs. And although he has surrounded himself with some harmless sycophants (e.g. Ivanka), there are others–cabinet members, staff, business people, a few Congress members–with their own far-alt-right-to-fascist agendas who are now empowered to carry out those agendas. Trump is too ignorant or too enamored with them (and himself) to control or stop them in.
Civil liberties, the environment (meaning the ENTIRE planet), the economy, the health of U.S. citizens, issues of war and peace, freedom from HATE and so much more is now in jeopardy because some Americans wanted to return to some mythical good ol’ days (1950s? maybe even 1920s?) and others just believed an outsider businessman could create high-paying manufacturing jobs for them.
An outreach campaign by the news media has to be “outside” its own silos of supporters using billboards, direct mail and non-traditional placements of messages. This needs to begin immediately because Trump and his enabled supporters and administrators are already dreaming of a new America in which the traditional, legitimate news media is nothing but a PR arm of the Presidency.
This is an important step in the right direction–and it is frightening that it has to happen. The next item on the agenda of U.S. journalists should be an all-out media campaign with a simple slogan to rebuke the “fake news” moniker that is becoming much too prevalent in the minds of some Americans.
(First appeared 9/10/16)
Trump likes Putin because Putin is a dictator and Trump wants to be a dictator.
It is as simple as that. If Trump is elected, his infantile, sociopath personality along with his immense ignorance of how America works, coupled with his absolute naivete about the real world beyond Trump Tower will lead this country to a crisis possibly, possibly worse than anything since… take your pick.
People should not be surprised that Trump admires Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who has been in power, one way or another, since 1999 and will remain in power (officially) until the next election in 2018. The current Russian constitution limits persons to two consecutive terms. Putin was elected in 2012 (and once before that) and would likely be re-elected in 2018 until 2024 at which time he could retire at 72 and live off all the money he has stolen. He will have ruled Russia as either President or Prime Minister for 25 or so years.
Most outside observers consider the Russian elections to be “non-democratic.” The news media are repressed. Opponents are few and far between and any that show strength or gain support seem to … “meet with unfortunate circumstances.” Culture is scrutinized from on high. The country is frequently described by observers as a “gangster state,” plutocracy, oligarchy, a dictatorship and a kleptocracy. Despite all this, the country seems to be fairing well economically.
One has to give Putin credit for one of the shrewdest public relations/invasion moves in the 21st century. Following the general good will and warm fuzzies generated by the February 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia (with Putin at the helm), only a month later, Russia took over Crimea from Ukraine, an independent neighbor. While history and geopolitics can be complicated, there is little question that the move was in fact an invasion and the region continues to stress as Russians backs a rebel contingent in Ukraine.
It should not be lost in the considerable dust being kicked up that recent Trump campaign manager Paul John Manafort, Jr., had close ties with Russian-leaning Ukrainian officials.
Trump is the CEO of his own empire. He wants to be CEO of the USA. He wants to manage America the way Putin controls Russia. Almost every day he provides evidence that that is his intention. He wants an 80 percent approval rating like Putin has–which is easy to get when you control the media, eliminate the opposition and control all aspects of the government and economy. That is why you should not vote for Trump. He wants to be a dictator.
This was originally posted on my Occupy Rants WordPress site September 10, 2016. More of those postings are at https://occupyrants.wordpress.com
I am trying to build a follower base, so please feel free to share postings from that site and this Journalism Pride site https://journalismpride.wordpress.com
Like some teenage girl with an imagined romance with a rock star, Trump apparently has yearned for a relationship with Putin even though they haven’t really met but were on the same program together but not really together although Trump did have a beauty pageant in Russia so that counts for something in Trump’s pea-sized brain that rolls around in his hollow cranium. On Friday, Trump and Putin will meet in Reality and I hope Trump doesn’t get so excited that he decides to grab Putin by the…putin.
Below is a CNN list of times Trump has spoken (lied, fantasized, postulated) about Putin.
What have you done, America?
You took a Declaration of Independence and a U.S. Constitution and handed them over to Donald J. Trump, a crass and ignorant person who has emotional defects so aberrant as to put the well-being, and possibly the future, of the United States of America in jeopardy. Almost daily, he acts like a high-schooler pulling pranks during a Friday night drinking binge
The question now is whether his presidency (which includes his outrageous assault on the media and the Republicans’ War on the Poor) will lead to a country in shambles or a country under the boot of a raging adolescent. Other alternatives are beginning to look remote.
This is no longer a political disagreement; it is a national mental health emergency. And America is faced with a Moment of Truth for which we are totally unprepared.
Bearing the most guilt and shame of all right now are Congressional Republicans who put their party and some ill-conceived policies above the fate of the nation they have sworn to protect. Are there no Republicans with a sense of dignity, let alone the ability to see where all of this could or actually is heading?
Just as the names of the Founders were etched in history on this July Fourth in 1776, the names of every one of the 535 men and women serving in Congress today will forever be remembered as those who laughed at and or ignored Trump, thus allowing the reality TV show host to prove that The Great American Experiment would fail because there were no citizens of honor at the helm.