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.



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.



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,

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.



Does Trump Think Both Sides Were Responsible for World War II ?

Trump Thinks Both Sides Were Responsible for World War II ?

This is no long just an “adversarial relationship” between President Trump and the news media. Trump has mounted an all-out assault on anyone who disagrees with him, including when he is provably wrong and especially when he is lying. INCREDIBLY, the news media has done and is doing little to respond to this assault.
1-Teaching the difference between real and fake news.
2-An industry-wide “Reality Check” pointing out Trump and his administration’s hits and misses re the Truth.
3-A non-partisan/bi-partisan First Amendment / Freedom of the Press campaign using TV/cable (with across the board news, sports and entertainment placements), newspapers, radio (talk shows and entertainment), and outdoor (billboards, bus boards, etc).
This campaign can be paid for by the new media itself and freedom-loving foundations, organizations and individuals.
For nearly two years, Trump has been hammering the news media and undermining its important role in our Democracy. If he continues at the rate he is going now — and if the news media continues to take it without responding — few Americans will decry the demise or even miss the essential role the news media plays in our nation’s democratic process.
Talking heads on cable channels and blogs are not enough. We are the media. Let’s use the media.
Our fellow citizens, whether they know it or not (and whether they agree with us or not), are depending on us. Be smart. Be strong. Begin.

Trump Wants to ‘GASLIGHT’ Americans

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.<<<



Sessions Moves to Make News Media a PR Department for President

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.


American Journalists Unite to Track Assault on Press

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.


News goes through ‘two prisms’ now (and one of them distorts reality)

Traditional, legitimate news media is now in a life-or-death battle with fake news that aims to ignore facts in favor of bent and distorted realities. The legitimate news media must present a united, consistent front via a massive outreach campaign to convince the general public, including the fence-sitters who voted for President Trump, that Freedom of the Press is stake which means, also, that democracy in America is being tested to its limits.

The legitimate press can only win back the trust of non-believers through accurate stories while highlighting the difference between real and fake journalism.  REAL JOURNALISM INCLUDES: education, experience, research, knowledge of subject matter, oversight by superiors, admitting mistakes and, in some circumstances, being penalized for mistakes.

Radio host Ira Glass, in a Rolling Stone article says alternative news narratives are worrisome.

FROM ROLLING STONE>>>These days, he added, interest in the news has only grown – thanks in large part to the current administration, which has created “the most intense news-consuming period any of us can remember” – though there is no longer just one narrative for viewers and readers to follow. And that, he points out, is worrisome.

“There are new challenges that fact-based journalists face, but it doesn’t have to do with the president,” Glass said of what kinds of difficulties journalists face today. “Over the last 20 years, an entire second media has grown up that runs an alternate narrative to the mainstream media. … Every event goes through two prisms now in a way that it never did before. That’s the hardest thing for those of us in the fact-based media. And that’s enormously difficult to know how to deal with as someone in the mainstream media because the people who believe otherwise aren’t consuming our product.”<<<


News Dies in Darkness*

The legitimate news media need to unite with a massive outreach campaign to wrestle back its credibility and respect. 


The Trumpov administration is careening dangerously close to locking out the news media. (See CNN link below)

While the president uses the up-to-the-moment technology of tweeting what random and or nasty and or stupid thoughts might spill out of his brain, his mouthpieces (Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders) are reverting back sometimes to pre-television and even pre-radio technology by foregoing and forbidding live TV and audio broadcast of news briefings (during which not much news is briefed).

So much happens so quickly these days that daily news briefings are necessary and should be expected by the American people. Sometimes the public forgets that the news media’s role is to be present in their (the public’s) absence and to ask questions that the public cannot ask or doesn’t know to ask.

Trump acts as if the news media is a nuisance his can accept or reject at his whim. He wants to communicate directly with the public–and the world–via Twitter. Fine. But the news media has the right and obligation to examine and report on the function of government (and every other aspect of public governmental, business, etc) activity.

The legitimate news media need to unite with a massive outreach campaign to wrestle back its credibility and respect.

Otherwise, Trump could well be the beginning of its end.

*With all due respect to The Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”