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.<<<





Whether we are at the beginning of a contentious 4 or 8 years between the White House and the news media or a cataclysmic turning point in American history remains to be seen.

But, in the face of such adversity, honest news gatherers—be they liberal, conservative, one person hunched over a laptop or an international conglomerate in a skyscraper—must defend themselves as an institution with its own formal and informal checks and balances on other American institutions, most notably government and business.

To do this effectively, the news media needs unite with a large-scale outreach campaign to re-establish the credibility it desperately needs from American citizens and that the citizens need from the news media. Journalists must show the administration, the American people and the rest of the world that they will pursue the truth and will not be intimidated or quiet. While campaigns and slogans from individual media are positive steps, a larger, united campaign would be much more effective. It should focus on several goals.

Primarily, 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. The message should be straightforward and bold (e.g. “TRUTH IS OUR DUTY” or “PRESS FOR THE TRUTH” [if available]).

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 an ethical and moral obligation to be accurate and truthful.

Are journalists perfect? Of course not. And people need to remember that journalist almost always pay a price for their mistakes and misrepresentations.

So, secondly, 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, displaying such designations just as other professionals do (e.g. CPAs).

Thirdly, journalists need to share with the public a basic, agreed-upon industry-wide “fact-check” system displaying the accuracy of stories. It should focus on national, state and local officials and, importantly, the news media itself.

Overall, though, the nation is best served a steady flow of accurate news stories that are 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 change because the very Constitution which enables it also relies on it for its continued existence.

Trump trumps news media AGAIN!

With an off-camera, no audio White House press briefing, any discrepancy in what is reported and what was said will become they-said vs. we said. And that is just was Trump would like to do to undermine the real news so he can continue to call it “fake news.”

Until the legitimate news media combats Trump and his minions with a large scale mass media campaign, Trump will continue to erode the credibility of the news media. See “About” to learn more.

>>>Off-camera, no audio broadcast: White House keeps undermining press briefing

>>>The White House press briefing has seen better days. Lately, in fact, the briefing is often not seen at all.

For four days last week, representatives for President Trump skipped the usual on-camera briefing to take questions off-camera. This wasn’t the first time the White House had taken this step, but this month has brought an added twist.

In response to networks like CNN that decided to broadcast audio of the briefing, even without a visual to accompany, the White House barred attendees from doing that, too. Monday’s briefing — the White House termed it a “gaggle,” a more informal set-up, though it took place in a format much like a briefing — was likewise off-camera, with audio broadcasting forbidden.

Even when they have done on-camera briefings, White House press secretary Sean Spicer and his occasional fill-in, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, have done their part to further marginalize the briefing, routinely responding to reporters’ questions by professing ignorance.

“I don’t know,” Spicer said last Monday, during the only on-camera briefing of the week, when asked if Trump would make good on his word and testify under oath on the Russia investigation. “I have not had a further discussion with that.”

Spicer took questions for less than 15 minutes that day, which is not atypical lately. Brevity has become perhaps the defining feature of the briefing these days.

The White House did not respond to questions about the audio policy. Spicer said that the latest briefing on Monday was off-camera because Trump made two comments that day.

“I’ve said this since the beginning. The president spoke today, he was on-camera,” Spicer said. “He will make another comment today at the technology summit. And there are days that I’ll decide that the president’s voice should be the one that speaks and iterate his priorities.”

The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi quantified the collapse of the briefing last week, noting that Spicer and Sanders held 53 “official briefings and ‘gaggles,’ informal, untelevised Q&As with small groups of reporters” in Trump’s first 100 days in office. In the subsequent 43 days, Farhi said, Spicer and Sanders held only 15.

The Trump administration telegraphed changes like these back in December, when White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said his team was considering “a lot of different ways that things can be done.”

At the time, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks bristled at the notion that such changes to the briefing could have a “chilling effect” on the press.

“Chilling effect?” Hicks told CNNMoney. “How do you know these are not positive changes that will delight the press?”

But reporters are feeling the chill now. And the ongoing deterioration of the briefing has many media observers wondering if the briefing will eventually die out.

The White House press briefing dates back to the presidency of William McKinley, and it has become a hallmark of American politics. But count Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, among those who believes we would be better off without it.

“Particularly in this administration, most of what you hear in a press secretary’s press conference, in that daily briefing, is misrepresentations, outright lies, and propaganda. And, on the whole, I think people would do better without that,” Sabato said.

“There are dozens and dozens of reporters, with a lot of experience,” he added. “[Without the briefing] they would have additional time to work their own sources, and maybe sources outside the administration would come up with better stories.”

But Martha Kumar, a professor who studies White House communications, disagrees. She said that the briefing is useful for both the press and the president.

“The briefing is an opportunity to hold people accountable, and just knowing that reporters are going to ask questions, that becomes part of policy thoughts and discussions within an administration,'” Kumar said. “So, from that vantage point, it’s very useful for the president and for his White House staff. It’s also useful for reporters because reporters can let the White House know what issues are going to be coming up and how people are interpreting what it is they’re doing.”

Dan Pfeiffer, a former White House communications director under President Barack Obama who occasionally conducted the press briefing, said that while it isn’t always a pleasant exercise, it is a fundamental part of governing.

“Most days you don’t want to do the press briefing. It’s a pain, there are a bunch of questions that you don’t want to answer,” he said. “The press is bored and they want to torture you, but it’s part of the job. It’s an important part of purely governing because governing is also about just communicating, interacting with the public, and the press briefing is one of the ways in which that happens.”<<<