Trump's Surrogates Ratched Up Their War on Free Press
February 6, 2017
The Daily Kos
Commentary: Donald Trump is upset with things that the journalists of CNN have reported about him. He will therefore punish the network by denying them access -- until the network shapes up and reports only the news Donald Trump wants them to report. Trump advisor Steve Bannon has warned the news media to "keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while." Kellyanne Conway has stated that reporters who criticize Trump should be "let go."
White House Retaliates Against CNN: No Trump Officials Will appear on the Network
By Hunter / The Daily Kos
(February 1, 2017) -- During the campaign, CNN went farther than any other network in booking toadies to explain away Donald Trump's most offensive statements, positions and gaffes. We heard from Jeff Lord. We heard from Trump's ex-campaign runner Lewandowski. We heard from Kellyanne Conway, and from the Bullet Necklace Lady, and all of them spent their airtime lying openly and egregiously to CNN's viewers with little to no pushback.
Trump's various burping speeches were broadcast without interruption or any helpful asterisks when the man lied even more egregiously than his subordinates could manage.
It was and is a stain on both journalism and the nation, and all of that kowtowing and debasement wasn't enough to keep them from being the first network targeted by Trump's new "White House" for retribution.
The White House has refused to send its spokespeople or surrogates onto CNN shows, effectively icing out the network from on-air administration voices.
"We're sending surrogates to places where we think it makes sense to promote our agenda," said a White House official, acknowledging that CNN is not such a place, but adding that the ban is not permanent.
A CNN reporter, speaking on background, was more blunt: The White House is trying to punish the network and force down its ratings.
Putative leader of the nation, Donald Trump, is upset with things that the journalists of CNN have reported about him. He will therefore punish the network by denying them access -- until the network shapes up and reports only the news Donald Trump wants them to report.
The absence of professional con-artists could only improve the network; it certainly couldn't hurt, but any recent glance at the channel continues to suggest it is, still, the outlet most dedicated toward hurling ideological propagandists toward their audience and calling it "news."
If CNN is looking for sympathy from the nation it so eagerly misled during this trying time when Donald Trump is attempting to force yet another round of corporate compliance to his will, they are out of luck.
Still, it's worth noting. Trump's personal targeting of American companies that criticize him or announce things he doesn't want announced is the act of an authoritarian. His obsessive narcissism and devotion to punishing his enemies in acts of official government power has already tilted his White House toward acts more befitting a banana republic.
And every journalist and every outlet is soon going to be facing the same question CNN's heads face now. Do they lose access to Trump's collection of liars and propagandists, or do they report the news accurately regardless of the tiny man's ire? It seems a simple enough question, but not one of America's major news services was able to make the right choice the first time around. So we wait.
Steve Bannon to Media:
You'll Listen to Sean Spicer and You'll Like It
By Laura Clawson / The Daily Kos
(January 30, 2017) -- Despite the rocky start and the fact that he's not an O.G. Trump loyalist, Sean Spicer's position as White House press secretary seems secure. How do we know this? Because the guy pulling the strings -- that's right, Steve Bannon himself -- is making a big point of supporting him.
Mr. Bannon, the former chairman of Breitbart News, rarely speaks to reporters on the record. But he reached out to a reporter unprompted to praise Mr. Spicer after learning of this profile, a sign of the Trump White House's support for Mr. Spicer after a tumultuous first week. [ . . . ]
"He's a fighter," Mr. Bannon said in a telephone interview, during which he also urged the news media to "keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while."
"Sean Spicer is much too polite to the media," Mr. Bannon added. "I'm the guy who wanted them out of the building." (He was referring to a proposal, scrapped for now, to move the White House briefing room from its current West Wing home.)
It was awfully nice of Acting President Bannon to take time out of his busy schedule of overruling the Department of Homeland Security in the matter of detaining and deporting green card holders and replacing the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the National Security Council to call a reporter and praise Sean Spicer in a vaguely threatening terms, wasn't it?
Message received: Sean Spicer is the velvet glove over the iron fist of Bannon, so be nice to him, media, or here's what's coming next.
Wouldn't it have been nice if voters knew that by voting for Donald Trump, they were putting Bannon in charge?
Kellyanne Conway Goes on Bonkers Rant,
Calls for Trump's Media Critics to be Fired
Laura Clawson / The Daily Kos
(January 29, 2017) -- Kellyanne Conway continues to be a factory for a mind-boggling combination of ridiculous nonsense and terrifying nonsense. On Fox News Sunday, Donald Trump's top non-Ivanka woman assailed the media for pointing out that last week she described blatant lies as "alternative facts" -- gosh, why would that draw notice, especially when it's such a perfect statement of how your boss plans to govern? -- then launched into a rant about how media figures who criticized Trump should be fired:
Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go. They are on panels every Sunday. They're on cable news every day.
Yeah, funny, being critical of a political candidate -- even of the president -- is not a firing offense in a country with a free press. Which the United States still technically is, though apparently not for long if Conway gets her way. I mean, she really thinks people should be fired for having insulted the man in the tackily gilded tower.
Who's the first editorial -- the first blogger that will be left out that embarrassed his or her outlet? We know all their names. I'm too polite to call them by name. But they know who they are, and they're all wondering, will I be the first to go?
The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go.
There are lots of reasons to fire lots of cable pundits, but pointing out what Donald Trump is? Not one of them. Then maybe, just maybe, Conway realized she'd gone a little too far and tried to sound righteous. All of this, by the way, is part of one epic rant, not responses to a series of different questions:
And yet we deal with him every single day. We turn the other cheek. If you are part of team Trump, you walk around with these gaping, seeping wounds every single day, and that's fine. I believe in a full and fair press.
I'm here every Sunday morning. I haven't slept in a month. I believe in a full and fair press.
Notice she doesn't say she believes in a free press, but a "full and fair" one, whatever that means. Fair to Trump, as Trump sees it? But mostly, here's a statement that requires more than the world's tiniest violin. We need the world's tiniest symphony playing a requiem for poor Kellyanne and her gaping, seeping wounds and lack of sleep.
The amount of whining and weakness here is astonishing. If you are part of team Trump, you are participating in keeping people out of the country on the basis of their religion (and failure to come from a country where Donald Trump does business), you are working to strip health insurance from tens of millions of people, you are pushing white supremacy and misogyny and bigotry . . . but let's talk about your gaping, seeping wounds from some cable pundits saying mean things about your boss, in an election in which CNN specifically hired pro-Trump pundits to wax adulatory about everything he said and did.
This is pathetic. Except that the threat to the country that this mindset represents can't be underestimated.
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