Every day, Donald Trump exemplifies the contradictions of this era. He may make a statement that the left can agree with, but not because of shared political beliefs or motives.
That is the case with his latest Twitter statement: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”
The corporate media generally go out of their way to make nice with presidents and promote their agendas. The feeling is mutual, and presidents make nice right back. Even George W. Bush enjoyed media popularity for most of his two terms in office.
Trump is different
He cannot say the words “New York Times” without adding “failing.” He can’t stand criticism, and apparently doesn’t like to work for praise, either.
The corporate media in this country IS our enemies. Media consolidation has left us with a handful of newspapers and television networks, all controlled by international conglomerates. They hoped they would make neoliberal heroine Hillary Clinton the next president, but Democratic Party failures and her own weaknesses put Trump in the White House.
The news has been fake long before Trump used those words. The cozy relationship between Bush and the press gave him cover to invade Iraq and kill 1 million people. The correspondents’ dinners and the private briefings create media haves and have-nots, and taint the journalism that comes from this collusion. Obama made the private briefing a standard operating practice and kept Democratic pundits in his thrall – not that he had to work hard to win them over.
Trump considers anyone an enemy who doesn’t love him; therefore, he is no friend of the press.
But the rest of us should not rush to defend them, either. They do not defend us.
In 2016, they stood with Hillary Clinton while Bernie Sanders, despite his political failings, revealed the weaknesses in the Democratic Party. He was mocked, the desire for change was ignored, and as a result Trump is the 45th president.
They never took Obama to task for his foreign aggressions. They repeated lies about foreign leaders who fell into Obama’s crosshairs. They said nothing about job-stealing trade deals or the dishonesty which gave us more private health insurance when we needed “Medicare for All.”
No ‘real news’
Do the media report on mass incarceration? Do they tell viewers and readers that half of all Americans live on $31,000 per year or less? Do they reveal the devastation created by American regime change or give voice to its victims?
No. They engage in a mutual admiration society. Having covered up great wrongdoing, they now act as gatekeepers against Trump.
But let us imagine if Trump were to suddenly have a change of heart and personality. Suppose he stopped calling the New York Times “failing.” Suppose he decided to make friends.
Suddenly, we would see stories about his underappreciated brilliance. The planned wall on the Mexican border would be called a master stroke. The travel ban of citizens from seven mostly Muslim nations would be deemed a legal breakthrough.
Trump’s not wrong
When Trump calls the press “the enemy,” one must remember that the Washington Post was purchased by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos. Bezos then used Amazon’s cloud technology as means of getting a $750 million contract with the CIA.
Late in 2016, the Post runs a fake news story calling outlets like Black Agenda Report agents of the Russian government and begins the process of making repression a reality. To complicate matters further, Bezos is one of eight billionaires on the planet with as much wealth as half of humanity.
Anyone with a fat CIA contract who literally controls the world is certainly no friend of the people.
No one should be fooled by Trump’s bloviating. Nor should they be fooled by phony outrage from guilty parties. The media are in bed with the rulers, and that makes them enemies of the first order.
Margaret Kimberley’s column appears weekly in BlackAgendaReport.com. Contact her at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.com.