(11k) Media under President Trump

The second most important person in the current US government, president Trump’s direct adviser Steve Bannon, told the media “… to keep its mouth shut …” and many journalists were chocked at this direct attack. This is not surprising to me nor should it be for the media that should follow and thus understand what goes on in society, illustrating that Mr Bannon may be right when he says that “The media should … keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile” as “They (= the media) don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States” while one would expect journalists may even have foretold this if only they took what's going on in the world more serious: people who protests for a better and fairer society versus people with an opposite view in an increasingly polarised world. But certainly powerful people in movements such as the Tea Party should be taken serious as they can influence politicians and business with their money to protect old values that gave them influence while their anger only grew as even a previous president made fun of them.


Earlier, then president-elect Trump was angered by some in the media; to some extend it was understandable as a journalist refused to stop asking a question even when Mr Trump didn’t allow him to speak as he granted another journalist the right to ask a question. It shows that everyone can become so angry that they forget protocols while, if journalists don’t receive answers to their own questions than they should listen to the answers given to other questions while investigate to check them. Doing so, they may even start to understand the anger (such as people who have the impression that the powerful no longer listen to them just, similar with the angry journalist who had the impression Mr Trump didn't want to listen) and thus start to listen to people who may have other solutions. In addition, why should large media companies always expect that they can ask questions, even when the journalists are hostile to the person they interview? Journalists from smaller companies also have questions they want to be answered. The person speaking can or cannot grant that a journalist asks questions while other journalists should listen to the answers given so they still know the president’s opinion. And while in the past such impolite behaviour by certain sections of the media would not be defended, now even the serious media seem to use them, and thus it will only further increase the anger against the press.
Again and again I am surprised how the “better”, the more serious media but also a large portion of progressive politicians don’t seem to understand why such a large number of people voted for Mr Trump (or in the UK for Brexit) and why, even with a candidate like Mr Trump, sufficient numbers of people didn’t go voting so Mrs Clinton couldn’t defeat Mr Trump (although more people voted for her). Or do they understand? The serious media may have seen it coming if only they:
  • also report about the poorer areas of cities or
  • have reporters in smaller rundown towns or
  • read articles from journalists who write about this and
  • not ignore angry comments by people but investigate the reasons why people are angry while
  • not mainly oppose or agree with analyses and policies from candidates because of ideology but agree or disagree with what someone says (e.g. how can the “better” media oppose a president who says he wants jobs for jobless Americans and stop the outsourcing of jobs to badly-paid countries although, of course, they can disagree with the policies he want to use to achieve more jobs such as investments in the fossil fuel industry instead of clean energy so they can support a candidate who wants well-paid jobs for local people but proposes better solutions)
  • while accept that a certain proportion of society will never listen to reason.

Indeed, if even me, an ordinary person who has only limited time to do some research, saw this may be coming because I read and watch the media to know what is going on but also lives among ordinary humans while I too question certain decisions (such as police should not be able to read encrypted messages from criminals), then certainly the media should have seen it coming if they want to report correctly about problems in society; but many didn’t while other sections of the media were hoping for this. And thus, as the election result went wrong for many in the more serious media, they start to investigate and may start to understand why too many people didn’t vote for Mrs Clinton to get her elected as many didn't thrust her because, for instance she gives speeches to bankers who damaged the economy without making the content public. If the serious media but also politicians had only done a little more research, they would have seen that quite a number of the media and certainly those on the internet such as Fox news are sponsored by millionaires and billionaires with the intention of influencing people to gain access to the highest offices to protect their own way of life while even a wealthy person as Mrs Clinton still needed to divert her attention to fundraising to finance her campaign. And thus certainly ordinary people are no longer able to win elections unless they are supported by the wealthy while if they try to be independent, even the serious media often ridicule them as too left so they can't win. Finally, as the serious media defended absolute press freedom, the tabloid media profited by spreading confusion or silencing opponents by writing lies.
Past publications that described what is going on and how to regulate the media
Years ago already I published a series of articles (the first on 28/07/2012 where I ask the question whether freedom of speech can be used as an excuse to allow to insult) in which I explained what I think is wrong with the media and that some should change as their behaviour is no longer tolerated by a growing number of people, both celebrities and ordinary people. In the article of 15/09/2012, I already wrote that "… bosses of tabloids try to get control over the serious media in order to restrict them" and in 10/12/2012 that "Do the serious media really not expect revenge by the media that behaved wrongly?" after the serious media exposed wrongdoing in the other media. Indeed, those now in power were supported by tabloids or their own media (such as Mr Bannon’s media “Breitbart News”) while these politicians are now condemning the serious media for misbehaving as they question the correctness of certain news issues instead of controlling the abusive media. As the serious media were opposed against stronger media control by society and together with the tabloid media defended the absolute right of freedom of press, certain sections of the media were able to publish untruths and infiltrate lives to humiliate people or destroy careers, and thus people voted for people who may first target the “better” press as they already control the other media. And that time seems to have arrived. Media should be able to be free and expose corruption but when media is allowed to publish fake news or to harm people, people will no longer trust any media and a fightback can be expected, in this case by someone who used the tabloid media to gain power. And the misbehaviour of certain sections of the media is not only because mainly men are editors, as I published on 24/09/2012, a number of powerful female editors were also unable to understand why "beautiful" people are angry when their private lives are exposed. And thus, regulation of the press and (social) media via control organisations is needed to continue press freedom as I published on 18/09/2012. Of course, as some people fear, there is the possibility this may restrict press freedom although this is not very likely when people with different opinions are present in those organisations while no control also results in restrictions but for the wrong media, i.e. the serious media, as seems to be happening. Indeed, years ago I saw this coming because I noticed the absence of any strong regulatory body that would demand and enforce self-regulation, just as happened in the financial sector that also misbehaved because of a weak external control organisation and now seems to deliver ministers and advisers to protect their privileges. 
And already powerful politicians are starting to limit the freedom of the media whereby often they target the critical press that inform and expose wrongs. Indeed, journalists are imprisoned and even killed in Russia, in China journalists have to write the official opinion, president Erdogan clamps down on opponents in politics, jurisdiction and media and now politicians in the USA are angry as they claim so-called liberals publish fake news and thus they need to silence that sections of the media. In addition, we may also expect that the recently closed government websites that inform the public about climate change but also other issues may soon be replaced to inform the public about the jobs created by the fossil fuel industry (i.e. propaganda) or condemn the behaviour of certain groups of people so that not only people who already distrusted the government but also others will start to distrust governments and the information they give. And thus we probably will move towards a society in which hardly anyone will thrust governments so even more people will oppose them. Unfortunately, bad people make life miserable for everyone. Indeed, people who admire the leader of Gog also like his policies and thus wouldn’t mind installing them. And when the biggest democracy seems to oppose the press, it will encourage others to do the same in their own country.
As a result of what is happening, I am even more convinced than before that it is important that information is correct and are no lies and thus for the need of some media control by society to be sure it is correct in its reporting to prevent that people are confused with what is real and what is fake news so the media can remain free, at least in a democracy. Because lies will always backfire. Even when only sometimes but not always lies are told, people no longer know which information is right or wrong and start to look for other sources of news. Media should report events as they happen although in commentaries different opinions should be allowed in which things are explained while other media can explain their opinion. But the real facts should be correct so later people can decide what opinion they support. But when media tell lies or try to hide certain facts in order to influence the population in a certain way, then it may be necessary control organisations act so people receive the correct information.
And thus, although big media will continue to exist in future, they probably will never again be as big as today as people will follow also other (local) people who post (local) news items or opinions so they don't have to rely only on information from big news agencies.
Conclusion

As with everything: the critical media defended no reforms on the media with the argument it should regulate itself although it was obvious it couldn't. And thus, as good people couldn't regulate it because of too much opposition, others came into power and they will regulate it. And while the critical press defended press freedom, even for media that told untruths or mistreated opponents, the latter media will not come to the defence of the critical media as that doesn't serve their political agenda of misinformation and forcing society into a certain direction while they can sell more if the other media is no longer considered up-to-date so that misinformation will continue to spread. Indeed, good people sometimes need to enforce rules upon others so the others don't misbehave or they may become too powerful.

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