Robert Reich | Robert Reich’s Facebook Page | Reader Supported News | May 15, 2016
f Donald Trump’s many fascistic tendencies, his treatment of the media — “disgusting reporters” he calls them – replicates the tactics of demagogues since the 1930s:
1. Banning not just reporters but even publications that have covered him negatively from covering at his public events, while giving campaign credentials to extremist outlets like “Political Cesspool,” a radio show that labels itself “pro-white.”
2. Inciting crowds against the media.Trump regularly whips his crowds into an anti-media frenzy and urges his fans to boo the press pen. Hostile rhetoric toward the press is a staple of his events. “I would never kill them, but I do hate them,” he said of the press in December. “And some of them are such lying, disgusting people.”
3. Throwing reporters out of Trump rallies. Last weekend, Michael Mayo, a columnist for Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, was threatened with arrest if he didn’t leave a Trump rally in West Boca after he entered through the public line and tried to film protesters. The campaign has reportedly begun to intersperse plainclothes security officers amid the crowd to root out anyone who is not a true Trump fan.
4. Using violence against reporters. Two weeks ago, a Secret Service officer watching over the press section choked Time photographer Chris Morris and slammed him to the ground when he tried to venture out of the media pen.
5. Threatening the media with libel. Last month, Trump vowed to make libel laws more punitive against the media if he becomes president. “I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Trump said during a campaign event in Texas.
A free society depends on a free press. Which is why demagogues and fascists like Trump seek to destroy press freedom.
What do you think?