Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told NBC News' Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" that: "We need a free press. We must have it. It's vital. . . . If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free, and many times adversarial, press. . . . Without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That's how dictators get started.
"They get started by suppressing the free press, in other words, a consolidation of power. When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I'm not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I'm just saying we need to learn the lessons of history."
We get the message, Sen. McCain. You can't say it, but we can. Trump may not think he is trying to be a dictator. But his concept of himself as president is coming closer and closer to what actually defines a dictator.
Meanwhile, over at Fox News, news anchor Shep Smith responded to the Trump press conference of last Thursday. Smith has often proved himself to be a voice of sanity among the crowded din that is Fox News. He proves himself once again. Saying "It's sort of our job to let you know when things are said that aren't true, especially by people that you've elected. And this president keeps telling untrue things, and he does it every single time he's in front of the microphone. It's demonstrable. I can rewrap the tape for you. There were a lot of them today. Some of them aren't very big, but they're coming from the president of the United States.
"Today, he said "I had the biggest electoral win since Ronald Reagan. He didn't. But he says it repeatedly, over and over again, And every time he says it, it's not true. . . again. Is it a big thing? No. But he's the one who brings it up. Nobody asked about his electoral college win.
"And here's another thing. One of the biggest questions that people asking questions have right now is, 'What is this relationship with Russia?' When Russia was hacking into the election . . . your guys were on the phone with the Russians. Did you talk about that? We don't get a straight answer on this question, which leads us to keep asking the question. And then he says that Russia is a ruse, it's fake news. 'The leaks are real, but the news is fake.' So, that's impossible. . . . It's very confusing."
Smith then criticized Trump for trying to blame the reporters and to delegitimize negative stories. "It's crazy what we're watching every single day. It's absolutely crazy. . . . He keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all . . . avoiding this issue of Russia as if we're some kind of fools for asking the question. Really? We're fools for asking the questions? No sir, we are not fools for asking the questions. And we demand to know the answer to this question."
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WOW ! That's stronger language than I've heard on MSNBC. But right on target, Shep. Keep it up.