Igor Bobic reports that Steve Bannon spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference and warned that the situation between the Trump administration and the "fourth estate" (the media) will only get worse.
And sure enough it did -- today. A closed-door press briefing with Sean Spicer was held Friday afternoon that excluded the New York Times, CNN, the Huffington Post, and Politico. The Associated Press and Time magazine were allowed; but, out of solidarity with the principle of freedom of the press, they did not attend. A reporter for the Wall Street Journal did attend, but the paper announced that they will not attend such an event in the future.
This is a continuation of the Trump administration's war against a critical press. He has said that the media is the opposition party; and later he amended that to: "The media is the enemy of the American people."
This president seems to have one criterion for evaluating the media: whether they say nice things about him. By his definition, critical news is fake news. Need I add: every step Trump takes to silence the press is an attack on democracy and a step toward totalitarianism.
Calling the press the fourth estate is saying that its importance ranks alongside the three major branches of government in a democracy. In fact, its vital role in a democracy cannot be over-emphasized.
We should be very worried. Steve Bannon is the mastermind behind the Trump throne. In that same speech to the CPAC meeting, he clarified his intentions: (1) the "deconstruction of the administrative state" and (2) defeat of the "corporatist, globalist media."
These are parlous times -- so much so that they call for fancy words like "parlous" that seem to be reserved for such dire circumstances. It means perilous but, by its rarety, it conveys something extraordinary. So I repeat: These are parlous times.
We cannot do without a courageous, honest, and yes, a critical press. Buy a newspaper.