You may recall learning about dictatorships and authoritative regimes back in high school history class. Two characteristics of such a regime usually always includes complete or partial control over the media and a lack of freedom for the press. By controlling what a population hears and sees, you can control what they believe. While total control is virtually nonexistent today now that the internet age is upon us (besides perhaps in North Korea), countries like Russia, Iran, North Korea and Cuba all are lacking such freedoms we enjoy here in the United States.
This seems to be rapidly changing, however, thanks to President Trump. Trump continues to marginalize the mainstream media, calling them ‘Fake News’, even when facts back up 99.9% of the stories covered. Over the course of the last two weeks, the White House has begun pulling back from the media, no longer permitting cameras into press briefings, as the President himself continues to shy away from reporters. The only major media organization which the White House seems to be cooperating with is Fox News. In fact, on the same day that Press Secretary Sean Spicer refused to allow recordings of his press briefing, he appeared on Fox News taking questions which seemed awfully one sided. Trump also appeared on Fox and Friends where the interviewer, Ainsley Earhardt, seemed to be complimenting him obsessively rather than asking tough questions that Americans want answered.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that Fox News is becoming the preferred (if not only) news organization that Trump’s White House will deal with directly. You also don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize what is going on here. Fox understands that they have cornered the market on the President. They also understand that in doing so, the President has become their biggest promotional tool, likely worth tens of millions of dollars in free advertising each month.
This morning alone, President Trump has retweeted an image of the CNN logo, where the ‘C’ is replaced with an ‘F”. Under the logo the graphic states “Fake News Network”. Immediately following this retweet, he retweeted four tweets from Fox and Friends, two of which alluded to the conspiracy theory that Democrats were actually the ones colluding with Russia, not the President himself. This seems to follow the narrative that Trump himself has been tweeting about over the course of the last few days, that President Obama is guilty of collusion and obstruction in some way. Finally, just moments ago, the President retweeted a message from Fox News Host Eric Bolling, promoting one of his new books. Within just 10 minutes, more than 2,500 people liked the tweet and you can be sure that hundreds, if not thousands, will eventually purchase the book thanks to this one tweet alone. The five retweets this morning are sure to drive tens of thousands of visitors to the Fox and Friends website, thus paying Fox back, and Bolling back, for toeing the Trump line.
The ability for the President to reward a news station, and a news show host, who rarely report negative news on him, the investigations of him, or his policies, is no different than Russia dictating to RT or Sputnik what stories they should cover and what kind of slant to put on them, while funding these very stations. We are officially living in a state not unlike those we learned about in history class.