On Thursday, during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon admitted Donald Trump’s goal (Bannon’s goal) in appointing new precarious cabinet members to head protective government agencies like the EPA — is to dismantle and “deconstruct” those organizations altogether. You can read that Daily Kos story by Dartagnan here.
On the same day, during a joint CPAC press conference with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Bannon threatened the media with a quote that is undeniably one of the most odious and perilous public statements made against the free press by a White House official, on record. Chris Cillizza with The Washington Post cites Bannon.
“It’s going to get worse every day for the media,” Bannon said, insisting that the “corporatist” media would continue to see Trump pursue exactly the sort of economic nationalism that journalism allegedly despises. Then he added this call to arms: “If you think they are giving you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.”
Cillizza says the message from Bannon was unmistakable: The enemy of Donald Trump and his team, is not really the Democratic Party, it’s the media. He adds that presidential administrations and the press have often experienced adversarial positions.
But what Bannon and, by extension, Trump are up to is something very different than simply an adversarial working relationship with the media. Bannon doesn’t want to change the media. He wants to totally dismantle the media. He wants to break its back and leave it for dead by the side of the road.
What is somewhat ironic, more than disturbing, and almost comical, is that Bannon is telling reputable reporters, including those at the Washington Post, that the White House plans to destroy them. And rather than stand up to him, reporters rush back to their laptops to write up the story, staying respectfully neutral, while indirectly serving as a right wing echo chamber.
Bannon and Trump are using the press to threaten and berate — the press. When will the press, in unity, tell Bannon and Trump, to respectfully go fuck themselves? It’s obvious Bannon and Trump desperately need the press to survive. These two mobster-like headmen incessantly use the press every day, and seem to forget that it was the media that held their hands throughout the 2016 campaign and essentially walked them into the Oval Office.
So why does most of the media accept the degradation, which has become constant? And why do they keep going back for more? Something has to give, because Trump and his cast of hate-filled, lying fear mongers, should not be allowed to use American media as a beacon for tyranny. What’s that thing Dr. Phil likes to say?
“We teach people how to treat us.
Time to saddle up.