That’s right, dating back to Thomas Jefferson, the man known as the champion of the Free Press feuds with the media of their day has transpired. But, if you only get your information from the incredibly biased and left-leaning partisan news such as the New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, and CNN you would believe that this is the first time in history a president has had an ongoing feud with the press. I wish to acknowledge an article by Ryan Mattimore on Presidential Feuds published by the History Channel. It was inspirational for me in writing this and caused me to try to research the matter further.
I thought journalism was supposed to seek for the facts and report the news and the truth. I guess that was yesteryear not present day. I am not a fan of the media of today because they tend to slant whatever story they are reporting on toward their political ideological view. They tend to use their platform for propagandizing and in many ways become nothing more than a Russian Pravda type entity. The Pravda was the voice of the Communist Party of the old Soviet Union and used effectively to give the official government talking points for all citizens to adhere to and advance. Most of the MSM in America is a propaganda tool of the Democratic Party or Socialist and Globalist agendas.
But back to my assertion that Presidential and Media wars or feuds are not a new phenomenon. Thomas Jefferson is often quoted by the press saying, “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter.” That is a powerful statement in favor of the Free Press and somewhat anti-government. That came from our Third President of these United States and the man who was heavily involved in the Declaration of Independence, influenced the Constitution and fought for the Bill of Rights. He was a Champion of the Republic!
The press adopted an incredibly partisan posture and he later stated, “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.” That is quite a change of attitude toward the press. His campaign against John Adams was especially bitter and the press was used to trade insults. Even in his staunch defense of the Freedom of Speech, he recognized how corrupt and untruthful the press could be regarding politics. But, that can’t be, right? This is new to the villainous Donald John Trump the 45th President of these United States of America, so says the media of today.
Theodore Roosevelt was quite astute in his ability to advance political spin. He recognized the power of the press to communicate to the public and did so beyond what any of his predecessors had attempted. He used them and many of them hated him. He, at one point, called media personalities such as Upton Sinclair and other journalists “muckrakers.” He manipulated them and would issue statements to the press on Sunday and make his executive decisions based on how the public responded on Monday.
Woodrow Wilson curtailed the freedom of the press during World War I and in some ways, I find it difficult to argue against his actions. There are times, in my view, when the press should be kept in the dark during military operations. In today’s modern world the enemy is informed what our next move is going to be before it happens. That places our troops in harm’s way and jeopardizes the campaign. Had it not been for Republicans in the Senate he would have been allowed to exercise extreme censorship over the press. He began what has been a staple of politics and used extensively by the Left, the Committee on Public Information. That agency’s prime objective was propaganda that the government wanted to be disseminated to the public.
We dare not omit “Give ‘em Hell’, Harry S. Truman. His war probably solidified when the press published the Headlines “Dewey Defeats Truman” and suffered the humiliation of jumping the gun. They were wrong, and Truman never let them forget it. The press, as they have with Trump used their platform to spread false allegations and publish unflattering photographs of Truman. He wrote in 1955, “Presidents and the members of their Cabinets and their staff members have been slandered and misrepresented since George Washington. When the press is friendly to an administration the opposition has been lied about and treated to the excrescence of paid prostitutes of the mind.” How’s that for considering the press the enemy of the people?
Of course, we all know of Nixon’s ongoing feud with the media. His paranoia and their determination to destroy him created a hostile environment in Washington and around the country. He had a list of ‘enemies’ in the press and used governmental agencies to audit and harass them. His demise emboldened the media and it has continued its quest for power and relevance and morphed into what we have today. Propaganda is not news, except in the sense that exposing it is newsworthy.
Bill Clinton had his skirmishes with the media as they sought to uncover the misdeeds in his business dealings and sexual transgressions. His trysts resurfaced in the 2016 presidential campaign prompting Clinton to say that he thought the media was ‘fairer’ in 1992. He and Hillary were incensed that the some of the press were reporting on things that an entire generation of voters had never really heard or considered. With all the documentation against Hillary and Bill, I can understand why they would not want the press to report on those facts or happenings. They both knew that there was a possibility of federal law enforcement scrutiny should she be defeated, which she was.
George W. Bush was not a darling of the media while Barack Obama could seemingly do no wrong. Now, we have sitting president Donald John Trump in the White House and he is vocal about the abuses of the press. His calling them “fake news” continues to infuriate the Left and the Press and they are determined to destroy him. Removing him from the White House is insufficient in their view, they want him destroyed. His threat to enact stricter “libel laws” has the media in a defensive posture. They seek to convey the image that President Trump is actively seeking to repeal the First Amendment and take away our Freedom of Speech. That is beyond ludicrous, they know it, but believe that the minions who follow their news offerings will believe them. That seems to be the case and many people now believe that Trump’s War or Feud with the media is something entirely new and originated with him. It did not and won’t end with him.
The Press has a role in our American life but only if it restricts itself to reporting the news rather than being the news. I am a staunch defender of the First Amendment and the Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion, and Assembly. However, with regard to the media, I believe they should be held to a very high standard and accountability in what they present as news. Those editors, reporters, news anchors, etc. who advance their opinion rather than reporting the news should be subject to libel. If they want to give opinions I suggest they go into “talk radio” or a “television show that is defined as opinion” rather than pretending to be unbiased and objective reporters of the news.
God bless you and God bless America!