President Donald Trump and Press Secretary Sean Spicer today took the unprecedented step of excluding major mainstream news outlets like the New York Times, the BBC, CNN, and the Los Angeles Times from a press conference. Only Trump-friendly conservative propaganda outlets like Breitbart were allowed to attend.
Legendary journalist Dan Rather just took to Facebook to skewer President Trump’s un-American and fascistic refusal to face the free and independent press which has worked so hard to keep our government honest for the past three hundred years:
The time for normalizing, dissembling, and explaining away Donald Trump has long since passed. The barring of respected journalistic outlets from the White House briefing is so far beyond the norms and traditions that have governed this republic for generations, that they must be seen as a real and present threat to our democracy. These are the dangers presidents are supposed to protect against, not create.
For all who excused Mr. Trump’s rhetoric in the campaign as just talk, the reckoning has come. I hope it isn’t true, but I fear Mr. Trump is nearing or perhaps already beyond any hope of redemption. And now the question is will enough pressure be turned to all those who enable his antics with their tacit encouragement. There has been a wall of unbending support from virtually every Republican in Congress, and even some Democrats. Among many people, this will be seen as anything approaching acceptable. And mind you, talk is cheap. No one needs to hear how you don’t agree with the President. What are you going to do about it? Do you maintain that an Administration that seeks to subvert the protections of our Constitution is fit to rule unchecked? Or fit to rule at all?
This is an emergency that can no longer be placed solely at the feet of President Trump, or even the Trump Administration. This is a moment of judgement for everyone who willingly remains silent. It is gut check time, for those in a position of power, and for the nation.
We couldn’t agree more. Our free press is facing the biggest threat to its existence that it has ever seen, and if we want our democracy to survive the era of Trump, we must not stay silent – and we must we must make sure those who do never hold elected office again.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.