The foreign media are fascinated by the U.S. President’s war against the American press. A reporter for an Argentinian paper emailed me asking whether Donald J. Trump will attempt to do to the U.S. media what Latin American despots have done to opposition journalists in their own countries. The big difference is that we have a First Amendment that protects freedom of the press.
But that doesn’t mean that the Trump administration can’t recognize the nature of the press and take appropriate action. “The media here is the opposition party,” Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon tells The New York Times. This is a matter of fact and not opinion. Surveys going back to the days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt show that the national media was allied with the Democratic Party. The WikiLeaks emails showed actual collusion between the major media and the Democratic Party. Trump is simply recognizing reality and acting accordingly.
Freedom of the press is guaranteed, but it does not and should not mean automatic physical access to the White House. Rumors of plans to move the White House press corps out of the White House itself and into another location should become reality. A bigger location would accommodate alternative sources of news and information.
By opening up the White House press briefings to alternative news and information outlets, Press Secretary Sean Spicer would be doing the American people a great public service. He is already giving conservative news outlets a chance to cover national news. The Associated Press (AP) has run a story expressing anger that a news reporter associated with the conservative outlet LifeZette was picked by Spicer to ask the first question at Tuesday’s White House briefing. Before the advent of President Trump, the AP said, “major news outlets were traditionally called upon to open White House press conferences and briefings.”
The AP wants that tradition to continue. It wants special rights and special recognition because it considers itself a “major” outlet. There is no reason to accept this view of the world. The Internet revolution has changed everything.
It’s to Sean Spicer’s credit that he is recognizing the changing nature of the media and calling on reporters in press briefings who have no ties to the “major” outlets. Trump can use these outlets to get his point of view across to people. Of course, he also uses Twitter to communicate directly with the American people, bypassing the media.
But the foreign media should not worry. No matter how mad President Trump gets at the media, he can’t shut them down. He can’t take the road of Latin American despots. However, Trump can use anti-trust laws to break up media monopolies.
Another initiative that serves the public’s right to know is found in one of the President’s executive orders, titled, “Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”
It says, “To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.”
This is a subject the liberal media shy away from. They don’t want to highlight the crimes of illegal aliens. In fact, most of the major media don’t even use the term “illegal alien” anymore.
The crying need for investigative reporting into the illegal alien problem is illustrated by the case of Wendy Uruchi Contreras, described by The Washington Post as “an immigration rights activist” who works at CASA de Maryland, an illegal alien support group. It turns out that she is an illegal alien herself and now faces deportation. She got caught after pleading guilty to drunk driving (she says she had two margaritas at a restaurant). She had been in the country illegally for 14 years.
Ironically, Contreras says she fled Spain in 2002 “after enduring years of abuse from her alcoholic stepfather.”
It also turns out that she is a member of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, a “home for journalists, digital and nonprofit staff across the mid-Atlantic region.” The Newspaper Guild/ Communications Workers of America is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
Needless to say, the AFL-CIO voted during the 2016 presidential campaign to endorse Hillary Clinton for president.
Overall, Trump won 43 percent of the votes in union households. It’s doubtful that Trump will ever win much support from members of The Newspaper Guild. They are busy demanding that Contreras be allowed to stay in the U.S., despite being here illegally and getting drunk behind the wheel.
This action reflects the views of most liberal journalists. They don’t care about the rights and lives of ordinary Americans exposed to illegal alien drunk drivers on the roads. They would rather write stories denouncing Trump for deporting the criminals.
Here’s how The Newspaper Guild is reporting the story: “A young Fredericksburg mother and union member is facing deportation back to the abuse that she fled 14 years ago.” Really? She has no option except to go back to being abused by an alcoholic?
This is the kind of nonsensical garbage we get from the media about the illegal alien problem. Getting “alternative facts” into the hands of the American people about such cases is a worthwhile endeavor.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].