As you may know, on August 16, 2018, newspapers all over the United States -- about 350 in all -- published editorials in favor of freedom of the press and against #NotMyPresident Donald Trump's attacks on same. Apart from my surprise that there are even that many newspapers remaining in the U.S., I am painfully aware that I'm a day late participating in this nationwide event -- but then again, I'm not a major newspaper (or really any newspaper at all), and besides, I've always done things on my own schedule.
Why, just the other day I went on about freedom of expression and whatnot. (Spoiler alert: I'm generally in favor of it.)
It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, but so far that doesn't seem to be holding up very well under the Trump administration. The more the "pen" exercises its might where Trump is concerned, the more fiercely he doubles down on his claims that the "fake news" (which by his definition is almost every mainstream news outlet) is "the enemy of the American people." And each journophobic declaration from him further incites the cheering mobs of redcaps at his Nazi-like rallies, who echo his disdain, hatred, and thinly veiled threats of violence against members of the press.
On the same day that the newspapers spoke out as one, the U.S. Senate, stepping bravely to the front lines of the battle, adopted a resolution declaring that "the press is not the enemy of the people." Talk about doing basically nothing and framing it as Something... Hey, guys, why not put your votes where it counts, and really stand up to the Mad King?
As one Reddit user, "Yodabird 19," wrote yesterday in a discussion about the Senate resolution:
A congressional rebuke against Trump at this stage is like pouring a glass of water into the Pacific Ocean - completely useless, and very quickly washed away and forgotten.To say the least.
At least one major newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, refused to participate in the editorial coup, explaining that its decision was both a declaration of complete independence (as in, we have and will continue to criticize Trump, but it will be because we want to, not 'cos everyone else is doing it), and a refusal to play into Trump's narrative that the media are aligned against him. Of course, by 'splainin' why they didn't participate in the big event, they actually were participating, but I quibble.
It didn't take any great gift of prognostication to guess what Trump's response would be to Pressapalooza. He immediately took to Twitter and screamed, "COLLUSION!"
It remains unclear what he meant by, "PROVE IT!" As Stephen Colbert noted in his August 16 monologue, that call to "prove it," in the context of the collusion accusation, is somewhat like accusing someone of murder and then asking that person to prove that your accusation is correct. But then, Trump has never been known for his stellar logic.The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2018
In any case, Trump himself has said that "collusion" isn't a crime, and isn't really even bad, so I don't think that the colluders in the press have anything to worry about in regard to that specific accusation. But as long as the Mad King sits on his golden throne a-tweetin', the journos may have plenty of other things to worry about.
to help keep this Whirled spinning.
Click here to donate via PayPal or debit/credit card.
If that link doesn't work, send PayPal payment directly to
or to firstname.lastname@example.org
If PayPal, be sure to specify that your contribution is a gift. Thank you!