Trump threatens the freedom of the press

President Donald Trump has a dangerously close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and it has already had major consequences for journalism in the US.

Before the 2016 election, most US politicians agreed that Putin was a destructive dictator, but that is not the case anymore. Members of the Trump White House have an indifference, or even admiration for him and his dictatorship. While talking to Putin about “fake news” in the U.S., Trump said “You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.” This longing look towards a country where journalism is deadly and truth-telling is discouraged is entirely telling of Trump’s preferred leading style.

The reason Russia lacks the problem of “fake news”, or press coverage that the leader happens to not like, is because being imprisoned and murdered is often the consequence for being critical of Putin. 26 journalists have died under brutal circumstances since Putin became president. Many of these murders never ended in jail sentences. Journalism in Russia is a job where you never know whether you will be violently slaughtered for your work, even if it is completely accurate; in no democracy would this occur. What Putin calls his democracy is actually a deadly dictatorship on a tightrope of fear mongering, and the blood is on his hands.

This trail of journalistic oppression runs through the US, too, just not on a life-or-death basis. Jim Acosta’s White House press pass was suspended when he asked Trump heated questions about immigration. New rules have barred many of the press corps from getting full access to the White House for press briefings and interviews. Trump has blocked countless critics on Twitter like a child on a never ending temper tantrum; a tantrum that violates the Constitution and undermines his oath of office.

 In 2015, Trump fittingly said “I think I’d get along very well with Vladimir Putin.” One thing that could be a topic of conversation between the two would be their crippling fear of being ridiculed. With no freedom of the press, citizens of any given country are vulnerable to all sorts of manipulation by their leader. Trump has completely obliterated the United States’ trust in his ability to uphold the basic Constitutional right to shine a light on the truth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *