Thursday, October 12, 2017

News you don't wanna use

When Barack Obama was President of the United States, he, on more than one occasion, lamented the unfavorable media coverage he received from Fox News. Many right-of-center folks (myself included) found it a tad chilling that the country's leader would call out a free press. Someone with a rather high profile Twitter account even tweeted about it 4+ years ago.

While Obama's behavior was out of bounds, he never went so far as to say a media outlet should have its credentials revoked.

This was apparently in response to an NBC report that Trump had asked for an outlandish ten-fold increase in America's nuclear weapons arsenal. Given that some of the prior media coverage of Trump was poorly sourced, it behooves outlets to now have multiple sources & reporters on a given story (as was the case here).

However, all that is beside the point. The fact a sitting U.S. President even suggests that a TV network have its license pulled due to what he perceives as unfavorable coverage smacks of authoritarian tactics. There's no other way to see it. Yes I know Trump hasn't actually taken substantive action on this and I know he has the reputation for bluster, thus should be "taken seriously but not literally." But if we're going to be intellectually consistent, Trump's words about NBC were far more concerning than Obama's whining over Fox News.

NBC had been having a rough week given revelations that they blew off breaking the story of Harvey Weinstein's sleazy behavior. Leave it to Trump to temporarily generate sympathy for such an operation.


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