One thing strongmen and demagogues have in common … they hate the Fourth Estate because they can’t control them. All politicians try to manage their messages, but barring journalists from legitimate news events isn’t about staying on message; it’s about keeping voters from knowing all the facts about a candidate.
Multiple news organizations have been banned from reporting on an important politician and events of international significance. That politician has threatened to sue journalists and others who say unfavorable things about him. Reporters from major media outlets who try to cover political events are trashed by that politician who questions their honesty and trustworthiness.
Who am I talking about? If you said the almost-deposed Turkish strongman Recep Tayyp Erdogan you’d be close. I’m actually talking about Donald Trump, but there are a lot of similarities between the Turkish president and our very own insecure GOP presidential candidate.
It’s no surprise that Trump isn’t a fan of the media. He has called journalists things like “scum”, “slime”, “dishonest”, and “sleaze”, among other things, on more than one occasion. But the reality is that Trump’s comments and actions have become much worse than a little Fourth Estate name-calling. If Trump has his way when it comes to journalists who are trying to cover him objectively, he could well turn into our own Erdogan.
Joanne Bamberger is the founder of The Broad Side and the author/editor of the award-winning bestseller Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox, a researched anthology that explores our complicated and conflicting feelings about Hillary Clinton.