Oh dear, what will we tell the children?? . . .
White House ices out CNN
Trump administration refuses to put officials on air on the network the president called 'fake news.'
01/31/17 06:16 PM EST
The White House has refused to send its spokespeople or surrogates onto CNN shows, effectively icing out the network from on-air administration voices.
“We’re sending surrogates to places where we think it makes sense to promote our agenda,” said a White House official, acknowledging that CNN is not such a place, but adding that the ban is not permanent.
A CNN reporter, speaking on background, was more blunt: The White House is trying to punish the network and force down its ratings.
“They’re trying to cull CNN from the herd,” the reporter said.
Actually this is good news - for three reasons.
First - it's the perfect Karmic payback to CNN president Jeff Zucker, whose news network, more than any other, including Fux Noize (who are still not a "News" organization), groveled on their knees for Drumpf, giving the short-fingered vulgarian Orangutan gobs and gobs of free air time during the campaign to spew his inanities and "alternative facts" that mostly went unchallenged. A good stab in the back from the likes of a sleazy charlatan like Drumpf, in a sane world, would be a badge of honor to any legitimate news organization with an ounce of integrity. However, The Gadfly has yet to see any evidence that CNN is ready to atone for it's journalistic sins and will accept, much less wear such a badge with any semblance of pride.
Secondly - it provides yet more evidence that the thin-skinned Drumpfanistas are working hard at keeping a tight lid on information about their skulking, democracy-hating ambitions from the American public when they signal that they intend to work with only like-minded media outlets who are open to helping President Drumpf and VP Bannon "promote their agenda," which in hewing closely to the game plan of their behavior so far, falls right in line with precisely what your typical authoritarian strongman led government would do.
Lastly - with the Drumpfanistas banning their Baghdad Bob spokestoads from talking to CNN, it is just one less major news outlet where they will be spewing their alt-right deceit and democracy-hating vitriol over the public airwaves. In fact - here's some advice to the other tv and cable news organizations out there (not including Fox since they don't qualify as a "News" org). Ban Drumpf and his propagandists from appearing on any of your networks until further notice (except Fox - they're already on the Drumpf Ministry of Propaganda payroll). Simply report on what the administration is saying and doing, give straight up news reports to the American people without the accompanying lies and deception from their dissembling mouthpieces and let the viewers decide for themselves how they wish to receive and process that news. Allow Fux Noize to be the sole outlet for the Drumpf propaganda since they are already playing that role quite nicely and they are quite good at it. Having the Drumpfanistas reduced to only being able to peddle their lies in the wingnut bubble on Fox at minimum serves the purpose of keeping their lying confined to a much more diminished segment of the news media universe.
As we move forward here in the era of Generalissimo Drumpf -- let's keep this list at the forefront of our discourse - it will become a handy reference guide:
Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.
The 14 characteristics are:
- Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
- Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
- Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
- Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
- Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
- Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
- Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
- Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
- Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
- Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
- Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
- Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
- Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
- Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Sad but truthful to say, there aren't many traits on that list that are not already traits of Drumpf and his gang of blackshirts. Every day that passes observing the actions of Drumpf and his minions, The Gadfly becomes increasingly convinced that this sordid episode in our young democracy does not end well for many.