“They’re going to continue to fight,” Bannon said of the media, which he repeatedly described as “the opposition party,” and other forces he sees as standing in the president’s way. “If you think they are giving you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.”
Atop Trump’s agenda, Bannon said, was the “deconstruction of the administrative state” — meaning a system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president and his advisers believe stymie economic growth and infringe upon one’s sovereignty.
“If you look at these Cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction,” Bannon said. He posited that Trump’s announcement withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership was “one of the most pivotal moments in modern American history.”
.. “They’re corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has.”
.. Bannon added, “Just like they were dead wrong on the chaos of the campaign and just like they were dead wrong on the chaos of the transition, they are absolutely dead wrong on what they’re reporting today.” He said “all” of Trump’s campaign promises would be implemented in short order... Bannon is “very dogged” and “incredibly loyal” — and called him “a very dear friend.”.. Bannon commended Priebus on being a “steady” force inside the West Wing.“I can run a little hot on occasions, but Reince is indefatigable,” Bannon said.
.. The standard presidential complaint boils down to: “Sure, we need a free press. I just want it to be ‘fairer’ to me.”
.. Donald Trump accepts the existence of the formal and informal institutional structure that constitutes American democracy only as long as that suits his purposes, and disdains or directly attacks it when it gets in his way.
.. It’s fair to disclose that in the pre-Trump era I disagreed with Stephens’s views pretty much across the board on international and domestic policy. He was for the Iraq war and against the Iran nuclear deal; my views were the reverse.
.. Stephens extends the argument to one of the traits that most strikingly distinguishes Trump from most other politicians: that he does not care if he is shown to be telling obvious, easily disprovable lies.
.. the unsettling novelty of Trump is that he tells lies when they’re not useful, he tells lies when he knows they can be disproven, he lies and shows less remorse than a lizard when the lie is exposed... the entirety of the liberal-governing experiment of the past four centuries involves checks on what you can get away with. Doing what you can get away with is the governing ethic of the tribe, of the feudal lord, of today’s autocrats. It’s the ethic of Tony Soprano.. but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.. Of the institutions that might check him:
- The most basic is elections, but Trump famously said during the campaign that he would “accept” the results—“if I win.” Since then he has of course repeated his false claim that his popular vote loss was rigged by illegal voting, and that his electoral-college win was very large rather than historically small. Imagine Trump on the losing side of a Bush v. Gore-style decision, or even in Hillary Clinton’s position now, as the clear winner of the popular vote but the loser of the office.
.. Instinctively by Trump, perhaps strategically by Bannon and others, the Trump moment has promoted the idea that there are no facts, no reality, no authorities, no actual truth. There’s only us and them.
.. It is no coincidence that reporters who have dealt with state-news systems in autocratic Russia (like David Remnick or Masha Gessen) or China (where I have lived) are more much concerned by Trump than amused.
.. The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows.
And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.
Three outlets, CNN, ABC News and NBC News, are trusted by at least 50% of all panelists.
Although many Washington D.C. Republicans were reportedly appalled by the press conference, talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh praised the free-wheeling press conference in which Trump engaged the media head on.
“This was one of the most effective press conferences I have ever seen,” Limbaugh said on his show immediately after the event. “The press is going to hate him even more after this.”
.. Trump took questions from 17 different reporters, including many of the cable and network news organizations.