Tyrants always try to suppress a free press; here’s Trump’s playbook.
1. Berate the media
.. Another person who attended the meeting said Trump “truly doesn’t seem to understand the First Amendment. He thinks we are supposed to say what he says and that’s it.”
2. Blacklist critical media
3. Turn the public against the media.
Trump refers to journalists as “lying,” “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum.” Referring to the journalists at his rallies, Trump said, “I hate some of these people,” adding (presumably in response to allegations of Vladimir Putin’s treatment of dissident journalists) “but I’d never kill ‘em.”
4. Condemn satirical or critical comments.
5. Threaten the media directly. Trump said he plans to change libel laws in the United States so that he can have an easier time suing news organizations.
6. Limit media access. Trump hasn’t held a news conference since July. He has blocked the media from traveling with him or even knowing whom he’s meeting with. His phone call with Vladimir Putin, which occurred shortly after the election, was first reported by the Kremlin.
7. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly
The American public learns what Trump thinks through his tweets. Shortly after the election, Trump released a video message outlining some of the executive actions he plans to take on his first day in office.
Aides say Trump has also expressed interest in continuing to hold the large rallies that became a staple of his candidacy. They say he likes the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide.
.. some prominent activists have been exploring ways to influence the incoming administration. The most obvious target has been Ivanka Trump and her husband, because they are seen as the least conservative members of the president-elect’s family.
.. He wanted to lynch me.
“Rope, Tree, Journalist,” the man wrote. “Some assembly required.” To this slogan, made popular by T-shirts Donald Trump supporters wore at his rallies, my would-be hangman added his offer: “I will assemble for you.”
.. Lately, the owner and staff at Comet — and those of other businesses on the block — have been getting death threats, spurred by radio host Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist with close ties to the president-elect.
.. Jones has been whipping up a bogus and bizarre accusation that Comet is a front for a Hillary Clinton-affiliated pedophilia ring, and the resulting calls and messages threaten a “public lynching” of this nonexistent ring. “I pray someone comes to Comet pizza with automatic weapons and kills everyone inside,” wrote one. “I just may cut your throat. . . . I truly hope someone blows your brains all over Comet pizza.”
.. The notion that Clinton and her aides are involved in pedophilia has been furthered by none other than Michael Flynn, the man Trump tapped to be his national security adviser.
.. This would appear to be the new normal: Not only disagreeing with your opponent but accusing her of running a pedophilia ring, provoking such fury that somebody takes it upon himself to start shooting. Not only chafing when criticized in the press but stoking anti-media hysteria that leads some supporters to threaten to kill journalists.
.. Trump is not directly responsible for every violent word or action of his followers. But he foments violence.
.. He boasted that “I bring rage out” in people, and his violent rallies proved it. Since the election, Trump has falsely accused the media of inciting violence. At his speech in Ohio last week he denounced the “dishonest” media no fewer than six times.
.. when Trump refers to journalists as “the lowest form of life,” “scum” and the enemy, “it is no wonder that some members of our staff [at The Post] and at other news organizations received vile insults and threats of personal harm so worrisome that extra security was required.”