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In Continued Denunciation of “Fake News” as “Enemy of the People,” Donald Trump Sounds Like a Drunk Nazi

President Donald Trump is at it again.

In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today, Donald Trump twice repeated his earlier claim of the week that America’s most central journalistic organizations are “fake news” and “The Enemy of the People.” Watch this clip, slowed down to what’s become known as Drunk-Trump speed to match the slurred nature of his thoughts:

“A few days ago I called the fake news the Enemy of the People. And they are. They are The Enemy of the People.”

As I pointed out a few days ago, the phrase “Enemy of the People” has direct historical referents. They include Robespierre of the French Reign of Terror, the Stalinist Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Maoist China. Millions of people died as a result of this designation. The Voice of America radio service (by law independent of the Trump administration) released a statement by former Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski:

“As an American diplomat, I stood up to petty tyrants who called journalists ‘enemies of the people. Guess that’s not our policy anymore.”

The accusation of “fake news” isn’t new, either. The Israeli media outlet Haaretz reacted to Donald Trump’s latest onslaught against a free press by publishing a news article that reminds us of the Nazi-era “lügenpresse” accusation leveled at any journalists who published information embarrassing to Adolf Hitler and his authoritarian thugs. “Lügenpresse” literally means “lying press” in German. That’s fake news. As the Haaretz article points out, Trump partisans have even started to use the word “lügenpresse” to describe anti-Trump news outlets. Time magazine has also noted the trend.

Donald Trump of February 24 2017 superimposed on a Hitler Youth Rally of Nazi Germany

Donald Trump is not just speaking out against a free press. His administration is taking action. Shortly after his “Enemies of The People” speech, the White House excluded The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and other news outlets from a press briefing. White House Spokesman Sean Spicer justified his exclusion of journalists by declaring “We’re going to aggressively push back.”

With every additional day, President Donald Trump is making it perfectly clear that he’s not just a political threat. He’s a dictator in the wings. Opposing Donald Trump is a political act, but a basic moral act as well. If we do not check Donald Trump’s power, many more people are going to get hurt.

5 thoughts on “In Continued Denunciation of “Fake News” as “Enemy of the People,” Donald Trump Sounds Like a Drunk Nazi”

  1. Dave says:

    The innuendo of history’s booga bears aside, in following your logic are we to understand that fake news is the friend of the people?

    1. J Clifford says:

      In a way, Dave, yes. What Donald Trump calls “Fake News” is really just journalism. He calls it fake without ever bringing out any evidence of any fakery. He just says it’s fake.

      So, when Donald Trump calls a piece of journalism “Fake News”, he’s really just saying that he doesn’t like what the journalism is saying. From Trump, “Fake News” = news that’s unflattering to Trump.

      People who investigate important facts, and report them even when people in power use Nazi tactics of intimidation to try to suppress the stories, are friendly to democracy. At Irregular Times, we believe in the Bill of Rights, no matter how much Donald Trump hurls slurs against it.

      What about if the stories aren’t true? What if they aren’t actually fake? Donald Trump could prove them wrong. He could release his taxes to prove he hasn’t received the payments from the Russian government that he is under investigation for. He has refused to do so. Trump could authorize an independent commission free of his political appointees to look into the matter. He has refused to do that.

      So, in a way, yes, but you know, Dave, there’s more than just a binary choice between opposites in this matter. When you ask us to choose between Enemy of The People and Friend of The People, you’re trying to force a constrained choice. There are many other options in this matter. Your question commits a basic logical fallacy with the presumption of what the possible answers are. Your failure to think more expansively leads you to bizarre, illogical conclusions.

      That’s what Donald Trump is counting on people to do.

      1. Dave says:

        Actually J, I did think of another choice outside of the binary I pointed out. That is that “fake news” is not the friend or enemy of the people, but that the “news” we get these days is increasingly irrelevant to a nation full of people whose minds are already made up. People have the choice now of tuning in to whatever news outlet confirms their biases.

        Also, think of the fake news that Hillary Clinton had a whopping lead over Donald Trump in most of the pre-election polling. If one was a Hillary supporter it would be easy to argue that the fake news of her big lead was indeed an enemy of the people, as long as her supporters considered themselves to be “the people,” and that she had this thing in the bag. The true news didn’t get to them until Nov. 8. Fake news is no one’s friend. Or was this just “journalism” too?

        1. J Clifford says:

          Hey, maybe you’re on to something, Dave.

          Consider the “fake news” that foreign terrorists are a serious threat to the United States, while in fact, over ten times as many people are killed per year on average by horses.

          http://irregulartimes.com/2017/03/01/congress-to-consider-protections-against-imaginary-terrorism-act/

          Radical Equine Terrorism, Dave. If you refuse to name the threat, you will never defeat it.

    2. Jim Cook says:

      You are to think it through for yourself, Dave, which is exactly the opposite of what Donald Trump encourages.

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