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Robert Reich: Memo To The Press (Or How To Cover Trump Without Trump Covering You) – OpEd


Here are 9 suggestions:

1. Stop treating Trump’s tweets as news. They’re not news; they’re his gut feelings at the moment.

2. Don’t believe a single word that comes out of his mouth. You have a responsibility to tell the public when he’s lying.

3. Don’t fall for the reality-TV spectacles he creates. (For example, his meeting with Kim Jong-un was pure theater.) They’re not news, either.

4. Don’t let his churlish, thin-skinned, vindictive, narcissistic rants divert attention from what he’s really doing. Your viewers and readers may love how sensational and bizarre they are, but they’re distractions.

5. Focus on what he’s really doing, and put the day’s stories into this larger context. He’s

– Undermining democratic institutions,

– Using his office for personal gain,

– Sowing division and hate,

– Cozying up to dictators while antagonizing our democratic allies around the world,

– Violating the rule of law, and

– Enriching America’s wealthy while harming the middle class and the poor.

He may also be colluding with Putin.

6. Stop reporting about the Republican Party and start reporting on Fox News, which is both Trump’s propaganda tool and his focus group for how to build power by dividing America with lies and hate. There’s no Republican Party any more. Only Trump and Fox News.

7. Keep track of what his Cabinet is doing – Sessions’s attacks on civil rights, civil liberties, voting rights, and immigrants; DeVos’s efforts to undermine public education, The EPA’s and Zinke’s efforts to gut the environment; all their conflicts of interest, and the industry lobbyists they’ve put in high positions.

8. Don’t let Trump use your journalistic goal of “balanced” reporting against you.  Giving equal time to the truth and to lies from Trump’s enablers and followers isn’t “balance”.  This isn’t a contest between right and left, Republicans and Democrats. This is between democracy and demagogic authoritarianism.

9. Finally, don’t let him rattle you. Maintain your dignity, confidence, and courage. Our democracy depends on you

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Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

One thought on “Robert Reich: Memo To The Press (Or How To Cover Trump Without Trump Covering You) – OpEd

  • Avatar
    August 22, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    How about a memo to your readers, Robby? Of your 9 suggestions it can be said:
    1) You are correct in that POTUS Trump’s tweets are his observations and not news.
    2) You are wrong; POTUS Trump has contributed and continues to do so.
    3) You are wrong, POTUS Trump does not create reality TV anything; his rallies and meetings with foreign dignitaries are real and demonstrate his ability to lead and not be led.
    4) You are wrong because you don’t like POTUS Trump, you vilify him; you might find it instructive to listen to his ‘distractions.’
    5) You begin on the correct path and land on your ass. POTUS Trump is none of your litany of bullshit and, dear Robby, you know it.
    6) You are wrong simply because the faux reportage prevalent in propaganda machines like MSNBC, CNN, HLN should be called out for what it is: specious shit. And insofar as dividing America, those same factories of fallacious nonsense continue an effort begun by Commyomommy Obama. Interestingly, the same technique was used by the Soviets to control their slave states.
    7) You are right, if only the press would communicate news rather than twisted opinion the public would be less divided and more informed on national and international affairs. As it is, a bleak view of government prevails. Oddly, the scathing view by today’s press of POTUS Trump is 180 degrees out of phase with its’ benevolent view of Commyomommy Obamy.
    8) You are wrong as there is no such thing as “balanced” reporting in today’s press.
    9) You are right, POTUS Trump, by not blowing smoke up your collective asses has rattled the shit out of you. His unpredictability is his weapon against the war of words the press has and continues to wage against his government.

    If our democracy depended on Robby’s concept of an honest press we’d end up in Gulags ruled by the commissars of swimming pool soviets who employ Robby.
    WE WON, AMERICA IS FREE and becoming GREAT AGAIN: you lost


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