Vladimir Putin has cracked down on foreign journalists in Russia with a new law that treats them as foreign agents. As such, they could be hammered for reporting news that the Kremlin does not like.
An ardent fan of Putin, Donald Trump followed suit with a Twitter tirade against the First Amendment, with CNN specifically in his sights.
The president is obsessed with “fake news.” The term fake means something not true or real. To Trump, it means any news that he does not like. He ranted about how CNN did a poor job representing the U.S. on the world stage. It is the president’s job to represent the country to the world by telling the truth.
The media cover many wars, disasters, famines and genocides on the international scene. The harm that governments may do in those areas is greater than the benefits they can provide in good times. Dictatorial governments seeing Trump attacking our journalists may decide to do harm to any journalist.
Trump uses people, and his support for journalists depends only on good press for him. If he inhibits facts, he is putting his own persona above the search for truth. He constantly screens information to flatter his own ego.
He rationalizes his own misdeeds by mentioning those of others.
The man cannot hold two opposing ideas in his head at one time. The more we see him grapple with reality, the more we see how little he understands government, integrity and leadership.
He cannot navigate the crosswinds of opposing ideas to determine which viewpoint is more appropriate.
We are ending up with a plethora of bad options.