Thursday, November 10, 2016

Dismantling Democracy Starts With Restricting The Media

I said yesterday it felt like part of the USA had died.  It appears others have felt the same.  This piece by Neal Gabler at Moyers&Company starts out with that focus, but then goes on to look at the death of the American media.  

And as AP News pointed out today, excluding the media was one of Trump's first moves.
"President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday refused to let a group of journalists travel with him to cover his historic first meeting with President Barack Obama, breaking a long-standing practice intended to ensure the public has a watchful eye on the nation's leader.
Trump flew from New York to Washington on his private jet without that "pool" of reporters, photographers and television cameras that have traveled with presidents and presidents-elect.
Trump's flouting of press access was one of his first public decisions since his election Tuesday."
The media, when doing their job well, and a lot of the media did NOT do their jobs well during this campaign, are the bulwark of democracy.  They are the key to keeping government accountable.  And restricting the media is one of the first steps a dictator takes.

In 2007 I posted Naomi Wolf's Ten Steps For Dismantling Democracy. Now's a good time to review those steps.   I suggest putting them up on the refrigerator.

I looked up authoritarian fonts for this list.  I was directed to Fraktur - this one above is Breitkopf Fraktur.  I know, it's hard to read.  So here's another one that's easier, but a bit messy.  But I want the image to be as jarring as the message.  Or you can write out your own copy.  That helps cement these in your mind. While looking for a font, I also found a book I found called A True Authoritarian Type. 

Restricting the press (8) already began during the campaign, and was one of the first actions newly elected Trump has taken that we know of.  And Bush had already begun on this road and Obama has also contributed to it (4).

Yesterday I decided that all posts about American politics need to have a positive step that readers can take. Here are two.

___ Clipping the list and putting it on the refrigerator is one.
___ Check out Klein's website, her Wikipedia page, or The Economist's rejection of her ideas 


  1. This kind of election afterthought is quite different from Brexit analysis, little doubt about it.

    No wonder I'm finding a kind of shock distress from folks I know in the USA right now. Putin may simply have been an advance man for resurgent nationalism. We have elections in Europe this autumn to see if it carries on.

    Sorry to witness this sort of history in the making.

  2. Masha Gessen wrote a strong article on this topic:


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