Donald Trump's communications strategy is simple: demonize the press and communicate through Twitter. Tweetie Pie will soon leave his golden cage and move to the White House. And, while Trump really is a cartoon, that development is no joke -- because journalists and journalism are under a great deal of financial pressure these days. Michael Harris writes:
Dying democracies and a dying free press are getting to be a universal phenomenon — and the guys who are driving the process are cultists like Donald Trump — on both the left and the right.
All politicians lie, but it usually takes awhile to catch them out. Bill on Monica, the elder Bush on new taxes, Nixon on … pretty much everything. But according to PolitiFact, 78 per cent of the statements made by Donald Trump are either false, grossly false, or pants-on-fire lies. He doesn’t even seem to care if Americans know he is lying, he lies anyway.
If the free press ceases to function, there will be no one to call out Mr. Trump's lies. More importantly, there will be no one to expose Mr. Trump's intellectual limitations -- which are considerable.
So it is in Trump's self interest to destroy the free press. In that regard, he is a lot like Stephen Harper:
For years in Canada, former PM Stephen Harper told whopper after whopper. He seemed to think that whatever he said became fact, especially if he said it enough times. Lies about the F-35, the health of the economy, regulating the energy sector, the environment, and global affairs — Canadians got them all in a steady stream of mendacity.
Like Trump, Harper despised the check and balance of a free press. That’s because it represented the most powerful alternative source of information to the government that existed — one capable of going behind his bully pulpit, his misrepresentations and lies and exposing them, as was eventually done on the true costs of the F-35 stealth fighter. So Harper avoided press conferences, and interviews, and even created a weekly news show where he reported on himself at the taxpayers’ expense.
We've seen this cartoon before. Tweetie Pie was a bad joke.