The war against the news media from the presidential office started over 40 years ago under the mistaken belief that the presidency must be respected by keeping the news media at bay. The belief that the news media must leave Donald Trump alone was first argued in the 1970’s. Interestingly, the players are the same with only the names changing. The party arguing to leave the president alone was, and is the GOP. The president was Richard Nixon and today it is Donald Trump.
Before Richard Nixon left office in disgrace, he and his supporters launched attacks against the news media. Avoiding reporters, intimidating reporters and staging public events was the modus operandi. These were created by Richard Nixon to avoid public scrutiny. Donald Trump has adopted the Nixon modus operandi – demonize the news media and deny everything.
Like Trump, Nixon regularly read newspaper summaries each day and told his staff which reporters should be encouraged, and which should be shunned. Also, like Nixon, Donald Trump is looking at misusing federal regulations to shutter news outlets. Trump wants the libel laws reevaluated to look for ways to shut down news outlets. Richard Nixon wanted to “screw around” with TV licenses to force the news outlets to back away from criticizing the presidency.
On December 14, 1972, Richard Nixon told Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig, “never forget…the press is the enemy, the press is the enemy…the establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy.” (Interestingly, Henry Kissinger is the reason many countries are suffering today, some of which were referred to as “shit holes” by Trump, because of the foreign policies created by Kissinger. I’ll have more on Kissinger’s destructive foreign policy tomorrow.) However, note the “press is the enemy” rhetoric?
But it gets worse, Richard Nixon was obsessed with his predecessors. In 1971, Nixon ordered his chief of staff, Bob Halderman, to break into the Brookings Institute to find any information about John F. Kennedy the organization may have. Trump remains obsessed with Barack Obama today.
On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace. This after consistently denying he had any involvement in the Watergate break in. This after arguing that the news media was out to get him.
The Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon centered around the notion that Richard Nixon impeded the investigation into Watergate. In other words, Richard Nixon’s crime was not his involvement with the Watergate break-in, but rather his attempts to obstruct the investigations into Watergate.
Now, change the name Watergate to Russian interference and you begin to see a replay of Watergate with new names but the same history. Change Richard Nixon to Donald Trump and you see Trump’s supporters echoing the same arguments about a corrupt news media that Richard Nixon’s supporters did in the 1970’s. Note the GOP establishment conveniently “not hearing” certain Trump statements or blaming the news media’s “obsession” over Trump.
It is obstruction of justice that will be Donald Trump’s undoing, regardless of any part he may, or may not have played in Russian interference during the 2016 election cycle.
Trump’s Articles of Impeachment will likely center around obstruction charges.
To expedite that eventuality, what the country needs today is a Ben Bradlee, a Carl Bernstein and a Bob Woodward, along with a news media outlet to let them expose Donald Trump. Oh, and a courageous soul, like “Deep Throat” to come forward with the facts we need make America Great Again by impeaching Donald Trump.