Reputed media outlets like CNN, BBC, and The Guardian were denied access to the press briefing by #White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday. That became the biggest news at the White House. We are familiar with Donald Trump's stance in regards to a U.S. mainstream media that has usually shown no sympathy for him. However, this is a major step out of line.
Trump, while speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, called media “the enemy of the American people.” I see more fear than anger in Trump's constant attacks against media.
Yes, several media can surely be criticized for their embarrassing sensationalism, defamatory statements, or ridiculously biased depictions of reality that have apparently hurt Trump's image. However, the benefits of media outweigh its possible weaknesses. It's clear Mr. Trump thinks differently.
Trump and the Social Contract Theory
Locke's Social Contract Theory comes to mind. People entrust politicians with their #Rights And Freedoms and put them in a position of responsibility. In exchange, those politicians are expected to protect those rights and freedoms to their best ability. I say media acts as our social lawyer. Its power comes from the responsibility people hand it in return for professional work that can inform us and protect us by uncovering the wrongdoings of those in power.
Thanks to media we are better informed about how accurately our political leaders are handling our rights and freedoms. It is an obligation to keep those in power accountable. However, if it weren't for media, how would we learn that we need to put more capable people in in those leadership positions? .
How would we have learned that Mr. Trump is incompetent? Media is crucial in this equation. The Americans need media more than ever in order to make sure the leader they elected abides by this social contract. Thus, when censorship against media takes place, all other arguments are automatically lost. Trump intends to break this social contract. It is now up to the American people to strengthen their faith in media and, consequently, in the social contract.
Trump and censorship
Practices of censorship are usually associated with dictators and authoritarian leaders. Witnessing such prohibitions being imposed by a U.S. president shocks the world. The U.S. is supposed to set the example for the rest of the world, or at least that's what we have been told.
Trump wants to make a point, but he is making the wrong one. He is rather strengthening his critics and weakening his supporters with these actions.
What is implied here is that the censor holds a superior moral ground above everyone else. However, I'm not quite sure Trump's morals should be lauded based on past events. For now, he has avoided responding to questions from some 'special' news organizations and has restricted their entrance to the White House. His next move will further isolate him and ridicule his presidency.