We cannot be untrue to what is happening. We allowed Trump's lies to become a new normal despite being warned that this was the big lie tactic of a would-be dictator. When Trump was elected, we did not realize, as research now suggests, that a third of affluent millennials would be OK with a military regime. This is a devastating finding. It underlines the crisis of our democracy and the need to recover its underlying values. Recovery will not be easy. The lies have worked to soften resistance and create resignation. And now another shoe has dropped.

Prominent global media from the US and the UK were been barred from yesterday's White House briefing. Trump and Bannon have actively excluded the media on the basis of a big lie.

The Trump-Bannon juggernaut

There was no indication that Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan or any other leader of the GOP had the slightest problem with this. They have accepted the big lie in all of its guises. The big lie is the notion that Trump is a beacon of veracity. The big lie is Trump's insistence that anything that is not Donald Trump is a disaster. The big lie is a huge accumulation of falsehoods from the lips of Donald Trump, fueled by Steve Bannon. Bannon lucked into $40 million from Seinfeld revenue and has created a propaganda mil that is reminiscent of the moves of past dictators.

The dictator-word is appropriate for Trump-Bannon

It took a leading paper in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald, to preface its account of the news coup with the dictator word. "By the measure of his spokesman Sean Spicer, Donald Trump is tracking towards dictatorship – how else to explain Spicer barring "enemy" reporters from a White House media briefing, just weeks after he said open media access was 'what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship'."

Trump and Bannon are going global

Of course, the fact that the dictator word was first uttered by Sean Spicer offers a window on the eerie reality of life in a dictatorial fog.

He seems to condemn dictatorship and within weeks implements its hoary dictates. It is hard for a former journalist like me to imagine what I would have felt if Martin Luther King Jr. had barred me from access or Malcolm X had refused to speak to me. I can only imagine how the reporters who were barred at the White House yesterday actually felt at the moment of exclusion.

The future may depend on whether anything like opposition crops up in the GOP. There will probably be lots of protests. The Bannon-Trump juggernaut will proceed to shape events with lying interpretations just as past dictatorial efforts did. You cannot reverse some things once they gain momentum.