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#FakeNews And The International Freedom(s) Of The Press

September 17th 2018

The most, “core aspect,” of any democracy… is the freedom of the press… and originally created as a check and balance, leveraged upon institutional authority, the ability to express unhappiness through a fair and free journal, has long been ingrained in America’s values.

Yet, to abridge this freedom of the press is nothing new to our planet… and since Feudalism, elitist leaders have long sought to diminish the press, often viewing, “the media,” as nothing but a nuisance. Yet, in the chess game of international politics, where not only legislation but the order in which it’s passed, greatly affects a societies future… (IE medical marijuana and universal healthcare) this creates a political landscape, where the press remains one of the most intrinsic aspects of democracy, today.

In fact, the fundamental right to report the news is so important that many U.S. Presidents have found themselves in a position of lobbying foreign leaders, “to allow for criticism,” in their foreign press. Nevertheless, not all world leaders handle their criticism the same way….

So, with that being said, perhaps the greatest legacy of the Trump administration, thus far, has been President Trump’s unwillingness to heed criticism from the press. That is to say, Trump’s political strategy often upsets people, civilians and those in politics, leading the President to fight back by essentially undermining his opposition and nothing is more central to this tactic than the President’s, “war on Fake News.”

Yet, while young journalists (like me) are dealt an unfair blow from the President’s attacks on the media, this political disposition towards the press, is nothing new abroad. Which is to say that journalists are treated worse in other countries.

And in many ways… had Hillary Clinton won the election of 2016, America might have fallen dangerously close to losing touch with the rest of the world’s leaders, altogether, pertaining to freedoms such as this.

So while I do not approve of the current President, for essentially discouraging independent news outlets… I can also speculate that, “in the chess match that is international politics,” the CIA rarely makes mistakes. But think about the job of our government for a moment. Whereby, policing the globe is not an ideal position for a country that makes up only 6-7% of the global population. Nevertheless, monitoring; disease, infection, immigration, social standards, taboo religious practices, evolution and terrorism, both domestically and abroad, does at times call for a, “chameleon approach,” to international politics. So, I believe that this approach to arguing over things like the press, is Washington’s current strategy, in attacking the press. (*Sort of a, “Trump your enemies evil,” so to speak.)

And to be clear… I believe that Mr. Trump is, “trolling,” other world leaders… by discouraging a fair and open press, here in America today.

Whereby, I personally believe that Trump’s actions are trolling more than just a few people, particularly concerning his; Twitter antics, immaturity and sexual bravado. Nevertheless, the current President’s attacks on Fake News are definitely worth writing about because they not only give his pals over at Fox News something to say, but also the ability to monopolize the press and this strategy also appears to purge journalists, who do sometimes lack, “proper reporting skills,” from gaining credibility.

However, lest we forget that in the past, Skip Bayless, one of the most well known journalists in America today (and one of my favorites), rose to fame by claiming that Troy Aikman, “was gay,” 25 years ago. And in hindsight, this claim held no merit… today and at that time. But another example of this is Glenn Beck (a journalist who I don’t like), who often used to label President Obama, “a Nazi,” to improve his ratings… seemingly, a lifetime ago.

And that type of reporting, that type of, “bush league journalism,” really has no place in the American mainstream media, today. So in some ways, I also believe that today’s stance on the press, is due to malfeasance in the past. However, there are also many great writers, which leads me to wonder what are the ethics of journalism? And how can it be prevented from corruption by the likes of an Andrew Britebart, trolling the blog-o-sphere?

Which is why I’m not screaming bloody murder over the President, “essentially pulling the rug out from under me,” as a young journalist here on

But let’s get back to the meat and potatoes. (*Skip’s the cupcake king.)

Whereby, I personally find that this administration attacking, “the #FakeNews media,” is predominately doing 2 things.

1) I think that it’s purging the field of journalism from, “cheap writers.” (By the way, my grammar is intentionally flawed, as part of my writing style.)


2) I think it’s camouflaging a much bigger problem abroad, in which many foreign leaders, simply aren’t as tolerant of the press, as we are in the United States, today.

But think about the relationship between the press and a government like that of England.

Whereby, in a country like England the press is probably treated a little differently, in part because England is a relatively smaller country, with less of an appetite for military action. But furthermore, England is surrounded by countries of not only equal, but greater military strength, leaving the U.K. sometimes at the mercy of other militarized nations, like Russia and China. Meaning, that the U.S. can bargain more with global super-powers, because we’re fortunate enough to have such a vast and powerful country, whereas some of these other countries can not.

And this circumstance essentially creates an environment where Americans tend to enjoy freedoms, like the press, more than other nations and perhaps naively.

But needless to say, journalists don’t simply, “disappear,” as often in America today, as they do in other countries. And furthermore, take a country like Russia… where Russia is ruled by a President, whom inherited a government virtually in shambles, during the late 1990’s.

And Vladimir Putin, whatever you may think of him, rose to power during one of the most difficult political climates of the 20th century. But not only that, but Putin rose to power through a government, which at that time, was acting without centralized leadership. And the KGB, where Putin rose to President, was very much run like a terror network, from 1950 to 1990, as the Western World essentially claimed land, all over the globe, during the fall of the British Empire.

Yet, needless to say, a world leader like Putin, who came up during such a difficult time, might not care so much for criticism from the likes of an Andrew Britebart.

And that is another reason, why I’m not quick to denounce Trump’s stance on #FakeNews (at this stage of his Presidency). And this is particularly true, because in countries like Russia, societal change can take time. Where as an example of this, the Russian government is very, “male dominated,” and I have not been to Russia… so I don’t want to pass judgement on Russian culture, but I’d also like to point out… that many American corporations today, are also male dominated. And furthermore, there are no female owners in the NFL and there are no female CEO’s in the big 5-6 tech companies (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Ebay, Facebook)…. and these are companies controlling billions of users, everyday. But long story short, it’s really not America’s job to judge some of these foreign governments, in terms of journalism, at this stage of human history.

But my point being, we can hate the Trump administration all we want, as journalists and as people… yet, when we all stop to think about it, through an objective lens… what do we truly hate? And that’s when the focus shifts… because you hate what you know…. and the power of information is infinite, within our global society today. Whereby, also I’d like to point out that is one of the few truly GLOBAL NEWS OUTLETS, on the internet today, unassumingly, for this very reason. (*And I read the headlines all over the world, everyday, right here on Civilians News. Which I think is pretty awesome and unlike some major tech companies, this is an app/web-site that you can actually use.)

But what do we really hate about the Trump Administration? Well we tend to hate what we know… and sadly, a large part of what we know, is not only controlled but sometimes also manipulated, by the media. But now, when Trump or the CIA see’s something that could be detrimental to him or American interests, he simply labels it, “Fake News,” which is an interesting twist of fate to free market journalism.

And I believe that this, “corporation style mentality to journalism,” has really created a new, “chess match,” in the American media. Whereby, people want readers… but the penalties for reporting frivolous news, or in-accurate news, have never been higher. But furthermore, in many ways, I believe that this is the American government’s way of compromising with foreign governments, which are often times already penalizing journalists much more harshly abroad for reporting on, “inaccuracies.”

So you have a modern day, “push and pull,” so to speak, between rabble-rousing attention seekers and credible journalists and it’s essentially dividing the nation entirely. Whereby, today, this term, “Fake News,” has almost become dangerously arbitrary, however, that is only when it’s used to curtail necessary criticisms. (For example, pertaining to things such as the Occupy Wall Street Movement or things of that nature.)

And again… this is nothing new abroad. But let’s take a moment to look at some of the things that have happened, in recent memory.

And when was the last time that you heard the words, “Arab Spring,” for example.

Or, when was the last time that you saw the 500,000 protesters in Spain who protested simultaneously, during the 2011, Occupy Wall Street Movement?

So, furthermore, when was the last time that you saw the 50,000 people who marched in Portland, Oregon, that same Summer, as part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement? (*A movement which was swept under the rug during President Obama’s tenure, I might add.)

But again, to be fair… sometimes this plays into the Pentagon’s global strategy. Whereby, back in 2011 no one was talking about the Arab Spring because that year they were all talking about the Occupy Wall Street Movement… and that Summer, no one was talking about rising rents or racial assimilation in Portland, Oregon, because they were all pre-occupied with the occupy protests!

However, long story short, this strategy of seemingly, “Trumping the media,” is nothing new, in terms of global politics.

For example, take the plight of Alexei Navalny, in Russia today. Navalny is currently Russia’s strongest opposition leader, who’s risen to fame, mostly through independent media outlets where he’s become known for essentially watch-dogging Russian government officials. And in fact, Navalny is currently serving his 2nd (or possibly 3rd/4th) jail sentence, for protesting against government officials in this manor. Yet, when viewing this issue through President Putin’s eyes, you might think, “why should the Kremlin give up power to a civilian? And particularly a young civilian, whom compared to President Putin himself, lacks some military experience and international expertise. And while I personally believe that Navalny has a chance to actually succeed Putin, as the future President of Russia (if he toughens up a little bit), it goes without saying, that this type of, “journalism,” can lead to a variety of different outcomes.

So, in conclusion… this dilemma of, “Fake News,” is that sometimes people can’t handle criticism and then often times seek to discredit journalists who call attention to their, “non-profit schemes.” But also, sometimes journalists are, “naive,” especially here in America and perhaps don’t deserve a voice! And sometimes journalists do jab too far, sometimes journalists do criticize without offering better alternatives or in other cases, simply don’t deserve to have a say in certain matters at all?

So, with that being said… I’m reserving my judgement on President Trump’s, “war on Fake News,” for now.

-William Larsen, Civilians News