Ever since he launched his travesty of a presidential campaign, Donald Trump and his team have been at war with the free press. This is not the normal tense and adversarial relationship politicians almost always have with the Fourth Estate. No – this is a sustained and dangerous effort to actually delegitimize the free press as we know it. As we saw this past week, Trump, via his infamous Twitter account, actually suggested that violence against members of CNN would actually be acceptable.
As if the violent video Trump tweeted of himself beating up a person with a CNN logo for a head wasn’t bad enough, there are now reports that Trump’s White House plans to use a deal between CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, and AT&T,in order to shut down CNN’s negative coverage and commentary of Trump and his goons. This bit of news comes to us via Twitter and The New York Times – another news outlet Trump hates:
— Dan Friedman (@dfriedman33) July 6, 2017
Now, if something happens to this deal, we’ll know it’s because Trump hates the network involved. Further, this is a dangerous and authoritarian move. We all know that Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is nothing more than an arm of the White House, and that this Department of Justice is in no way independent in the way it is supposed to be. If Trump calls up Sessions and tells him to blackmail the higher-ups at CNN in order to stop the negative coverage, Sessions will do it. Trump’s personal animus toward this network should have no bearing on whether or not this deal goes through, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it will.
Despite all of that, though, CNN President Jeff Zucker had a message for Trump after the violent video:
“He’s trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us.”
Yes, Trump is a bully. We all know this. It’s been obvious for decades. However, he now has the might of the executive branch of the federal government in order indulge his playground antics, which is terrifying for the nation and world.
Stand strong, CNN. We need you more than ever now.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images