Scoot: Hannity’s suggestion is a direct threat to America

Scoot
May 16, 2017 - 12:22 pm
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President Trump’s mission to discredit the news media is actually reinforcing the vital role of the news media in our democracy.

The President held a meeting with top Russian officials in the Oval Office with only the Russian media present.  The rest of the news media was barred from the meeting.  In this meeting, President Trump did something so disturbing that someone in the room felt compelled to expose what happened to a news outlet.

According to the source, President Trump revealed classified intelligence to the Russian officials.  The possibility of a president sharing classified information with an adversary sent shock waves across the political spectrum.  Even some Republicans were stunned and critical of President Trump.

In response to the widespread criticism, President Trump sent out arguably the most trusted man in his administration, General H.R. McMaster, who told the media, with the White House in the background, that President Trump did not reveal any classified information; and he confirmed that he was “in the room.”

That was yesterday; and this morning President Trump tweeted that he did share classified information with the Russians in the Oval Office and that he had every right to do that. For the record, the President did not apparently break any laws; but that has not stopped the criticism of what Trump did, including from the possibility that President Trump jeopardized the lives of American spies by what he did reveal.

Trump spokesman/Fox News host Sean Hannity defended President Trump with the most disturbing suggestion that has come to light in decades.  Here’s what Hannity said:

“First, the White House press team should regularly develop a list of the top and most important 15, 20, 25 issues of the day. Next, the media, well, they should be able to submit questions about these issues in writing, give the White House time to respond with clarity and specificity, and if Sean Spicer then wants to take a couple of questions from the briefing room podium, that’s fine. But only on those specific topics.”

The idea that someone who has built a career on freedom of speech would promote that the White House should gain more control over the very news media that covers the White House is outrageous and a threat to democracy.

Blaming the news media for the leaked information about what the President revealed, rather than blaming the President for sharing classified information with the Russians was also promoted by Laura Ingraham, a conservative radio talk show host and Fox News contributor this morning on “Fox & Friends.”

Hannity’s suggestion that the White House control the news media and Ingraham’s blaming the leak rather than the act of sharing classified material with the Russians is the most dangerous affront to freedom and democracy in years.  And yet, men and women who pride themselves on protecting and promoting freedom of speech and our democracy are unwittingly becoming part of an attempt at establishing the news media as part of the Executive Branch of government.

Both political sides have been guilty of attempting to silence disagreement, but the concept of the White House censoring the news media is a direct threat to America.

Superseding our political opinions is the notion that the news media has a responsibility to monitor and report on the President and the workings of government.  It is that precise role of the news media that protects us from any administration that might want to use propaganda to seize and maintain control of the government.

The responsibility of the news media to hold politicians and government accountable dates back to the origin of the free press.

The continuing attempts to use Fox News as a pro-government entity and the willingness of Fox News to act as a branch of the White House goes well beyond “media bias.”  This is a threat to America.

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