Media push back against Bannon & Trump – along with a GOP dissident

Posted by | January 28, 2017 10:18 | Filed under: Media/Show Business

Donald Trump and his toady Steve Bannon went to war with the press this week with declarations that the press is an “opposition party” and should “shut up“. They forget that we live in a free market where owners will fight back against attacks on their business free nation where journalists who see their First Amendment rights under siege will fight back.

Christiane Amanpour demolished Bannon’s strategic blunder late Thursday:

ANDERSON COOPER (HOST): I want to ask you on this other subject, of what something Steve Bannon said today, an interview he gave to The New York Times. He said, quote, “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated, and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.” When you hear Steve Bannon …

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: I would say no chance on that, Steve, buddy. But look, seriously, Steve Bannon is playing the role that he set out for himself. There is obviously some kind of strategy here, although it’s hard for me to comprehend it because, you know, I operate in the truth and the fact-based universe.

But he’s playing a strategy which involves creating straw men and women, creating an enemy out of the press, and then, you know, dividing, diverting, obfuscating while other things are going on. That’s the only thing I can imagine — obviously there are many other — I want to say totalitarian regimes in the past which use this same kind of strategy.

And I mean — if I was going to be funny, I’d say that he’s angling for an order of merit from president Sisi, Putin, Erdogan and all the others. That is how they treat their press. That is what they believe the press should be, a compliant state propaganda unit in the service of the president.

It is not the tradition of the American press. So of course we’re not going to shut up, and why should we? And what have we done wrong? And why should we be humiliated? About what? The story was right, we reported the story, whatever it is, we got it right.

CJR‘s David Uberti saw the Bannon broadside as fighting words:

The Trump Administration will continue calling critical media mean names. It will try to undermine the journalistic enterprise wholesale. No amount of well-reasoned arguments about a free press’ role in democracy will change that. If the media is as crucial as we all claim it to be, it’s time to show the public—not tell it—and reclaim the role of agitator on our own journalistic terms.’s James Warren, who had attended a Thursday evening symposium at the University of Chicago, offered his own analysis and counter strategy to Bannon’s “shut up” outburst:

The war between journalists and the White House is only just beginning. In fact, [Bannon] is counting on it. … [The media’s] response [to Bannon’s provocation]? Reasoned and tough-minded indifference. It’s a de facto prescription that might drive the new tweeter-in-chief and his sledgehammer-wielding sycophants daffy in their search for a Jacksonian revival. …

[The symposium] was a meaty hour — nobody’s keeping their “mouth shut,” as Bannon “demanded” — with a variety of inside-journalism topics broached. Those included the need to be judicious in over-covering pedestrian White House briefings (a point made by [CBS News chief David ] Rhodes); the positive side of Trump-inspired heightened ratings and newspaper readership ([CNN boss Jeff ] Zucker); the perils of now feverishly “doubling down” on White House coverage at the expense of many other important matters ([Nieman Foundation leader Ann Marie] Lipinski); and the potential limits of fact-checking’s influence ([Yahoo News columnist Matt] Bai and Rhodes).

For sure, Bannon’s red-meat target audience would have been unmoved by these declarations of good intentions by representatives of the evil mainstream media. But it remained reassuring to listen to reasoned dialogue, given the premeditated Trump histrionics and fabrications (or “sincere beliefs,” as his surrogates, like Press Secretary Sean Spicer, would have it). …

It will take ample self-discipline, even courage, to keep one’s eye on what’s real, avoid breathless stories and get old-fashioned scoops. If this plays out as hinted in these early days, there may be no shortage of folks in government and Congress willing to leak like a sieve out of unease, frustration, even shock.

As the panel implicitly suggested, this could be a rather glorious time to be in the business as a countervailing force, if not an opposition party.

Howard Fineman explained Bannon’s tactical attack as part of a long-gane strategy to tar the media, and, in invoking the name of another “tricky” president, pointed out that we’ve seen this before:

“I want you to quote this,” Bannon said, sneeringly. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country.” He added that the “elite” media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”

The insinuation that the press isn’t part of America is a dangerous old Nixonian trope. The slurring of the media as “elite” was especially laughable coming from a man who made his early connections at Harvard Business School and prospered for years at Goldman Sachs in New York and as a movie producer in Hollywood.

Of course Bannon & Co. know that journalists won’t shut up, and in truth he doesn’t want them to. He and his boss want the media to take the bait and declare that they’re proud to be the “opposition party” ― and in so doing, confirm the prejudices of Trump’s supporters.

The good folks at Mother Jones quite understandably, and even subversively, used it as a sales pitch for their newsletter (full disclosure: Dave “Doctor” Gonzo is a subscriber to the mag), framed with solid reasoning:

[These are] the actions of a man with a temperament and behavior we haven’t seen in the White House in modern times, if ever. Trump personally, as near as we can tell, believes in few things except himself; his actions are often precipitated by rumors and stuff on TV that makes him mad; and most significantly he, along with many of his closest advisers, is inclined toward authoritarianism and a retrograde sort of nationalism. The actions that flow from these qualities are the ones that transcend normalcy entirely. Insisting that the constitution doesn’t apply when you don’t want it to; chastising the press for reporting obvious facts and calling it “the opposition party”; perpetuating a massive smear against the electoral system by claiming that millions voted illegally: Those things are not even at the outside edges of normal. Those things draw from another playbook—not that of democracy.

So. What to do?

One of the most important things at a turbulent moment like this is to step back: to sift signal from noise and consider which developments rattle the foundations of democracy and which are simply the fallout from a change election. … Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, says the press should “keep its mouth shut.” No. Here at MoJo, we’re doubling down on the stories that matter the most, and getting them out to people who don’t intend to shut up. When the administration labels the press as the “opposition party” and talks about “alternative facts,” they want you to believe there is no such thing as truth. They will fail.

Evan McMullin, who has emerged as a leading Republican opponent of Trump, told CNN’s Jale Tapper:

I think Mr. Bannon and Mr. Trump’s attacks on the media are highly dangerous. The media, the press, plays a significant role in our democracy, and in any democracy they are highly critical. You can have disputes and disagreements over bias and even over points of fact; but to continually attack and try to erode the credibility of the media when it’s doing its job, and doing its job well I would say, in the past week especially, challenging Trump, I think is dangerous.”

CNN’s intelligence analyst Philip Mudd opened up a new front against the White House late yesterday, calling out their lies:

“Look, let’s step back here for a moment,” the former CIA agent began. “I’m not part of the media, by the way, I want to be clear on that. I’m a former CIA officer, I only appear on CNN. So, I feel impartial here.”

Mudd asked how Trump could possibly be accusing those on television of being dishonest.

“After he mentioned during the camapign, ‘We’re gonna lock her up,’” Mudd quoted Trump. “Nope. ‘We’re going to give you my tax returns after the election.’ Nope. ‘We got a secret plan.’ Nope.”

Mudd pointed out that this goes back even further when Trump called his ratings for his NBC television show “The Apprentice” a top ranked show.

“He knew when he put that information out there that it was false,” Mudd continued. “My response to the president is this: We’re dishonest? I want to know why there’s an air gap between what you say and what the truth is because it happens every day.

‘Nuff said, Philip!

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Copyright 2017 Liberaland
By: dave-dr-gonzo

David Hirsch, a.k.a. Dave "Doctor" Gonzo*, is a renegade record producer, video producer, writer, reformed corporate shill, and still-registered lobbyist for non-one-percenter performing artists and musicians. He lives in a heavily fortified compound in one of Manhattan's less trendy neighborhoods.

* Hirsch is the third person to use the pseudonym, a not-so-veiled tribute to journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, with the permission of his predecessors Gene Gaudette of American Politics Journal (currently webmaster and chief bottlewasher at Liberaland) and Stephen Meese at Smashmouth Politics.

49 responses to Media push back against Bannon & Trump – along with a GOP dissident

  1. William January 28th, 2017 at 10:27

    Because going to war with the media has worked so well before.

    • Larry Schmitt January 28th, 2017 at 10:36

      But the magnet he had shoved up his ass kept screwing with the compass’s accuracy.

  2. Buford2k11 January 28th, 2017 at 10:46

    Now, my friends, if I am reading the Putin playbook correctly, they will start going after the owners of the media…if those owners don’t comply with the trump state media…this is an all out attempt to suppress the media…Putin is holding up to his end of the deal…disappearing people that the trump people have pointed out…one was very publicly disappeared…as a very unsubtle message…Putin style…NOW, to get to the good part….all of this is going on, distracting everyone from what ryan and mcconnell are doing in the background…All of this Russian Connection stuff is going to come out, eventually, and it will not look good for trump, and I think there are others, Comey, who are acting on the behalf of the russians…maybe even some in congress….this is ugly, and about to get uglier…

  3. oldfart January 28th, 2017 at 10:54

    The story is
    Losing the popular vote
    The woman’s march on Washington
    The president violating the constitution
    What the republican congress is doing…

    Those are facts, what the administration is pushing is pure BULLSH*T
    Call them out.
    Rant over.

    • William January 28th, 2017 at 10:57

      No, not bullsh*t, it’s “alternative facts”

      • granpa.usthai January 29th, 2017 at 02:08

        using conservative republican christian acceptable alternative trumpland terminology:

        is this F’ing b*tch going to be the acting 1st c*nt of trumpland until or if the 1st c*nt comes back to the white house?

        it just doesn’t feel right that there’s no 1st c*nt staying at the white house.

      • Mike N. January 29th, 2017 at 10:53

        The problem with that graphic is that it doesn’t bring out the true ugliness of Kellyanne, both literally and figuratively…

        • William January 29th, 2017 at 10:56

          37 more Dalmatian puppies and she’ll have enough for her coat.

    • granpa.usthai January 29th, 2017 at 02:19

      they should do a 4 year in depth report of why losing the popular vote by over 3,000,000 votes is NOT a mandate from the people.

  4. mea_mark January 28th, 2017 at 10:56

    Little Donald is a cathartic tool of change. He is showing us what is wrong with our country and what we need to fix. Little Donald himself is just a bag of flesh, empty of virtue and hollowed out, an empty husk of what could’ve been. Pushing back is exactly what we need to be doing. We can’t let him or his administration define the narrative of this country. The narrative needs to be about what is needed to fix our country from the damages being wreaked by our current administration and political system. Little Donald is a tool, we must stay focused on that. We must define who we are and what we want to be and not be swayed by the destruction and chaos that is occurring around us. Change is here, we must define that change for the good and not let a madman define that change for us.

    • William January 28th, 2017 at 10:58

      I believe his handlers are simply exploiting his narcissism, and he is simply too dumb to know it.

      • mea_mark January 28th, 2017 at 11:03

        That is certainly part of it. His ego keeps getting in the way though and everything is getting messed up. His handlers are mishandling him because they don’t really know what they’re doing either. It’s like little humans trying to play GOD and dictate what the fate of the universe should be. It just ain’t going to happen.

        • William January 28th, 2017 at 11:06

          I was wondering what sort of idiot would sign executive orders that will surely wind up voided in the house or on the desk of the supreme court. Then I realized Trumps handler, like him, have absolutely no knowledge of how government works or the Constitution.

          • mea_mark January 28th, 2017 at 11:14

            Yup, they are just motivated by delusions of power. People that don’t understand government voted them in. It’s too bad the EC didn’t do their job and realize lot’s people are ignorant and elect someone competent.

            I still think we should sue the people in the EC that voted tRump for damages. They totally failed to do what they were supposed to do. It should be a winnable case in civil court. Even if it didn’t win though, it would help change the narrative of the country and help point us toward real election reform.

          • StoneyCurtisll January 28th, 2017 at 12:04


      • Suzanne McFly January 28th, 2017 at 12:10

        Exactly, look at all they have to gain and they will not be held accountable for any of the repercussions due to these decisions. It will be all due to rump, he will be the moron that will go down in history for almost destroying us, not the CEO’s that tell him what to do.

      • granpa.usthai January 29th, 2017 at 02:01

        yea, but trump also loves the exposure.

        • William January 29th, 2017 at 09:05

          He simply says increasingly crazy things to distract from the last spew of idiocy. At some point he will have run out of stupid, and the game will come to a screeching halt.

    • StoneyCurtisll January 28th, 2017 at 11:59

      Key words…
      (a tool)…
      a tool. an offensive comment, mainly aimed
      towards the male of the species, when one is being particularly nasty,
      stupid, or facetious. God, Trump is such a tool !
      No doubt about it, Trump is a Tool~!

      • granpa.usthai January 29th, 2017 at 02:00

        a miniature tool with tiny hands?

    • oldfart January 28th, 2017 at 12:27

      how does one suppose a 4.5 unemployment number will start to look like
      a year from now ?…#notholdingmybreath ;)

      • granpa.usthai January 29th, 2017 at 01:59

        but the SUPER QUEEN of government handouts has an alternative projection of 30 to 40 -maybe even 150% unemployment rate under the last Administration of the old Republic.

  5. crc3 January 28th, 2017 at 11:28

    The next civil war/revolution is coming and it will be very ugly…

  6. StoneyCurtisll January 28th, 2017 at 11:55

    Bill nails it in his most recent monologue…

    • Suzanne McFly January 28th, 2017 at 12:04

      Oh that was hilarious!!! The vagina is rigged? LMAO!!!

      • StoneyCurtisll January 28th, 2017 at 12:05

        It’s a good one for sure..

    • oldfart January 28th, 2017 at 12:13

      Or could it be that the fact that over 500 thousand women collectively rejected him…

      • granpa.usthai January 29th, 2017 at 01:54

        that’s about 7X the number of people that were in DC at his installation ceremony? – or about 1/6th the number of votes Hillary won the general election by.

    • Obewon January 28th, 2017 at 12:15

      ‘Dissent is the highest form of patriotism’-USA Founder Thomas Paine, et al.

    • Robo Rubio January 28th, 2017 at 14:35

      Trump: #Trollitarian #Twitteritarian #Authoritarian

    • Kick Frenzy January 28th, 2017 at 15:07

      Yes, sometimes weathermen/women disagree on tomorrow’s weather.


  7. Suzanne McFly January 28th, 2017 at 12:07

    I heard rump is now saying he may not have a good relationship with putin. I wonder what happened? Did putin take away rumps knee pads?

    • StoneyCurtisll January 28th, 2017 at 12:10

      Trump also said he has never met Putin…
      But back during the campaign Trump had said he and Putin had met in the green room during a 60 mins interview, (an absolute lie)…
      Trump will often take two positions on any given topic, that way he will always be right.

      • Mensa Member January 28th, 2017 at 13:39

        >> Trump also said he has never met Putin…

        “met” — maybe not.
        “informed for” — maybe yes.

        • Mensa Member January 28th, 2017 at 13:45

          The pee’ing hookers got all the headlines but hid the real bombshell.

          Trump may have been a Putin asset.

          Putin keenly wanted to know what his fellow Russian oligarchs were doing in the U.S. Apparently, Trump was informing on them to Russia. Possibly for a favorable real estate deal. Trump was in the perfect place to know.

          This is stunning, if true.

          • granpa.usthai January 29th, 2017 at 01:50

            I’m still of the opinion that putin and trump were probably planning a surprise Military attack on China due to the excessive debt they owed the banks of China. When that fell through by China being alerted, trump started giving open access to trade as payment. The Pacific Trade Pact, Mexico, Eastern Africa, Mid Eastern countries – WTF knows how much more.putin is F’d. Russia doesn’t have enough gas as payment and they’re waiting for Russia’s move into eastern Europe before taking over Russia from the back side.

      • crc3 January 28th, 2017 at 16:45

        Alternate lies or truth? Who the eff knows at this point?

        • granpa.usthai January 29th, 2017 at 01:42

          if it’s uttered out of the mouth of the orange guy who got his butt spanked by Hillary with 3,000,000+votes, it’s 101% probability of being an alternative fact.

    • Mensa Member January 28th, 2017 at 13:36

      >> I heard rump is now saying he may not have a good relationship with putin.

      Back channel or in the public?

    • whatthe46 January 28th, 2017 at 15:24

      and you believe that? c’mon Suzanne.

      • Suzanne McFly January 28th, 2017 at 16:15

        Now you need to stop, where did I say I believed anything? lol.

  8. Mensa Member January 28th, 2017 at 13:35

    Never get in a argument with the people who own the servers.

  9. Robo Rubio January 28th, 2017 at 14:34

    The media (Bloomberg News, Fortune, New York Daily News and many other outlets): Trump’s Muslim ban will not include those he has business ties with.

    Trump: #Authoritarian #Trollitarian #Twitteritarian

    • Kick Frenzy January 28th, 2017 at 15:09

      “Trollitarian”… ha!
      Spot on description!

  10. amersham1046 January 28th, 2017 at 20:38

    media has to keep ringing Trumps bell, encourage the real fool to show himself

  11. StoneyCurtisll January 28th, 2017 at 23:36

    Are we supposed to take his word?
    I don’t believe any of it..
    I think we gonna be alright…

  12. Mike N. January 29th, 2017 at 10:49

    Are you sure Bannon is Trump’s toady? Isn’t it the other way around? 😶

  13. arc99 January 29th, 2017 at 11:43

    In memory of the late great Edward R. Murrow, I invite Steve Bannon to go f*ck himself.

    I trust the corporate media infinitely more than I trust any flunky working for the lying scumbag who had “investigators” in Hawaii WHO COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT THEY WERE FINDING!!!!!!!!!!!!

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