Sen. Jeff Flake is setting up various speeches he intends to give after he leaves office toward the finish of this term.
Maybe obviously, none of them are intended to express his relentless help for President Donald Trump’s plan.
On ABC News “This Week” however, Flake talked about one speech specifically with host George Stephanopolous: a speech on Trump’s treatment of the press that analyzes Trump, horribly, to Soviet pioneer Joseph Stalin:
Well, I — what I’m trying to say is, you know, you — you can talk about crowd size and this is pretty innocuous if there’s a falsehood. But when you reflexively refer to the press as the enemy of the people or fake news, that has real damage. It has real damage to our standing in the world. And I noted how — how bad it is for a president to — to take what was popularized by Joseph Stalin, the enemy of the people, to refer to the press.
And then now, today, you have authoritarians across the world using the term fake news to justify cracking down on their opposition or — or staunch legitimate debate. That’s nothing we should be proud of. And so I’m going to talk about how damaging that is. It’ll be I think on the same day, probably, Wednesday, that the president is giving out some fake news awards. And I — I just want — want the president to know that this has real consequences.
There is no doubt that Trump has dictator inclinations with regards to the press. A long-lasting subject of gossip rags and amusement journalists, Trump is suspicious of media all in all, and predominant media specifically.
He immediately received an anti-press position in his presidential campaign and is currently both externally unfriendly to media figures — getting out CNN for its inclination on Twitter, frequently with the utilization of over-the-top images — and pushing an anti-press plan that reinforces libel and criticism laws, apparently so Trump can make a move against correspondents he finds troublesome.
However, there’s a major distinction between “Trump is unfriendly to the press” and “Trump is slowly transitioning into Joseph Stalin.”
The former regularly posts irate tweets; the last utilized the state to add and control the press, and by and by authorized, controlled, and censored the media. Stalin applied control over every single aesthetic undertaking — not simply news coverage — subjecting specialists, journalists, humorists, entertainers and so forth to the control and, in the long run, the rubber stamp of the state.
The individuals who protested were sent to work camps or were murdered.