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Dear Donald

Please Stop Attacking the Media

Dear Donald,

Your attacks on the media not only make people worried and mistrusting of the news, but also lend itself to an authoritarian regime that cannot take criticism or complaint. Your insistence that all criticism is wrong and your inability to tolerate it whether anonymous or otherwise does not befit a man who is holding the office of the President of the United States.

The most astounding accusation that you launch upon the media of the United States is that of 'fake news.' In reality, this is simply news that you do not like, or in someway criticises your methods and actions. This tendency to try and destabilise the media agenda by openly promoting only networks or programs who conform to your agenda, is remarkably like an attempt to create a state news media, such as exists in North Korea and China. These places, where the people only learn as much as they are allowed to, is exemplary of further authoritarian regimes and their attempts to control the populace in a way that it becomes impossible to determine fact from fiction, and to use the confusion to your own ends.

Worse than this however, is that your attacks on the media, and threats about further regulation of the media, directly infringe on the first amendment of the United States Constitution. The protections granted by that first amendment are being fundamentally challenged, when you bully and intimidate those who do not simply agree with your positions. It directly flies in the face of these protections of the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances." But your open bullying of those who express this risks minimising and ultimately suppressing free speech simply from their fear of reprisals and bullying from you and your supporters.

Ultimately though, it is the fact that media should not always be on the side of government. It should be the opposite, almost always against. The media should be criticising and analysing your government, and you should thank them for doing so. With the media acting as a check on what you are doing, they act as a great balance and a check on executive power. Without the media, it is all too possible for politicians like yourself to do anything they want without consequence. And a good President would acknowledge where he is going wrong, and change what he does in response, rather than railing that everyone is wrong but him.

Your railing against the anonymous opinion piece in the New York Times merely shows us your methods in practice. Almost immediately you hunt for the person whose only crime has been to criticise you and your policies. The media is pointing out your flaws, and you should take the almost complete condemnation as proof that you need to change what you are doing, rather than treating them as your enemies.

And so in conclusion, you should be happy that the media exists. It has helped to keep America the country that it is. But your actions are ruining this, by attacking people who are merely exercising their constitutional rights, and something that you should be taking on board rather than attempting to shut it down. Your calls of fake news are only serving to weaken confidence in news media that is doing its best to do what they have done for centuries, keeping government accountable. Please embrace that, and work to make America truly great, rather than attempting to destroy one of the most important rights not only of Americans, but of everyone. The right to criticise.



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