Dan Rather Compares Trump to Flying Cow Manure
President Donald Trump’s constant use of media is overwhelming Americans, according to veteran newsman Dan Rather.
His advice? The people need to see Trump’s rhetoric for what it is: propaganda meant to misinform and wear them down.
During an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter, while they were discussing the rise of right-wing extremism around the globe, Rather took a moment to lament on Trump’s successes and failures in the digital age, and how he’s used new tools to his advantage.
"The President has the strongest and the most powerful platform for propaganda that humans have ever had," iconic broadcaster @DanRather tells @brianstelter. "No President has ever had this kind of reach." pic.twitter.com/4lX3tCgbwY
— CNN (@CNN) March 17, 2019
In spite of his strengths in using social media, the Trump administration is apparently oblivious to the fact that right-wing extremism is on the rise online. Stelter asked Rather, “can [the White House] effectively respond to this rising threat of extremism on the internet” if they’re unaware of how it actually works?
“The answer is, not very well,” Rather said, per reporting from Newsweek. He further acknowledged that Trump has a lot of media tools at his disposal.
“Look, we have to deal with reality. This is a whole new age. And the president has the strongest, the most powerful platform for propaganda that humans have ever had. No president has ever had this kind of reach — the combination of television, radio, the internet, social media, tweets.”
Among the many difficulties with Trump’s use of media is the fact that he constantly uses it to disseminate false information.
Trump is “basically anti-science,” Rather said. “When you talk about what he says about climate change, that’s in a wider context of actually this administration led by the president is downgrading science at the very time we need to be leaping forward, keeping up with science. They’re cutting research and that sort of thing.”
The constant barrage of false statements and antagonistic tweets from Trump are wearing people down, the former CBS News anchor opined. “Much of the time, I sense the public has a sense that they’re facing a manure spreader in a windstorm. It just keeps coming and coming and coming at you.”
Trump “understands the value of that,” Rather added.
So what should Americans do in order to avoid being overwhelmed by their president? Rather suggests that people need to read into Trump’s statements — whether online or in traditional media — for what they are: attempts to shift public opinion using false and damaging statements.
“[F]or the public at large, it’s time to take a deep breath, say to yourself, ‘Stay steady.’ Keep in mind that this is a tremendous tool for propaganda. See it in that context and do the best we can,” Rather said.