One of the reason Russia is able to control their citizenry so well, despite widespread poverty, a high unemployment rate and government-sponsored murder, is through their network of state-run media organizations. Through state-run media such as RT, Gazprom Media and Moscow Media, the Kremlin is able to not only control the narrative of the news, but also control the hearts and minds of its populace.
Oftentimes political pundits in the United States refer to Fox News, in a joking manner, as “state-run news” simply because of their ties to the White House and their lack of negative reporting pertaining to the White House in comparison to most other mainstream media organizations in the United States. With that said, however, Fox News is far from actually being state-run, and that is certainly a good thing.
Today in a series of tweets targeting CNN, President Trump surprised even some of his staunchest supporters in what appeared to suggest that the United States government may consider starting its own state-run media organization.
“While CNN doesn’t do great in the United States based on ratings, outside of the U.S. they have very little competition. Throughout the world, CNN has a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way. Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!” Trump tweeted.
While any such attempt by Mr. Trump to launch a government run news organization would likely be met with harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle, it’s the message his tweet sends to the world which may be the most dangerous.
As Americans have fought tirelessly to help spread democracy and a free press throughout the world, such rhetoric is sure to empower those like Russia and North Korea who continue to use their powers to trample on journalist freedom, oftentimes by targeting those journalist with threats and even death.