US President, Donald Trump, appears to have instigated other world leaders to rant against the Press. He has now come to be credited with the accusation of “fake news” against the media.
Almost every time he mounts a podium, Trump will rail against the US media for distorting his views, according to how he perceives it. That is why he has popularized tweeting; in effect he has replaced his communication team’s announcements with his Tweets.
In the human debacle that is developing in Myanmar, the leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has also come against the media accusing it of falsifying the events that are taking place in the north of the country against the Muslim Rohingya tribe.
Mark you, she, and the collaborating ruling military, have locked off the place from press access.
Despite that, a number of journalists have managed to breach the ban and brought out the harrowing images of the incredible suffering of the Rohingya as they are chased out into neighbouring Bangladesh.
Suu Kyi has defended the military, which punished her in house arrest for 26 years, as they incinerate Rohingya villages, raping and killing; incredible what power does to people!
Suu Kyi is adamant that it is the Rohingya “terrorists” that are destroying their own villages, even against the United Nation’s observation that, what her regime is doing to the Rohingyas is actually “textbook ethnic cleansing”.
In his on-going tour of the country, President Yoweri Museveni, is using radio and television stations to try to popularize his campaign for the amendment of the Contentious Land Act, that as he sees it, in its present form, is preventing him from arbitrarily taking over “land for Government projects”. For the journalists, that is not the problem.
The issue is that the Press is being accused of reporting the views of the people who are presenting their position that the Government is “grabbing” their land. Museveni is against this point of view.
He says that it is the Press that is popularizing this view, in effect, carrying the “false” position of the proponents and owners of the land; and helping them to demand exorbitant “billions”, in compensation for their land.
This is the archetypical case of blaming the messenger for delivering the message. In it, is containing the accusation that, the Press is presenting a false picture of the Government’s position; and fronting the position of the owners. For the Press and the owners of the media outlets, the reaction has been instantaneous.
Realizing that they are getting to be the bottom of the argument, the media outlets have barred those people from bringing their opposing views to their outlets.
In effect this is putting a lid of self-censorship on themselves; the messengers are gagging themselves in fear of retribution that would be visited upon them for practicing their professions and businesses.
The bigger picture is that: Trump is leading a global attack, already observable in Asia and Africa, on what is being shouted as the “freedom of the press”; and the “democratic right” of the citizens to advance it.