Senator John McCain (R-AZ), affectionately known as “Songbird,” appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to talk about President Donald Trump’s blasting of the media. He said that was “how dictators get started.”
“I hate the press,” said McCain. “I hate you especially. But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It’s vital.”
I don’t know how is stifling the free press. Calling out media that knowingly lie and will not correct themselves is not a violation of the First Amendment. Second, Trump has not called for the media to be silenced. He’s merely exposing who they are and sidelining them by doing so.
“If you want to preserve – I’m very serious now – if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” McCain added. “And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”
Well, again, the press remains free, but Senator McCain, we live in a Republic, not a democracy. Perhaps you need this civics lesson.
“They get started by suppressing free press,” he continued. “In other words, a consolidation of power when you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”
Well, Senator McCain isn’t saying that Trump is trying to be a dictator, but can anyone disagree that is what he is insinuating?
While silencing the media would certainly be characteristic of a dictator, what I have seen from Donald Trump has been to exposed the corruption of the media. The media is not “free” to lie about anyone. They are free to report the truth.
What’s ironic in all of this is that McCain has been instrumental in arming, funding and training Islamic jihadis, who have been just as destructive to freedom in the Middle East as any dictator you can name, but that doesn’t seem to bother him one bit.