U.S. Politics

Robert Reich Lays Bare Trump’s Four Techniques For Manipulating The Media


What are the 4 ways Trump is trying to control the media? Watch our video and see how tyranny begins.

Robert Reich

Historically, tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques that, worryingly, Donald Trump is already using.

1. Berate the media and turn the public against it. Trump refers to journalists as “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum.” When Trump lies-claiming, for example, “massive voter fraud” in the election, and that he “won in a landslide”-and the media call him on those lies, Trump claims the media is lying. Even televised satires he labels “unfunny, one-sided, and pathetic.”

2. Limit media access. Trump hasn’t had a news conference since July. (His two predecessors had news conferences within days of being declared president.) He’s blocked the media from traveling with him, and even from knowing with whom he’s meeting. His phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which occurred shortly after the election, was first reported by the Kremlin.

3. Threaten the media. During the campaign, Trump threatened to sue the New York Times for libel in response to an article about two women who accused him of touching them inappropriately years ago, and then another that revealed part of his 1995 tax returns. He says he plans to “open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”

4. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly. Trump tweets incessantly, issues videos, and holds large rallies-all of which further enable him to lie directly to the public with impunity.

The word “media” comes from “intermediate” between the powerful and the public. The media hold the powerful accountable by correcting their misstatements, asking them hard questions, and reporting on what they do. Apparently Trump wants to eliminate such intermediaries.

Historically, these 4 techniques have been used by demagogues to erode the freedom and independence of the press. Donald Trump seems intent on doing exactly this.


7 thoughts on “Robert Reich Lays Bare Trump’s Four Techniques For Manipulating The Media

  1. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America. If that statement doesn’t terrify you, and make you regurgitate a meal or two, you probably voted for him. “Ignorance knows no fear.”


  2. I know truth and hyperbole when I hear it. Mr. Trump also knows both. He chooses to reject the former in favor of the latter. Irrespective of one’s political beliefs we can see this clearly in his speech and behavior and in that I am being kind to him. Mr. Reich is most accurate in this article. Mr. Trump is an uninformed person and because of that he is becoming a threat to our form of government. He could start showing some respect for our nation by creating a blind trust for his financial holdings and that would only be a first step.


  3. Why isn’t the technique called smart politics? Why is using political skills exercised by others throughout our history called demagoguery when Trump does it? Isn’t the art of politics a matter of maneuvering ? What’s wrong with communicating with the public directly? All presidents do this esp when their agenda may be blocked by the congress, they take the message to the people. Press as intermediaries ? I have run for office. The Miami Herald was bought off by my opposition and I was not quoted correctly a single time in election coverage. Even when I gave written material they edited it and misrepresented me even in simple biography. In one campaign the paper did not cover the election at all denying any press coverage ! If you are in politics you had better have an alternative communication apparatus in hand. I wish I could have threatened and sued the Miami Herald. Intermediaries? The press intermediaries repeatedly misrepresented and hounded both Clinton and Trump unfairly.

    I will admit I do not appreciate Trump’s “truth stretchers” , his name calling and he did not win in a landslide nor was there massive voter fraud. #2 Limit media access ? Throughout the campaign Trump opened himself to media every single day, on TV interviews, radio, press conferences and submitted to grueling questioning every day. Hillary hid and kept herself well protected from media questions and had no press conferences for several months. She walked away from reporters asking her about email. Benghazi. pay for play while Trump stopped and answered every question. How would you protect yourself when the left constantly posts images of Trump dressed like Hitler with swastika flags ? Trump is smart enough to fight back.


    1. If nothing else Carl, I appreciate your passion when it comes to Donald Trump.

      Undoubtedly, Trump is being portrayed unfairly at times. It’s the price he pays for becoming more than the public figure that he was. He is now the POTUS and as such, there’s always a higher standard “EXPECTED” than can be given by most individuals, when they achieve the highest office in their land.

      My conclusion is that Trump will NEVER be ready for “Prime Time”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really was not a big Trump supporter (liked Bush or Cristie or Kasich)and I hope he stops his twitter nonsense and hyperbole. I am hopeful that jobs will be created and “a rising tide lifts all ships”(Jessie Jackson) which would defuse the label as racist and misogynist labeling him as so successfully by Hill campaign. I find myself liking a cabinet filled with billionaires because he said early on we don’t need politicians and special interests designing an economy but money people , people that understand economics drives history even on the international scale. Naturally I hope the money gets directed for jobs and have a degree of confidence. I like generals in the cabinet . The left laments fascist military takeover but non of these men have an army of military police. Generals are accomplish a mission driven, end result and work to that unburdened by nonsense(however Truman said “Ike won’t like being President. It’s not the army”). I agree we expect and deserve a high standard(of which Clintons no role models). I was outraged and ashamed as a republican when as soon as Obama was elected , Mitch McConnell said the goal was to make sure Obama was a one term president. I feel that was disgraceful and obstructionist. We should all hope for success of any new president. I am distressed of his casual attitude about nukes.I think US could unilaterally eliminate all nukes and still defeat all enemies or combination thereof. I am also environment conscious and feel all guns should be registered and owners fingerprinted. I had to be fingerprinted just to get my teaching job, certainly so should be owner of a weapon. Believe unconditionally global warming a fact. So see I consider myself a centrist/moderate but don’t like that label. I like the label “sensible”.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Catching after the trump’s LIES & FALSE ACCUSATIONS, would be like herding cats… and WHO can keep up with the master entertainer, when he sets himself on fire, every other day, to get attention.?… Was HRC, supposed to run behind…”’but, but… over here, I have something to say””… when trump would just set his hair on fire again & the Media ran to him…..they ARE NOT BLAMELESS is this mess of a election… waited to long to call a fraud, a spineless fraud & cheat… interviewed to many of his ‘SURROGATES’ who lied just as well as he does….this was not a normal election.. it was, IMHO, predestined… by a dark force, that most ppl cant see….ONLY his stupefied, adoring red meat fans… can see the trump image, as something good…


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