Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Can A Head of State Control Independent Media?

President Trump has taken the most of aggressive position with regard to media than any President in my lifetime (and that’s a long time!). His election performance in the debates, his criticism of the media and his constant Tweeting are public record. Recently the President tried to ‘gag’ the USDA, a move that was swiftly reversed after a public outcry.

Can any head of state really control a free press in the eyes of the citizen audience?

One pundit, admittedly a very liberal one and former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton is Robert Reich. Nicknamed the “Evil Dwarf” when he was in Washington. Mr. Reich is now Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies.

He recorded a video on December 22, 2016 that paints a picture (literally with a thought based cartoon) of how President Trump purportedly attacks Freedom of the Press. (See:, which is also the photo source.)

Reich claims that “tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques that, worryingly, Donald Trump is already using.” He lists the techniques as:
1.     Berate the media and turn the public against it.
2.     Limit media access.
3.     Threaten the media.
4.     Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly.

Interestingly enough, Professor Reich does not cite any specific examples of anyone who used these techniques.

As professional influencers, I’d like you to step back, listen to the short (less than 3 minute video) and let me know what YOU think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It stands to reason that more of the world is information-based, controlling information becomes an important skill.
Some people would highlight that as a strength.
Isn't it interesting that it's so out in the open, in front of us?