Tags: Donald Trump | Media Bias | Trump Administration | bbc | maitlis | oregon | spicer

Assign Blame Universally for Descent of Political Discourse

Assign Blame Universally for Descent of Political Discourse
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Tuesday, 31 July 2018 04:59 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Sean Spicer, President Trump's former press secretary, is on the road promoting his recently published book, "The Briefing."

The work apparently details his time in the Trump White House as well as his life, prior to his service to President Trump in general. In a recent BBC interview with Emily Maitlis, Spicer was asked questions about some of the highlights of his time with Trump and even that period following his exit from Trump's team as spokesperson. The interview was something of a contentious back-and-forth.

In response to Spicer's comments on the issue surrounding the size of the crowd at Trump's Inauguration (purportedly the largest Inaugural crowd in history) Maitlis impassionedly asserted, "You played with the truth, you led us down a dangerous path. You have corrupted discourse for the entire world by going along with these lies."

Maitlis has a right to her opinion, albeit a dramatically expressed one.

However, it's a false assertion to believe and make publicly. This is not surprising as it has been revealed the media has shown Trump in a negative light during most of his presidency.

This biased view of the president's policies and social media posts have also not been beneficial to political discourse. This is because there have been numerous issues with regard to there being a lack of truth, as reflected in articles, and reports made by hosts of television shows.

Spicer pointed this out in the interview.

However, why did Maitlis bypass this point? Corrupted discourse works both ways, even if Maitlis tries to act as if the media has always taken the high road.

"92% of network news coverage of President Trump is negative according to @theMRC study," "Fox and Friends" tweeted recently.

In her desire to blast Trump and Spicer, she also forgets that attacks on free speech have continued to be detrimental to American discourse in general.

For example, a high school student in Oregon just won a settlement from his school district after he sued them for suspending him for wearing a "pro-Trump border wall T-shirt."

This is not the only occasion in which free speech has been attacked — when such speech was supportive of Trump, or other conservative viewpoints.

The number of stories involving protests of figures, such as Ben Shapiro or members of Trump's own administration, shows also that regular citizens are playing a part in the erosion of civilized political discourse.

Thoughts of peace and courteous conversation did not begin and end with Barack Obama.

Thus, it's inappropriate to view Trump as having sole influence on the negative transformations we are seeing universally in politics.

Political discourse in the U.S., or as Maitlis asserted, "the entire world," has continued to descend into a chaotic mess, not due to secretly recorded tapes and/or controversial social media posts of our commander in chief, but because of changing social norms which have already been taking place in our nation, and also globally.

Therefore, politicians are not solely and necessarily the impetus for changing habits of a society, but a direct reflection of those changes, or even a consequence of tumultuous societal transformations.

Although we are living in an era of a heightened level of incivility, with stories that could be labelled as "fake news": coming from citizens, politicians, and journalists, etc., the responsibility lays at each of our doorsteps globally and not just at that of President Donald J. Trump's — or his administration alone.

Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter (@DannerJerome) and Facebook (Facebook.com/ThITwithJDanner) for more of his thoughts and commentary. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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JeromeDanner
Political discourse has continued to descend into a chaotic mess, not due to secretly recorded tapes and/or controversial social media posts of our commander in chief, but because of changing social norms which have already been taking place in our nation, and also globally.
bbc, maitlis, oregon, spicer
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2018-59-31
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 04:59 PM
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