A liberal friend just posted a highly incendiary piece on Facebook, Robert Reich’s “Trump’s Seven Techniques To Control The Media“. It is far too obvious this is a blatant attempt to attribute negative characteristics to the President-elect, likening him to Goebbels. Reich’s attempt is more Goebbels-like, and it is a dreadful testimony to the depths to which Reich has descended. Now Reich appears to be nothing more than a political smear artist. But let’s put petty politics aside and examine the salient points in the article.
Of course, I took an interest. Controlling the media, controlling the news?
There are 7 steps that Reich says Trump supposedly uses to control the media.
- Berate the media
- Blacklist critical media
- Turn the public against the media
- Condemn satirical or critical comments
- Threaten the media directly
- Limit media access
- Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly
*The seven step video from Democracy Now is at “Part 1, Robert Reich: Like a Tyrant, Trump Is Deploying Seven Techniques to Control the Media” and “Part 2: Robert Reich: Like a Tyrant, Trump Is Deploying Seven Techniques to Control the Media” are more Trump bashing than a discussion of Media control techniques. But still, the steps are embedded amidst the obviously biased political discussion.
This list looked very familiar, so I did some mild digging. Okay, confession time. When I hit a brick wall I became semi-obsessed. Reich put a vague disclaimer on his website, but if you know me, I won’t let a mosquito buzz in my ear for too long.
I did an exhaustive search, and I do mean exhaustive. I came up with some very strange results, which will be the result of my next blog.
After coming up with nothing, I cast my net out to experts, who suggested the following
- Ralph Sawyer, The TAO of Deception, unorthodox warfare in historic and modern China
- Sun Tzu
After searching, I found nothing. My search continues, unless somebody can help.
I found this article about President Obama, from March 4, 2013. “White House and Press Relations Getting Worse“. In the article, President Obama is accused of doing the exact same things to control the press.
Apparently, Democracy Now and Robert Reich borrowed from the same list that the article from 2013 borrowed from.
Reich’s only concession to a reference is this vague paragraph:
Historically, these seven techniques have been used by demagogues to erode the freedom and independence of the press. Even before he’s sworn in, Trump seems intent on doing exactly this.
Reich did not invent this list, he borrowed it from somewhere. I distinctly recall reading this previously. He gives no examples of these demagogues. He gives no references, no citations, and gives no credit. The list has, therefore, no credibility. By extension, Robert Reich has no credibility.