Folio Weekly joins with news organizations across the country in publishing this editorial decrying President Donald Trump's attacks on the #freepress.
Our nation is being gas-lit by a two-bit huckster would-be king in a ten-thousand-dollar suit, a fork-tongued buffoon crashing about hither and thither, straddling a wrecking ball that swings between greed and narcissism, all bluster and id, swaying and shouting and preening, a lusty lothario careening and grabbing and lying … oh, how he lies. He tells lies on lies on lies—he has intended a lie and stumbled into the truth.
The highest crime in this king’s court is hearing other than the king would hear, seeing other than the king would see, telling other than the king would tell. In the view of this inglorious, feckless louse of a king, he is the living embodiment of his subjects—we are he and he is wee—the slightest slight against the liege as an act of war on the louse's largesse.
To wit: The king has named enemies of the mirror that reflects his pocks, the scribe who scribbles his gaffes, the jester who mimics his faults.
Yet our self-styled lordship has no greater foe than the press. Our insolence is plain as the perfect noses on the pale faces of some very fine people such as he, for we do not love him with unquestioning loyalty. Rather, we dare tell of his words and deeds and their effect, even when such casts him in an unflattering light or causes his nemeses delight—high treason, if he ever saw it, and indeed he has, up close and personal, in fact.
The king will tell you that he has tried to reason with us infidels. Who among us has not borne witness to his graciousness allowing the press near the throne room to be addressed by his proxies Spicer and Sanders? No questions, please. He does such charity out of the goodness of his heart—there is no law greater than the king’s law, no thought greater than the king’s thought, yet he lowers himself and permits us press pool plebeians these glimpses into the inner workings of the monarchy which we have no right to know, much less to criticize. Tragically, not even this concession assuages the callous hordes of op-ed writers, reporters, broadcasters, tweeters and YouTubers, who cannot be trusted to speak as the king would speak, hear as the king would hear, or see as the king would see. With so few on his side, our lord feels he has no choice but to talk at his vassals in 280-character fonts of knowledge straight from the horse’s ass to their eyes and ears, no alternative but to remind the menial chattel again and again and again how the rotten press fails to tell them that which he would have them know and, instead, insists on telling them that which he would rather they not be aware—as is the king’s exclusive prerogative.
It is the enfant terrible of a king’s greatest hope that the people will rise against us media tyrants who hold his monarchy hostage, wielding our mighty pens of insistence to verify facts and tell objective truths, of analyzing and critiquing and speaking truth to power, of presenting a broad variety of views, so long as these be based in reality. He would love nothing more than to see his legions rip us from the middle-class SUVs and sedans in which we ride against the king, disarm us of our pens and pads and, most important, phones, so that we may not spoil another of his rounds of golf or pieces of beautiful chocolate cake. But, alas, his are a peaceful, complacent people long accustomed to the bounties he alone creates, of Hulu and NetFlix and public Wi-Fi, fettering away the hours intermittently trolling and admiring pretties on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, 4Chan, and Instagram. They have no time for war.
So, instead, the king has concocted a very stable, genius plan to disarm us without firing so much as a shot—good thing, too, as his bone spurs won’t permit him to ride into battle, be it by motorcade or Air Force One—a technique he learned at the feet of one of the finest people the world has known (though none can match the king, obviously): A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.
Hence, our king will swing and sway and stuff and fondle, say whatever dances into and out of his hulking orange head, a gushing torrent that stuns all who hear it, and in that putrid spout of gibberish, madness and inanity, there will be a golden stream that initially leaves a fetid tang, but over time develops the clear taste of truth: The press is your enemy, the press is your enemy, the press is your enemy. They lie, they lie, they lie. #FakeNews #FakeNews #FakeNews
Many will #resist the malodorous funk of noxious homily, but as the converted spread the gospel of the king’s word on social media, radio, in papers and, best of all, on TV, one by one by one, the reporters and broadcasters and bloggers will either fall in line or fall like dominoes, until all in the kingdom know there is but one real and abiding truth: Whatever the king says it is.
Someday we may have forgotten, but while it can still be said for the record: If this comes to pass, the republic is damned—and the king with it.
For if there is no one to seek and report the truth, we will not know the truth; if we cannot know the truth, there is no truth. If there is no truth, there can be no fealty; if no fealty, none will recognize a man as their king.
Find links to other editorials supporting the free press here. Read a previous Folio Weekly editorial on the free press, written in the wake of the shooting at the Capital Gazette, in Annapolis, Maryland here.