Trump’s media blackouts and ‘alternative’ realities

Last Friday, Jan. 20, saw the rise to power of Donald J. Trump in the United States. The following day estimated crowds of about three million — a majority women, who were the organizers — took to the streets of many cities and towns in this country to protest.

Have you noticed that women are much faster to catch on then men?

Before the noon inauguration I wrote a column stating that we as a country were taking a giant leap backward. One of the many reasons I mentioned was Trump’s undermining of the First Amendment. I wrote, and I believe rightfully so, that “there is good reason for that Amendment to come first.” Through this amendment to the constitution all our rights and liberties flow. It protects freedom of religion, speech and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government.

But we are now living a new reality in this country. It’s a Trumpian philosophy that will soon attempt to limit the right to assemble, criticize or petition the government. As for religion, some are accepted, others not so much. Women shall walk behind the Trumpster (check out Melania at the inauguration) and the president will travel with his own cheerleading squad. He will only accept cheers and adulation — death to those who protest.

Trump does not like to be criticized, even when he is wrong, which appears to be often. On the second (or was it third?) day on the job one of his closest advisers, Kellyanne Conway, basically said on national TV that the Trump White House would be offering “alternative facts” when they don’t agree with what the press, or any opposition for that matter, says. Even if the facts being offered by the press are true. Actually, the definition of a fact is “knowledge or information based on real occurrences.” At Progreso Weekly we have a team of journalists in search of the meaning of “alternative facts.” We have yet to find any definitive answers, but sources deep within the White House have informed us that Trump and his people may be coming out with a new American dictionary, since American is what should be spoken here.

I suppose English has gone out the window. We now speak American, and we better like their version of “alternative facts,” I was told.

It’s confusing. Now imagine those poor men and women of the press who cover the White House having to learn a whole new language. And forced to smile through Trump’s “alternative facts” of the day…

Seriously, though, I make fun of this bully we now call our president, but the situation is turning dicey — and quickly. For example, and this from the Associated Press:

“The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants.

“Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.

“The Trump administration has also ordered a “temporary suspension” of all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors. The orders are expected to have a significant and immediate impact on EPA activities nationwide.”

Like I implied last week, Trump would like to get rid of the First Amendment. Especially when it deals with him. The EPA media blackout is a prime example. For the second time in less than a week I’ll end my column with these words: God help us all.

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Progreso Weekly, founded by Francisco G. Aruca, is an independent publication with a progressive view.

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