Three stories recently caught my attention in Stars and Stripes, the newspaper read by military members and veterans around the world.
The first story was about the proposed 2021 federal budget’s highest-ever military increase (cheering by states and corporations anticipating profit gains was heard).
The second story was about the 2021 veterans medical budget increasing by 13 percent (cheering by veterans and their families was heard).
The third story was about the 35 percent cut to the budget of Stars and Stripes (cheering from those worrying about unbiased access to news, not so much).
Stars and Stripes gives balanced news stories, and that is precisely the kind of reporting that President Donald Trump wants suppressed.
One story reported that Trump had signed bills to support veterans.
The newspaper also reported that those programs were bills under the Obama administration, now coming up for renewal, or bills introduced by Obama’s administration that had been held in Congress waiting to be signed.
Trump campaigned on establishing a White House VA hotline, claiming veterans could dial him directly.
The newspaper reported that the phone is being answered by staff in a nondescript building somewhere in Virginia.
The whole truth isn’t acceptable to someone whose only interest is in controlling the media for his own purposes.
When you visit the National Holocaust Museum, you may see the poster titled “Early Warning Signs of Fascism.”
The first item of note is “Controlling the Media.”
We have a president who bristles if he doesn’t like what reporters ask him, calling them “the enemy.”
The president is only interested in media sources that support him; he shuns and discredits any others that criticize him.
We rarely hear from the press secretary.
It’s easier for Trump to tweet his version of the truth.
It follows that Trump admires Putin for shutting down any negative news in Russian.
Crafting and limiting information is a power-grab exercised by every dictator in history.
People wonder how it was possible for the German people “not to know” that a demented madman was creeping into power.
Narrowing the media to single-slanted mass communications is how it’s done.
The group Patriot Front, whose message is “Make America Safe for Fascism,” marched through Washington, D.C., on Feb. 8.
Have we forgotten the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who died fighting Adolf Hitler’s media-controlled, fascist Germany?
We have to recognize purposeful manipulation and demand unbiased media before we are completely imprisoned in disinformation bubbles.
Martha E. Hodges