Tag Archives: enemy of the people

Who is the real ‘enemy of the people’?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The New York Daily News published an editorial this week that peels the bark off Donald Trump and his infantile effort to subvert the nation’s democratic process.

It begins this way:

Nearly four years ago, Donald Trump swore an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Trump now violates that oath on multiple fronts as he continues to insist he won an election he decisively lost, toys with disrupting the Jan. 6 count by Congress of the Electoral College tally — and lets his administration withhold vital cooperation from President-elect Joe Biden’s team in the pivotal closing weeks.

Editorial: Enemy of the people? Donald Trump seems dangerously determined to make Joe Biden’s job difficult (msn.com)

The Daily News takes Trump to task for the manner in which he is resisting, fighting, scrambling fecklessly to cling to the power he lost when Americans voted in significant numbers to reject him as president. He doesn’t deserve a second term in the eyes of a majority of American voters.

To think, too, that Donald Trump had the balls to declare that the media are the “enemy of the people” because they reported the unvarnished truth to Americans who were getting nothing but lies from their head of state.

Donald J. Trump is the real enemy.

Hoping to eradicate an ‘e-word’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I suppose you could surmise that there is a virtually endless array of things I anticipate with the inauguration of Joe Biden as our next president of the United States.

One of those things is the elimination of certain epithets we hear far too often from the man he will succeed, Donald J. Trump.

I want to discuss one of them briefly here. That would be the term “enemy.”

Joe Biden is wired entirely differently than Donald Trump.

Biden has said categorically and without equivocation that political foes are not enemies. He has worked through many decades in public service seeking compromise with politicians from the other party. He works well with Republicans while being what he calls himself as being a “proud Democrat.”

The president-elect understands that effective legislation quite often is the result of compromise. He doesn’t see the GOP as comprising enemies. They merely are opponents. Donald Trump exhibited an all-too-often and annoying tendency to cast his foes as enemies.

Indeed, he infamously referred to the media as the “enemy of the American people.” My goodness, it is no such thing. Previous presidents have been made uncomfortable by harsh questions posed by the media. None of them to my knowledge ever referred to reporters as anyone’s “enemy.”

I expect to see President Biden restore the sense of respect we all can have for those with whom we disagree. I also expect to see him eradicate the careless and reckless use of the word “enemy” within the White House.

No, Glenn Beck … you’re mankind’s enemy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Glenn Beck has enlisted in Donald Trump’s hate-the-media regiment, proclaiming that those with journalism degrees are the “enemy of mankind.”

Well, with all due outrage, I want to counter that right-wing blowhard blather. Glenn Beck and those of his ilk are mankind’s real enemy. The enemy does not exist within the ranks of reporters who do their job with dedication, who risk their lives quite literally covering news in danger spots around the world.

The enemy happens to be, in my view, half-baked talk show gasbags who purport to be the font of all knowledge but who just have the gift of gab that enables them to spew their garbage over the air.

That’s you, Glenn Beck.

Beck said this, among other things, on his show today, according to DeadState.com: “You are an enemy to man’s freedom,” Beck continued. “What you have done will be remembered a hundred years from now when maybe, possibly — possibly, men are free again after what you have done, you will be remembered in not a kind way.”

Beck needs to check his ego at the door.

The press is doing precisely what it always has done. It is holding government officials and others in power accountable for their words and deeds. They are performing an essential act in a functioning democratic system of government.

Shame on you, Glenn Beck … if you have anything in that ticker of yours that understands the word “shame.”

Time of My Life, Part 44: Recalling a time of trust

There once was a time when public officials trusted the media implicitly, they believed the media could have access to information and would know how to handle what they see.

That was long before the age of social media, the Internet and politicians who would label the media as “the enemy of the people.”

My first full-time job as reporter took me in the spring of 1977 from Portland, Ore., to a suburban community about 15 miles south of my hometown. I went to work for the Oregon City Enterprise-Courier, first as a sports writer and then as a general assignment reporter. The E-C was an afternoon newspaper; we published it Monday through Friday.

Given that it was a “p.m.” newspaper, our deadlines required us to report for work early in the day. My work days started before the sunrise, particularly after I moved from the sports desk and started working as a reporter.

My editor assigned me the task of going to police dispatchers’ offices each morning to collect the overnight police activity. The core of our circulation area concerned the Tri-Cities region: Oregon City, West Linn and Gladstone.

I would make the rounds with all three police departments, plus the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. The dispatchers would allow me to look at the call logs and — upon request — I could look at the police officers’ reports they had filed on specific calls.

That’s right. The dispatcher would give this grimy reporter access to the cops’ reports. Some of them were amazingly graphic in nature. The reports weren’t, um, often not that well-written. I occasionally had to interpret the messages the officers intended to convey.

But these police reports often provided some amazing stories that I could report to our community. One strange incident stands out, even more than 40 years later. It involved an Oregon City Police Department report about an officer responding to a guy who got stuck in a telephone booth in the wee hours. This poor schlub had used the phone, but couldn’t jimmy the door open so he could exit. He called the cops and an officer — along with a firefighting crew — responded to pry the guy out of the booth.

I followed a simple and straightforward credo: I was able to earn the trust of the dispatchers simply by being faithful to my pledge to treat the information I received with discretion.

Indeed, I never felt like anyone’s “enemy.” Nor do today’s journalists.

Here is the ‘enemy of the people’

Take a look at this picture. What you see in this image is the enemy of the people. This is an example of the actual enemy of decent Americans who fear for their lives when faced with monsters such as this.

However, in the mind of Donald Trump, the fellow who snapped this picture — a Dallas Morning News photojournalist named Tom Fox — is the “enemy” he detests.

I won’t identify the shooter. He is dead, killed by federal security officers who answered the call when shots rang out Monday morning at the Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse in downtown Dallas.

Fox was there, too. He hid behind a wall while this madman was pouring bullets into the courthouse. He managed to poke himself and his camera out long enough to snap this memorable image of the gunman.

I just feel compelled to point out that Tom Fox is a hero. He did his job of chronicling the news of the moment with cool professionalism; his picture now will be logged into the nation’s historical archive.

As for the shooter, he represented the worst in our society. He is the enemy we should fear. The fellow who snapped the image should be hailed as a hero.

Not all government officials view the press as ‘enemy’

Donald Trump’s vendetta against the media, his spiteful message of the media allegedly being the “enemy of the people,” hasn’t filtered down to all levels of government.

And that, I want to declare, is a very good thing.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week was honored by a county commission for its reporting on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Fla.

A former colleague and a friend was part of the team that collected the Pulitzer Prize for its reporting and commentary on the massacre that erupted on Valentine’s Day, 2018. The Sun-Sentinel walked away with the highest honor given by the Pulitzer board: the award for Meritorious Public Service.

Today, the Broward County Board of Commissioners took time to honor the Sun-Sentinel for the work it did reporting on the hideous eruption of gun violence.

My friend, Rosemary Goudreau O’Hara (she’s in the center of the picture linked to this post), called attention to the recognition today on her Facebook page. The Broward County Board of Commissioners declared today to be Sun-Sentinel Day in Broward County and gave the newspaper’s team a plaque to commemorate it.

This is precisely the kind of recognition that many in journalism appreciate beyond measure. It is heartening to me, even though I sit in a faraway peanut gallery seat, to realize that government officials are able to give the media the bouquet they deserve.

That’s what happened in Broward County, Fla.

As O’Hara said today on her Facebook post: This was such a nice thing to do. It’s unusual, too, for government to applaud the Fourth Estate for watchdogging government, especially when everybody doesn’t like the coverage. With our president calling the media the enemy of the people, it means a great deal that the Broward County Commission today recognized the South Florida Sun Sentinel for our reporting on the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. It’s Sun Sentinel Day in Broward!

These elected county officials have demonstrated their understanding that a free, unfettered and aggressive press is essential to the society we cherish.

Congratulations to the Sun-Sentinel staff and many thanks to a county government board for giving that staff the honor it has earned.

Russia, not the media, is the ‘enemy of people’

I already have stated my regret at dismissing Mitt Romney’s assertion in 2012 that Russia was this nation’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” He was right; those of us who criticized him were wrong.

Moreover, I also have stated — and restated countless times — my belief that Donald Trump should accept that reality and start treating the Russian government as the “enemy” it is.

I’m going to do so yet again. It likely won’t be the final time, either.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, in a talk before the Council on Foreign Relations this past week, said the Russians are working 24/7/365 at trying to undermine our electoral system. They did it in 2016, he said, and again in 2018. They are hard at work setting the table for what he called “the big show,” which would be the 2020 presidential election.

Where is the president on all of this? He’s nowhere, man.

Instead, he is attacking the media, Democrats, special counsel Robert Mueller, climate change advocates, abortion-rights activists. Political foes are fair game.

Russian President Vladimir Putin remains somehow protected from the same level of outrage that Trump levels at his domestic opponents. Why in the world is that the case?

Perhaps that is the question that the 2020 campaign will flesh out over time.

Trump stood before the media in Helsinki and trashed his intelligence and counterterrorism experts and accepted Putin’s denial that the Russians interfered in our election. He has continued to denigrate the intelligence community and continued to go soft on Putin, who — I hasten to add — is a former Soviet spy master.

Donald Trump is unloading his barrages on the wrong targets. The media aren’t the “enemy of the people.” Nor are Democrats. The FBI comprises professional law enforcement and legal professionals dedicated to protecting this nation from its enemies.

One of those enemies happens to function inside the Kremlin. That enemy is seeking to continue the work it started upon the 2016 Republican presidential candidate’s invitation to look for Hillary Clinton’s “missing e-mails.” That candidate, of course, was Donald John Trump.

The candidate-turned-president must cease his attacks on the media and focus them instead on the real No. 1 enemy of this nation and its citizens.

POTUS demands Fox bring back the judge . . . imagine that

You would think the president of the United States would have a plate that overflows with crises that demand his undivided attention, that he would have no time to burst out Twitter tirades railing against the “fake news” media and other imagined enemies.

But no-o-o-o!

Not this guy.

Donald J. Trump fires off a Twitter message that reads, in part:

Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well.

Fox condemned Pirro for remarks she made about Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim elected to Congress in 2018 from Minnesota. Pirro said Omar favors teaching Sharia law in classrooms. Why? Because she wears a hijab.

Fox issued a strongly worded statement condemning Pirro’s utterance. She’s been off the air for about a week.

So then Donald Trump enters the fray, demanding that Fox return Pirro to the air.

C’mon, Mr. President! Focus your attention — to the extent that are able — on issues that matter. A media outlet’s personnel decision is its to make.

You, sir, have matters of state that should concern you.

Trump keeps making media the ‘story’

I long have considered it a terrible journalistic sin for the media to become part of the story they are covering.

I worked in the media for nearly four decades and I managed over that span of time to steer clear of any discussion of an issue I was covering. Occasionally an organization that employed me would get entangled in the story; they would manage to wriggle themselves free.

The Age of Trump has produced an entirely different dynamic.

He labels the media the “enemy of the people.” His followers buy into it. They demonstrate in front of cable, broadcast and print reporters seeking only to do their job.

It’s getting weird to watch the news these days and hear all these references to cable networks involved so deeply in the covering of current events. For instance:

  • Fox News Channel has been banned from Democratic primary presidential debates because it has become a virtual arm of the Trump administration. Its commentators are known to be in constant communication with Donald Trump, reportedly offering policy advice to the president.
  • CNN, MSNBC are on the other end of the spectrum. Their commentators take great delight in chastising their colleagues at Fox. Meanwhile, Fox fires back at their competitors/colleagues. Oh, and the president hangs “fake news” labels on all media that report news that he finds disagreeable.

It all reminds of an athletic event where the attention turns to the referee. You want to concentrate on the athletes, not the individuals who discern whether they’re breaking the rules.

We’re concentrating increasingly on the media reporting of the issues at hand, and less so on the actual issues that are being discussed.

It’s a distressing trend that appears — to my way of thinking — to have no possible exit for the media.

Mitt takes up cudgel for a ‘free press’

U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney is filling me with hope that he might become a Republican who actually is willing to challenge the nation’s demonizer in chief.

The media, according to Mitt, aren’t the “enemy of the people.” Even a “biased” media, the new senator from Utah writes in an op-ed for USA Today, are essential to the nation.

I agree with him. So do all of Donald J. Trump’s predecessors. So should most of the congressional Republicans who will take office in January along with their Democratic colleagues.

Sen.-elect Romney says categorically that Trump is wrong to vilify the media. He writes: America is indebted as a democratic nation to the free press for truths it has uncovered, for truth it has disseminated, and for falsehoods it has repudiated. The press uncovered the government’s lies about the war in Vietnam; it exposed Watergate; it opened our eyes to the sexual abuse of children by priests; and, most recently, it shed a light on the sexual assault by numerous men in power. The free press dispelled the false conspiracies about the 9/11 attacks, President Obama’s birth, and Joe McCarthy’s lurking communists. The work of a free press is essential.

The president doesn’t see it that way. He says the media that report on issues he deems critical are disseminating “fake news,” which of course is the ultimate irony given his own lying about so many issues, so many individuals. He has defamed seemingly countless public figures with lies.

But I’ll leave it to Mitt Romney and perhaps a few other brave souls in public life to try to hold the president accountable for his continuing attacks on the media.

Donald Trump could not be more wrong. Mitt Romney couldn’t be more correct.