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Excerpt: "Senator John McCain, defending the media against the latest attack by President Donald Trump, warned that suppressing the free press was 'how dictators get started.'"

Senator John McCain. (photo: Getty Images)
Senator John McCain. (photo: Getty Images)

ALSO SEE: Trump Calls Media the "Enemy of the American People"

Suppressing Free Press Is 'How Dictators Get Started': Senator McCain

By Jonathan Landay and Andrea Shalal, Reuters

19 February 17


enator John McCain, defending the media against the latest attack by President Donald Trump, warned that suppressing the free press was "how dictators get started".

The Arizona Republican, a frequent critic of Trump, was responding to a tweet in which Trump accused the media of being “the enemy of the American people”.

The international order established after World War Two was built in part on a free press, McCain said in an excerpt of an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that was released in advance of the full Sunday morning broadcast.

"I hate the press. I hate you especially," he told interviewer Chuck Todd from an international security conference in Munich. "But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It's vital."

"If you want to preserve - I'm very serious now - if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That's how dictators get started," he continued.

"They get started by suppressing free press. In other words, a consolidation of power. When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I'm not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I'm just saying we need to learn the lessons of history," McCain said.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, told the conference on Sunday she was also concerned about Trump's comments.

"The real danger is the president’s criticism of the media," Shaheen told the conference. "A free press ... is very important to maintaining democracy, and efforts on the part of a president to undermine and manipulate the press are very dangerous."

The comments from U.S. lawmakers followed Trump’s tweet and came days after the president held a raucous news conference at which he repeatedly criticized news reports about disorder in the White House and leaks of his telephone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the importance of a free press at the conference on Saturday, saying, "I have high respect for journalists. We've always had good results, at least in Germany, by relying on mutual respect." your social media marketing partner


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+4 # mashiguo 2017-02-19 09:48
And where was McCain when W started controlling the press?
In fact where was McCain when the RNC set up free speech zones in the 2008 convention when he was nominated?

McCain is a hypocrite of such extended dimension that even his hatred of Trump is unsufficient to cover.

Trump is only working with what was handed to him on a silver platter by Bush, Obama etc.
+2 # dquandle 2017-02-19 18:22
Amen. McGoon is an incompetent (fifth lowest in his class filthy warmongering redbaiting "maverick" senator from Lockheed-Martin , who despite his heinous war crimes, got special treatment from his captors as a POW for being the son of a US admiral.

"Class indeed has privileges, and while the government refused to provide my combat-veteran father with medical benefits for his malaria, McCain, who spent ten hours of his life in mortal danger, was decorated with the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

And thus the “war hero” myth was born.



McGoon had the gall to decry the loss of a US aircraft during Obama/Trump's last/first joint failed murder mission, far more important than the civilians who were butchered, but thats par for McGoon.

"But John McCain crashed five US Navy planes, and that's on the record. Moreover, he was involved in, if not instrumental to, the worst accident ever onboard a US Navy aircraft carrier -- the USS Forrestal fire. "

+7 # Texas Aggie 2017-02-19 14:57
Along with a free press, we also need whistleblowers. When drumpf says that the press is now the opposition, he is merely stating what the press should be in the first place. The main role of a free press is to expose misbehavior by the government. It's role as envisioned by the very people who founded our system of government was to be a watchdog on government.

And along with a press that keeps its eye on government, there needs to be a recognition that whistleblowers are an integral part of the process. Drumpf may get upset about the "leaks," just like Obama did, but instead of focusing on the damage to them done by having their misdeeds exposed to scrutiny, they need to realize that NOT leaking the evidence is the same as being an accomplice to criminal behavior. Not only is it a moral requirement to leak information about criminal behavior, but they have the legal requirement as well to avoid being an accomplice.
+4 # Skippydelic 2017-02-19 15:27
Trump isn't a dictator YET, but he's half of that already.

And it's NOT the 'tator' half! ;-)
0 # HahliHohli 2017-02-19 16:07
I think the press should be FREE AND LEGALLY BOUND to tell the TRUTH. As of a Florida lawsuit ruling involving Monsanto the FCC, Akre and Wilson in 2003, it is not!

or maybe it is????

That being the case, will the REALEST TRUTH please step forward!?

But I still believe that the press should be FREE AND LEGALLY BOUND to tell the TRUTH.
+1 # ericlipps 2017-02-20 11:49
But if the press is legally bound to tell "the truth," who gets to decide that "the truth" is? How do you square a free press with such a requirement?
+5 # Skyelav 2017-02-19 16:21
Shame on you John McCain, implying that this is something new. Forty years or so ago the Koch brothers bought Fox news. End of good reporting and the free press. The other oligarchs own the rest of the news outlets. Isn't that what we all would do if we wanted to control the world's financial markets? Buy up the media?
0 # The Ice Maiden 2017-02-26 12:00
At least McCain is saying something now!!!
That puts him lightyears ahead of the rest of the Republicans.
Can we please not shit on his bravery now, just because he didn't speak up earlier?
0 # Jaax88 2017-02-19 16:42
What more is needed to impeach trump? An institution America has had since
its founding, one protected by the Constitution and idiot trump has the gall to call the press the "enemy of the people." Isn't that an attack on the Constitution which idiot trump has sworn to uphold?
+1 # Aliazer 2017-02-19 17:04
My, My, oh my!!Enters now the so called "Free Press", along with the very people who couldn't care less about it, particularly when policy discussions of global and national dimensions are never reported from such secretive groups as the Trilateral, Bilderberg and similar other entities.

The media, as well as attending participants, as Merkel, McCain and others have been purposefully complicit in conspiring against the people of the West, keeping them ignorant and uninformed, while planning their cultural demise and destruction!!!
0 # chrisconnolly 2017-02-22 08:51
Suppressing the free press is only part of what a dictator-n-maki ng does. He vilifies a portion of the population and rounds them up into detention, then vilifies the labor leaders and activists and disappears them. He cuts all social safety nets, cuts all restrictions on business, increases taxes to everyone but the wealthy, and loots the treasury. Trump is a dictator in the making.

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