The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America
a book by Jim Acosta
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that A New York Times bestseller.
From CNN’s veteran Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, an explosive, first-hand account of the dangers he faces reporting on the current White House while fighting on the front lines in President Trump’s war on truth.
In Mr. Trump’s campaign against what he calls “Fake News,” CNN Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta, is public enemy number one. From the moment Mr. Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, he has attacked the media, calling journalists “the enemy of the people.”
Acosta presents a damning examination of bureaucratic dysfunction, deception, and the unprecedented threat the rhetoric Mr. Trump is directing has on our democracy. When the leader of the free world incites hate and violence, Acosta doesn’t back down, and he urges his fellow citizens to do the same.
At Mr. Trump’s most hated network, CNN, Acosta offers a never-before-reported account of what it’s like to be the President’s most hated correspondent. Acosta goes head-to-head with the White House, even after Trump supporters have threatened his life with words as well as physical violence.
Trump cries 'fake news' whenever Acosta and/or CNN get too close to the truth or call Trump on another lie
From the hazy denials and accusations meant to discredit the Mueller investigation, to the president’s scurrilous tweets, Jim Acosta is in the eye of the storm while reporting live to millions of people across the world. After spending hundreds of hours with the revolving door of White House personnel, Acosta paints portraits of the personalities of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, Hope Hicks, Jared Kushner and more. Acosta is tenacious and unyielding in his public battle to preserve the First Amendment and #RealNews.
As one Amazon reviewer says, "Trump's war of terror on the press is as unprecedented and as unpredictable as the man himself and Acosta minces no words telling it from a journalist's perspective. Without a free press to police Trump's personal war on our democracy, we might already be in the midst of an authoritarian regime. A timely and important read. Highly recommended."
Jim Acosta provides a very compelling narrative about his frustrating experiences with a presidential administration wanting to subvert the role of the free press in order to maintain political power through the use of intimidation, false accusations, demagogery, and an increasing number of blatant lies.
Do we have freedom of the press? In your dreams!
- Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion
- Unfreedom of the Press
- Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy (Institutions of American Democracy)
- Fake News in Real Context
- The True Story of Fake News: How Mainstream Media Manipulates Millions
- Fake News: How Propaganda Influenced the 2016 Election, A Historical Comparison to 1930's Germany
- The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote
- American Pravda: My Fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News
- Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era
- Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload
- Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics
The press is the enemy—a very Trump-sounding Trumpism. However, such a bold claim didn’t originate with Donald Trump, it originated with Richard M. Nixon
Mark R. Levin tells us: "Unlike the early patriot press, today’s newsrooms and journalists are mostly hostile to America’s founding principles, traditions, and institutions. They do not promote free speech and press freedom, despite their self-serving and self-righteous claims. Indeed, they serve as societal filters attempting to enforce uniformity of thought and social and political activism centered on the progressive ideology and agenda. Issues, events, groups, and individuals that do not fit the narrative are dismissed or diminished; those that do fit the narrative are elevated and celebrated. Of course, this paradigm greatly influences the culture, the government, and the national psyche. It defines a media-created “reality” whether or not it has a basis in true reality, around which individuals organize their thoughts, beliefs, and, in some cases, their lives." (Source: Unfreedom of the Press, Mark R. Levin)
Today’s newsrooms and journalists serve as societal filters attempting to enforce uniformity of thought and social and political activism centered on the progressive ideology and agenda
Pulitzer Prize journalist Alex Jones . . . argues that the demise of the newspaper industry is corroding the iron core of information that is at the center of a functioning democracy. Increasingly, he contends, what is passed off as news is actually entertainment; puff pieces have replaced the investigative reporting that allows citizens to make informed decisions. In place of basing our views on the newspapers' often earnest efforts at "objectivity," we are increasingly basing our views on the unedited diatribes to be found on the likes of Fox "News" and the daily blogosphere.
The perils for democracy in America are obvious. We are and will be breeding stupidity, demagoguery, and bias rampantly. But democracy—not so much. The newspapers are dying and adapting to publishing on the Internet just to stay afloat, and there's not much anyone can do about it other than "Adapt or Die." News is aimed at confirming and validating pre-existing beliefs to make audiences comfortable and placated like well-fed sheep so their defenses are down and they buy the advertisers' products and increase network news shows' ratings.
What is passed off as news is actually entertainment; puff pieces have replaced the investigative reporting that allows citizens to make informed decisions. Goodbye democracy, hello Idiocracy
The CIA censors at all the major media outlets do not allow stories about corruption, surveillance, imperialism, empire building to get to the public, so generally only alternate media sites like alternet.org end up reporting such things, so they do not get generally known about. In the meantime, the public gets titillated with uncensored fluff stories of Trump and the media calling each other liars (and they're both right).
A few neocon oligarchs decide these matters, while we don't even know what the military and our private military are doing in our name. This is oligarchy, not democracy. If our press is censored by the CIA (fact) and little if any imperialistic empire building adventures are learned about by the public, and yet we pay the bills, is this a country with a free press or is it a censored press like in China and Russia and Saudi Arabia and Egypt? The answer: it has been censored since 1917 and reporters are free to investigate whatever they want, but their stories are going to be censored or deleted if the CIA censors say so, so why bother to write anything that does not conform to the party line and the CW (conventional wisdom—an oxymoron)?
In the year 1917, Congressman Oscar Callaway revealed the global elitists' plans to acquire control of the media, inserting the following statement in the Congressional Record:
"In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers." See Oscar Callaway Quote.
If a journalist keeps submitting actual investigative reporting that annoys CIA censors, guess what happens? In Russia and other repressive regimes, you get a bullet. No bullets here. Worse: you lose your job, your paychecks, your reputation and your career, so it might as well be a bullet.
"In his new book, The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America (HarperCollins), Acosta writes about his experience covering a very different kind of president than America has ever seen before – one who has called Acosta an "enemy of the people" for reporting news that does not show Mr. Trump in a positive light.
This was particularly true in the aftermath of the August 2017 "Unite the Right" rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. Marching through the city and chanting racial slurs, the neo-Nazis and Klan members faced off against counterprotesters. A white supremacist then intentionally drove a car directly into the crowd, killing one woman and injuring at least 26 others.
Trump showed himself to be the true Ayatollah Trumpowski, leader of the alt-right, by his deplorable response to Charlottesville
The president's response was, in the eyes of many, deplorable, and he was confronted on it by Acosta. Trump, who was on vacation in New Jersey during the unrest in Charlottesville, delivered a brief statement on the violence. The same president who had won the White House by employing racially loaded rhetoric, from spreading the 'birther' lie about Barack Obama to slandering Mexican immigrants as 'rapists,' was all of a sudden thrust into the position of calming a nation terrified by racist thugs on the march in Virginia.
"ACOSTA: The neo-Nazis started it. They showed up in Charlottesville to protest –
TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. They didn't put themselves – and you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group.
ACOSTA: No sir, there are no fine people in the Nazis. . . . When it's a matter of right versus wrong, there are not two sides to the story. (Source: Book excerpt: Jim Acosta's "The Enemy of the People", Jim Acosta, CBS News)
"Framing modern-day political journalism as a truth-vs.-Trump showdown, Acosta is forthrightly opinionated, writing that 'neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t really serve us in the Age of Trump.' Fans of the author’s hard-hitting reporting will love it, but critics who have accused him of grandstanding and bias may not have their suspicions allayed." (Source: The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America, Publishers Weekly)
“Jim Acosta and the other hardworking men and women who cover the White House will continue the effort to do their job. And the news organizations who send them there will continue to back them up.”—Sam Donaldson
Trump praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, telling supporters at the rally that someone who performs a body slam is 'my guy'
"Acosta also spoke of his shock when Trump praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, telling supporters at the rally that someone who performs a body slam is 'my guy'. Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil. . . . [Acosta:] 'Some colleagues say to just take it, but I’m still thinking about the folks at home, thinking about my own kids, are we supposed to let the bully beat us up at the playground every day?'" (Source: Jim Acosta: 'This is a dangerous time to tell the truth in America', Aamna Mohdin, the Guardian)
Acosta: 'Are we supposed to let the bully beat us up at the playground every day?'
The theme of Acosta's book is the hardships endured by anyone who tells truth to power. If you think Trump is the main hardships dispenser, think again. Obama dispensed harsher hardships than Trump has, including jail, siccing the IRS on people, smearing those who question his integrity or motives, siccing intelligence agencies to insert malware and spyware on people's computers—the list goes on. See Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington and The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote, both by Sharyl Attkisson, who is a warrior at speaking truth to power.
Trump's hardships dispenser actions may have been outdone by Obozo, but Trump beats Obozo in the area of context. Obozo was just a corrupt president who was the same self-serving, amoral, opportunist as most of those who came before him, like Dubya, Clinton, Bush 1, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, and Johnson. FDR, JFK, and Ike seem to be exceptions, for all their flaws, and FDR stands out as the only "by, of, and for the people" president since a couple of the Founders.
Dubya Bush, liar-in-chief
Trump outdoes everyone who ever called the White House home regarding context. Trump at heart is a demagogue, as Acosta rightly implies. If you read a demagogue's playbook (e.g., Mein Kampf, which Britannica calls "skillfully demagogic, however, appealing to many dissatisfied elements in Germany—the ultranationalistic, the anti-Semitic, the antidemocratic, the anti-Marxist, and the military."), you recognize Trump's racist, sexist, xenophobic, ultranationalistic strategies. Trump is purposely divisive, confusing, hateful, cruel, narcissistic, and mendacious. Hitler's playbook said never tell a small lie—make it big and repeat it so often that people will eventually believe it. Trump has taken this to heart, having over 10,000 recorded lies to his name (more than Obozo).
Hitler's playbook said never tell a small lie—make it big and repeat it so often that people will eventually believe it. Trump has taken this to heart, having over 10,000 recorded lies to his name
The way Trump says CNN is fake news and Acosta is a terrible fake news reporter is updated Hitler-think. It is also right out of Orwell's 1984. Lie about your enemies so often that people (his base, mostly) eventually accept it. Trump isn't dumb and he knows Acosta is a good reporter (not an "enemy of the people"!), but he has to keep his demagogic strategies in play in order to maintain power—or so he thinks. If Trump could dump the pretense of our oligarchy being a democracy and seize power, he would jump at the chance to become a dictator, as many have realized. On the other hand, he keeps the political correctness nonsense somewhat contained, which is why we will vote for him in 2020. The crazy obsession with socialism and political correctness of the Democrats' liberal narrative is something to fear even more than Trump, the bloviating gasbag.
Here is a Trumpian wet dream: King Trump
The crazy obsession with socialism and political correctness of the Democrats' liberal narrative is something to fear even more than Trump, the bloviating gasbag
"Steve Bannon says he and the president, essentially together, came up with this idea to start calling us the 'enemy of the people.' Obviously the expression has been around much longer, and people like Stalin have used that expression to demonize their opponents." (Source: A conversation with "The Enemy of the People": CNN's Jim Acosta on the war on truth, Andrew O'Hehir, Salon)
People like Stalin have used the expression 'enemy of the people' to demonize their opponents, so Trump figures look how successful he was—I can do that too
The us versus them nonsense central to demagoguery is at the center of Trump's ideals, philosophies, strategies, and personality. His upbringing was the epitome of win-lose, and his life's guiding motto is to win at all costs. Even his board game has that motto. Donald Trump's board game Trump states "it's not whether you win or lose, but whether you win!" which is a way of saying that there is no intrinsic joy in doing or playing anything, there's only real joy if you kick someone's ass.
Trump's demagogic presidential campaign was a perfect example of the triumph of demagoguery and the failure of democracy. His us versus them demonization of minority groups should have been swatted down by everyone as unacceptable in a democracy. But instead, the promiscuous media was thrilled to have a sensationalistic new phenomenon to explore, and they fell right into Trump's trap wherein he captured the lion's share of media attention. Hillary talked about issues, Trump talked about hate, indulging in racist hate speech toward minorities, women, media, even insulting heroes and the disabled.
Some folks favored ignoring shiny objects (basically, the president’s tweets); others said lies must be called 'lies'; others denounced the free publicity stemming from cable-news coverage
"For months and months following Trump’s inauguration, media types debated just how to cover this mendacious president and his platoon of like-minders. Some folks favored ignoring shiny objects (basically, the president’s tweets); others said lies must be called “lies”; others denounced the free publicity stemming from cable-news coverage . . . it’s now clear that having a somewhat obnoxious, pain-in-the-butt veteran journalist unafraid to jam questions down the throat of administration officials is a critical part of the mix. That’s because liars should never feel comfortable at their lecterns. They should feel pursued" . . . (Source: ‘Shove it’: CNN’s Jim Acosta has no time for critics, Erik Wemple, Washington Post)
At first, media had an excuse—they were caught with their heads up their butts, never having dealt with a demagogue before; but later, there was no excuse—they flushed democracy to chase the almighty dollar
So the question about whether democracy could survive a president like Trump is settled. It has not. There is nothing democratic about media whores following Trump's outrageous, usually false tweets and press statements rather than substantive news items and relevant political occurrences, playing right into his demagogic strategies. The media sold out the American public in the pursuit of ratings, which translates to money. At first, they had an excuse—they were caught with their heads up their butts, never having dealt with a demagogue before. But as months of pandering to their own greed wore on, the decision was made: network heads would flush democracy down the toilet and chase the almighty dollar by sticking with Trump's crude and outrageous antics while real politicians were left twisting in the wind. Democracy—you will be missed!