Week in Review 4-13-2018

This week, we honored the victims of the Holocaust. According to a study from the Claims Conference, there are critical gaps both in awareness of basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust amongst young adults. Nearly half of millennials cannot name a single death camp.

That lack of knowledge, dwindling eye-witness accounts, and a rise in the alt-right are creating a dangerous situation. This coupled with Sinclair Media's production of right wing, coordinated propaganda news that is being disseminated to unsuspecting people is cause for further worry. (Click here to see if your local channel is Sinclair owned.) 

Sinclair, the largest local broadcaster in the country, has been mandating that its local news stations air commentary segments from former Trump aide and right-winger Boris Epshteyn. It's essentially force-feeding local audiences Trump propaganda according to Media Matters, a watchdog group. Now Sinclair wants to buy even more stations, enabling them to reach 72 percent of U.S. households.

During his time at the White House, Epshteyn pushed for scaled back White House press briefings in an effort to stifle the public's information about their elected officials.

The first action taken by governments and leaders that seek to consolidate their power, oppress their people, and rule with disregard to law and order, is to squash public voices. News outlets become government-owned, thereby turning them into a propaganda vehicle. 

The writers of the Constitution never could have imagined television and 24-hour cable news. Nevertheless, they still incorporated provisions to protect a free press. They understood, even then, the implications this would have on the strength of democracy.

The importance of a free, uncensored press cannot be understated. Thomas Jefferson said he would choose to have newspapers without a government, rather than a government without newspapers.

Fascism cannot thrive when there is freedom of expression; democracy cannot thrive when there is no freedom of expression. History sadly teaches us what happens when racial and religious hatred grows, fueled by propaganda and unchecked by uncensored media.

What you can do?

  • Urge Congress to stop Sinclair's efforts to buy more local television stations
  • Stay informed
  • Support JAC candidates who will stop Trump's dangerous agenda
  • Join JAC

Source: Media Matters, Claims Conference