We Won’t ‘Shut our Mouths’: A Message from the media to Steve Bannon

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Lisa Cochran, Co-Editor in Chief

The recently appointed chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has made derogatory claims against the media. More specifically, he has alleged that the media is “the opposition party” and that the media “needs to shut its mouth.”

What incited this exactly? We are ricocheting into a time where the media is becoming an enemy of the executive branch.

In numerous speeches, President Trump has claimed that he is at war with the media and has even accused the news that we know and read as “fake”, its facts- “alternative.”

According to the New York Times, Bannon referred to journalists as “some of the most dishonest people he’d ever met.” This seems hypocritical when he, himself, is a member of  the founding board the alt-right media source, Breitbart News.

Similarly, President Donald Trump has denounced CNN (the renown media company) as biased and “fake.” This is peculiar as everything reported by CNN claims to be valid and accurate.

This appears to be a crack in the relation between media and the government and is scary for the future. Even though there are frequently clashes between the media and the executive branch, prior to Donald Trump, no American president has overtly labeled the media as “false.”

A continuation of this trend could, in the worst possible case, lead to an Orwellian regime in which all media is censored.

In times like these, it is imperative to reflect upon the contributions on our society from the media. Where would we be without the world’s journalists?

Former United States president Thomas Jefferson said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Some have even gone so far as to designate journalism as the fourth communicative branch of government. Our first amendment rights have granted us the ability to speak and publish freely, without censorship.

Therefore, the people need to fight for their first amendment rights. In a world when our words are being attacked for their value, we need to attack back. Therefore, no Steve Bannon- we will not shut our mouths.