It’s a common strategy of a dictator or communist government to control the press and media. A dictator like Putin, has a long and colorful history of limiting the press to reporters and journalists who report on things that make him appear favorable to the public. He forces those who report anything negative out of business, or worse, they are killed. In North Korea, the dictator expels reporters from other countries who publish anything he deems disrespectful. Under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in Iraq, the media had a long history of repression. The Iraqi media suffered relentless repression for 25 years. In a book about Resisting a Dictatorship, Vincent Boudreau compares state repression in three post-war dictatorships under Burma’s Ne Win, Indonesia’s Suharto and the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos. In each case the dictator faced distinct social challenges and responded with specifically tailored repressive strategies. These strategies shaped the resources, social bases and opposition cultures available to dissidents and in turn influenced the effectiveness of that opposition. Thus the importance of freedom of press is critical to freedom in America. Even Fox News recognizes the critical importance of all news networks gaining equal access to the President.
The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News were among those blocked from taking part in a off-camera “gaggle” inside Spicer’s West Wing office. It is time to stand up and protest. We can’t wait. Tell your neighbors. Tell those who hold political views different than your own. Surely everyone recognizes that the First Amendment is critical to our way of life and ensuring our freedom!