Putin Goads Trump, Uses G20 Photo-op to Incite Further Attacks on Journalists and the Media

Putin Goads Trump, Uses G20 Photo-op to Incite Further Attacks on Journalists and the Media

‘These are are the ones hurting you?’

At a photo-op during this year’s G20 Summit in Germany, Donald Trump and old pal Vladimir Putin traded barbs about the media covering the event.  When Putin asked the president if the reporters in attendance were the ones delivering the trouble, Trump was quick to oblige him.

“These are the ones. You’re right about that.”

The question seemed more like a father grilling his son about a problem with school bullies or neighborhood meanies. That similarity was not lost to the ever brilliant twitter community.

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As Trump spirals further and further down a one way path of full bore media banishment, the irony of Putin calling out the media in front of  Trump is not lost. It’s important to consider how similar Trump and Putin both are when it comes to a free press.  They both abhor it.  Trump mounts a more hyperbolic attack on the media through quasi-threatening tweets, toddler-type twitter rants and media black outs.  Putin, however, seemingly enjoys a more practical approach to media silencing.  In 2006,Russian  journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered after writing pieces criticizing Putin’s Kremlin and in 2009 journalist Natalya Estemirova was murdered–shot at point blank range in the head –after writing stories about kidnappings and murders in Russian controlled Chechnya.

Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haas says this collusion against the media and Trump’s disparaging remarks about a free press are not only harmful to the country, but serve as encouragement for more abuse of journalists.

“Potus disparaging abroad of US media dilutes respect for American democracy & gives license to autocrats to crack down on their own media.”

We’ve seen Trump post videos of him ‘wrestling’ CNN to the ground, we’ve heard him disparage TV journalists on air and seen him mock their disabilities at campaign rallies.  This behavior hasn’t gone unnoticed and it has media protection groups worried.  ‘Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press’ executive director Bruce Brown said the concern is warranted.

“We see it as a demonization of reporters, and the whole Trump movement has a feeling hanging over it of violence and anger. Why would you stoke the atmosphere that is already heavy with a sense of lawlessness”

Related:Trump Asked FBI Director to Jail Journalists, Comey Memos Reveal

And in case conservatives push back with the ‘he’s trying to make America great again’ drivel or his handlers saying ‘ he’s going to fight fire with fire, remind them of this actual ( not made up) fact.  Among the list of the 14 tenets of Fascism on display at the US Holocaust Museum are ”controlled mass media’ and ‘ identifying enemies as a unifying cause’.  Trump has identified the media as the enemy and his work to control the message is resounding.  Putin would be proud.

Steffen Kugler /BPA via Getty Images

Bruno Moore is a 2 time Democratic candidate for Florida State Senate. With a background in broadcasting he became most well known for his signature style of traffic reporting in South Florida before getting into politics in 2012. Between them he and his wife Megan have 5 children.