Trumpsters Throw Another Right Hook – Freedom Gets Hit | Opinion

I’m probably out of step with many of you.

Everywhere I turn, people are discussing Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Of course I understood. After all, this was Monday’s biggest inside story.

The sale raised fears that the brash billionaire will turn one of the world’s leading social networks into an even bigger source of misinformation and hatred than it already is. Given his history of petty online bullying, his ownership of a car company that black employees describe as a nightmare of racist harassment and discrimination, and his infantile notion of free speech that equates disinformation and hate control with so-called “cancellation culture.” These fears are certainly justified. And given the importance of Twitter as a news aggregator and meeting place, this awareness will be felt deeply and widely.

But, to be honest, I find myself fixated on another story, which, I must admit, is objectively less important. It’s all about “Yes, sir.”

You may have missed it. It appears that on the same day that Musk’s acquisition was announced, CNN reported that it received 2,319 text messages that were exchanged between Mark Meadows, then Donald Trump’s chief of staff, and various eccentric characters from the right-wing cabal who conspired, between Election Day 2020 and Inauguration Day 2021 to prevent Trump from being evicted from the White House. There is much in this find that upsets you, confuses you and dispels your last doubts that these people are not rowing in the lake with both oars.

Take, for example, Ivanka Trump denouncing Vince Lombardi against his fellow conspirators (“You are all WARRIORS of incredible proportions!”), and Rep. Louis Gomert, who baselessly blames the January 6 uprising on “Antifa, dressed in red shirts and hats Trump. Take, for example, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell claiming that the Almighty is backing Trump (“God had a hand in it all”) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green talking about turning to what she calls “ Marshall Act,” by which she probably means “martial law.” ”, given that the former is a character from the Tekken video game franchise.

But it’s that “Yes, sir” that makes me gravitate toward Pepto.

These words were written by Sean Hannity of Fox News on Election Day after he reached out to Meadows and asked what message he should convey to his audience. Meadows gives him orders and Hannity responds like the Beaver Cleaver that dad is talking to.

“Yes, sir,” he says.

Maybe it’s journalism. Maybe I’ve seen All the President’s Men too many times. But it gets stuck in my throat like a bone.

“Yes, sir,” he says. “Yes, sir.”

I’m sorry, but journalists don’t report to the chiefs of staff. And they certainly don’t tell them, “Yes, sir.”

It is correct, but beside the point, to note that Hannity is hardly a true journalist. First, he is happy to cosplay the role when it suits him. Second, he and Fox are where millions of Americans go to get their news. If it is true that an informed electorate is the foundation of a democracy, then the danger of even a feigned journalist behaving like Hannity should be obvious.

Ultimately, this week’s headlines point to the same threat in different ways. This means corrosion not only of people’s right to know, but of their very ability to know. In this sense, it doesn’t matter if you and I are one step away from what story caused us the most irritation. Either way, it’s undeniable:

It was a bad Monday for freedom.