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Trump vs. The Fourth Estate - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Former President Bill Clinton remained at odds with the press throughout his time in office. Media outlets badgered him relentlessly with Arkansas-related claims from when he was governor, all the way to the stupendous Lewinsky scandal overriding any great achievement that took place during his time in power.

The brawl with the fourth estate continued as Barack Obama assumed office, with endless reports and pestering claims put forth by adversaries doubting the authenticity of his birth certificate, accusing him of being born overseas—others have gone as far as promoting the idea that he was a covert Muslim, ceaselessly pursuing that headline for years.

President-elect Donald J. Trump now is but getting a spoonful of what his predecessors tasted, as rumors of suspicious ties shared between him and Russians flood the media. There is no end in sight for the press-propagated stories working the public.

Trump’s chief issue with the press is that he unreservedly expresses himself, making him an easy target for broadsheet criticism. His approach is chiefly based on his belief that being strict with is directly proportional to toning down press aggressiveness. Nevertheless, Trump’s method proved counterproductive.

The President-elect’s key staff at the campaign and top advisors continue with their attempts to convince him to avoid and ignore press setups and provocative attempts. It seems that Trump has not practiced the art of perfecting control over personal temperament to a tee.

That is the harsh reality of journalism today. As for the accusations woven against Trump, they are by no means more rational than those claiming that Obama forged his own birth certificate. With the U.S. top-notch investigatory and probing capacities, it is near impossible for such a counterfeit go undetected.

The same goes for claims on Trump sharing wary ties with Russia, and the presence of compromising material augmenting chances of blackmail. It all seems to be ridiculous fibs authored to embarrass Trump before his supporters.

It is ludicrous to believe that a candidate can enter the presidential race whilst being engaged in activities or obligations that oppose the best interests of the post he/she are signing up for. It is even more preposterous to assume that they can carry forward with the race without any official probe exposing them.

Not to mention that the “president,” the highest decision-making link in the chain of authority, does not enjoy unlimited power. In cases of disagreement, the legislative authority has the power to influence and constrain presidential policy.

Trump, no more than any former president, awaits difficult years filled with challenges presented by the media, civil rights activists, women rights advocates, environmentalists …

There is a substantial slice of U.S. citizens that oppose Trump’s policy on social matters, and have the abilities and means to hold widespread enduring campaigns.

Anti-Trump media is not a naturally occurring incidence—CNN’s all-out campaign against the president-elect aided in spreading rumors, whether it be on social media, news websites or trickling down to anarchic campaigning.

Fallacious news flooding the media today is a matter of top importance, which will later on be discussed- especially that Facebook announced its desire to rearrange the current mass communication arena.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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