Category Archives: Morality

Foreign Influence= Australian Weakness

Fear is false evidence appearing real. True friendship is transparency.

It is not the fault of a foreign country when it influences Australia. It is the belief in powerlessness in Australian leaders that compromise sovereignty for economic advantage as they have been conditioned to believe that is more important than democratic principles. The fault line in the sand is within which attracts the problem from with-out. It they truly believed in democracy they would not allow disproportionate influence.

It you don’t want donations to influence then ban donations.

If our government seriously wants to stop Chinese or other foreign interference then values is where you must focus. What you focus on expands. Do not underestimate the strength of balanced decision making weighing up all sides to Advance Australia Fair. If all politicians operated from a base of community services, principled decision making and had the courage to be willing to sacrifice economic gains external influences would disappear.

Lao Tzu’s message is directed to both leaders in China and Australia. For those who do not want to hear criticism are in denial of the violence they project covertly or overtly in the name of friendship or freedom. The most genuine friend will be the one who holds the mirror up to those in denial so they can see themselves without their story.

Only love will sacrifice everything to reveal the truth that sets all free.  Yet there is no sacrifice when you no longer attach your identity to materialism. True freedom comes from allowance not domination. You can be free in prison. You can be imprisoned in a mansion. A person is respected when what they say and do aligns. This means the inner truth and outer appearance are integrated. This is what creates a “great” leader.

This blog is inspired by the Four Corners documentary on Chinese influence in Australia (see below).  This message from Lao Tzu sums up the real issue from an ancient sage in China.  We have to go deeper if we wish to stop the conflict. It is not about cleverness, cyber security, bioterrorism, it is about “who we are” as a people and what we believe in. What is true? What is important? What serves the Australian people?

Below this video is the Four Corners Documentary entitled “Interference: China’s covert political influence campaign in Australia” | Four Corners.

Four Corners holds a mirror up, perhaps life is sending China and Australia a message – like attracts. Eventually truth surfaces, you cannot control anyone, as nature will rebalance to find harmony. Truth tellers are natural rebalancers that feel the impulse to speak the truth to perceived power, this rebalances power dynamics.

The Chinese people are not the enemy. Criticism is not the enemy. Greed is the enemy as it has no culture, no identity, no name yet quietly it corrupts and erodes innocence as insecurity (not enough) is the home of greed. The problem to solve is insecurity. In conflict resolution we teach “solve the problem do not hate the person”. We seek wise solutions as no problem is intractable when you understand human nature not in the sense of “know your enemy” but in the sense of “understand your potential friend”.

So those dominating are never free until the pain of denial becomes too great and they must change. What you resist persists what you look at disappears, society disappears because “you are me”. When I hurt you I hurt myself.  Truth is not about belief it is about clarity to see through the illusion of the lies we tell ourselves that become cultural stories. Many surround themselves with “yes” people they call loyal or glee clubs they call friends (clubs) to reinforce the lie as the truth.  Yet truth cannot be faked, it is what it is and unifies naturally.  Lao Tzu demonstrates real justice which is based on wisdom (divine law) not law (legislation) or the constitution. Wisdom looks into the root of behaviours that cause imbalance (or disharmony) in society.

The wise do not control or force behaviour change through pain, they recognise to rebalance one must honour only truth. that is why we call a Justice “Your Honour”. Truth sets both parties free as they evolve through respecting unbiased decisions. Truth leads to unity which some call social order, real order is natural resonance which requires no social contract as harmony is the outcome. 

I contemplated the endless lies we speak identifying as this country or that, this power or that, pro this or anti that. I shake my head as confusion not Confucius is the outcome which is the maze with no exit. That is why violence escalates my friends. You are fighting yourselves believing it is the “other”. The cyber wars, 5G mmwave (US), sub-6 spectrum (China, world), exploiting labour, connectivity, smart cities, city deals, buying up resources to control or predict outcomes to feel secure. 

When truth is the centre-peace, you can predict harmony as you understand universal lore.  This always works to the highest good of all, as the sum of the parts is the whole. Yet we are still at a primitive stage believing in self interest, economic growth, security as force, personal fortunes whilst the planet traverses tipping points, the icecaps melt, the magnetic fields weaken, resources redirect away from those in greatest need and we call this security as Earth Inc (titanic) sinks.  This is a false economy.

I did smile at Peter Dutton making a moral stand on the relationship between Sam Dastyari and Huang Xiangmo, when he too met with him.

The issue of access due to lobbyists when ordinary Australians, like myself, can’t get access.  Santoro charged $20,000 for access. This is greed.  How is that democratic? We have no economic value yet we are citizens and our taxes pay for their privilege. Is this how we advance Australia fair? This is about allegiances.  For whom do political figures work? Who places them in positions of power?  Who elects the faceless faces who have disproportionate influence?  What happens to the Australian public? Are they truly safe?

Australia has interfered in East Timor and I am sure if we drilled own we could find the mirror here in so many cases where other foreign influences have manipulated us into issues that are not relevant to the Australian people.  The real work for Australian politicians, intelligence and law enforcement is to look within if you genuinely want to change what is happening outside.

I think of the murdered Assistant Police Commissioner Colin Winchester, he comes to me in inspiration these days as I feel for his case. My own father believed the accused David Eastman was a miscarriage of justice, he wrote many Letters to the Editor.  In 2014, after 2 decades in jail, David Eastman was released. He was later awarded $9 million in compensation.  The police must be protected when they uncover crimes or confront illegal power. Colin Winchester was going to testify in Queanbeyan against cannabis growers. The cannabis growers were known as the Bungendore 11 and linked to the Italian mafia who started two crops in NSW in the 1980s under the supervision of the police informant.

Immediately I go to the murder of Donald Mackay. The murder of Liberal Party candidate and Griffith anti-drug crusader Mr Mackay was Australia’s first political assassination. It is alleged it was at the hands of the Calabrian mafia, apparently the same group as Winchester.  A quick search provides more insight into what creates corruption, money laundering, drug trade and illegality https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Ndrangheta

My thoughts turn to poverty, corruption, greed and powerlessness parading as power. The same mirror that others can see themselves caught up in.  So how do we help them exit what is, a self defeating circle of pain and fear intensifying a culture of violence?  I see the links as all the same root cause. Yet we still spend energy making the “other” wrong yet we won’t look into where we are “wrong”.  Byron Katie speaks of projection and she is right.  We have to question our own thinking every time we see an enemy, imagine if every side did this.

When I was teaching truth to children, I gave them a blind spot test. They look at two dots, cover one eye and then one dot disappears. The eyes play tricks. The dot represents what we deny, refuse to see, the reality is, it is there, but we won’t see it as we are right the other wrong.  The other is the “enemy”. The Christians say in relation to judgement “take the log out of your own eye” until we do, we blame the world for what is our own blindness, our own weakness contributing to a values free world. At what point do we stop what we want the other to stop. Until you stop the other won’t as what you think about you bring about. This is the law of attraction. We create our reality, remember! We blame others but we don’t see ourselves as the same.  We are all in it together. This is a truism.

 

This article by the Guardian provides insight into the hypocracy that we witness in politics.  Peter Dutton is now Home Affairs Minister with the power to decrypt and access every citizen’s information inclusive of the Covidsafe app for contact tracing without a warrant.  

In the story below Malcolm Turnbull asked Scott Morrison to deal with Petter Dutton. Yet he did not do anything to reinforce values and sovereignty, there is no leadership by example when there is nothing to see here when clearly there is.  

Scott Morrison says of Peter Dutton’s meeting with Chinese billionaire: ‘Nothing to see here’ – as it happened

Going back to Lao Tzu’s example  we do not go to the root of the problem of “greed” as we are persuaded that economic growth is more important than Australian sovereignty, it would be argued as pragmatic “the way things are done”.  Is it serving the Australian people’s true interests? This is why Australians become disheartened, why social order breaks down, it is because Australians don’t know who to trust anymore as all seem amoral.  We then lose respect for those in power as they don’t respect themselves. This is loss of face.  We respect integrity and honesty.

This article demonstrates the hypocracy as each follow the  money not values to ensure the real security of Australians. So we are indeed stuck between a rock and a hard place. The enemy is within, not outside. So in my view $270 billion on new weapons only escalates the problem and diverts precious resources. We have to learn to think differently if we want to reclaim our sovereignty and dignity as Australians. I always see the Man from Snowy River, as so many forget or don’t remember our heritage. Clancy allowed this stranger to come on the ride with other bushmen. They were rounding up horses in the high country. There was one colt that was wild and free.  Everyone was too scared to follow the colt of Old Regret down the sheer mountain face. It was the man from Snowy River who showed courage, others thought suicide! as he jumped the log and headed down a near vertical cliff face. He didn’t think of himself, he went for it, took the risk and his story was told in years to come by Banjo Paterson. Banjo was reminding Australians of courage in the face of great risk. We don’t respect those who feather their own nests at the expense of the public. We respect those who truly represent us as they have taken our taxes and given us narratives of democratic representation.  We discover it is they who stand back, too afraid to confront what they fear, saying this is the way it is, no choice, this is the future.  Clancy and this stranger from the high country would say “bullshit mate”. You define your own reality.  You take the reins. You don’t hang back. You take a leap of faith (remember Indiana Jones) not a great leap forward. You decide what you want on behalf of Australians and commit to it.  This is leadership. This is integrity. This is power.  But if you sell out “freedoms” and weakly claim it is a trade off for a higher standard of living, you have sold out to the highest bidder. You will lose everything as life will not support you, as greed takes from life. Why? You are out of balance or indeed harmony. Life will rebalance. As nature is the power. So if you suppress, oppress and control others the pendulum swings back the other way as it must, as all are part of nature, to restore balance we must speak up and be heard. Whistle-blowers are being nudged from within. So for those who say one thing and do another, the children are watching. They will copy and call it “the way things are done”. If you speak with integrity what you believe you live, then others will feel inspired. That is how you restore Australian sovereignty. You live as an example of what it means to be a genuine Australian. We are waiting for you.  I wonder who you will be?

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/09/malcolm-turnbull-scott-morrison-peter-dutton-china-allegations

Malcolm Turnbull says PM must ‘deal with’ Peter Dutton China allegations

Turnbull says Scott Morrison must address claims about Dutton’s meeting with Huang Xiangmo as a matter of national security

‘Dutton has a lot to explain’: Malcolm Turnbull on Dutton’s meeting – video

Malcolm Turnbull has called on Scott Morrison to “deal with” Peter Dutton after allegations that the immigration minister met the former Australian resident billionaire Huang Xiangmo after he paid $10,000 to a lobbyist.

Turnbull, who introduced foreign interference laws in 2017, said the allegations contained in a Four Corners-Nine newspapers report regarding a meeting between Dutton and Huang following a payment to former Liberal minister turned lobbyist Santo Santoro were “very troubling”.

“The allegation is that Santo Santoro received money in return for securing privileged access to the minister on behalf of Huang Xiangmo and all of that, in circumstances where there has been rising concern about lobbyists, about foreign influence,” Turnbull said.

“Look, Peter Dutton has got a lot to explain about this.”

Earlier in the day, Morrison had defended the government’s record citing Turnbull’s foreign interference laws and highlighting instead former Labor senator Sam Dastyari’s resignation after rolling controversies regarding his relationships to Chinese-linked donors, including Huang.

“All I know is Sam Dastyari had to resign in disgrace over foreign interference and behaving in a reckless and shameful way, betraying his own country,” Morrison said.

“I think when it comes to these issue, our government’s record is squeaky clean.”

But Turnbull said Morrison could not waive off the allegations and he used Dastyari’s example as a reason for his successor to move quickly on the issue.

“Remember the furore that arose about Senator Dastyari. All the same issues have arisen again and this has to be addressed at the highest level of security, priority, urgency by the prime minister,” Turnbull said.

“The buck stops with him. I know what it is like to be prime minister and, ultimately, you are responsible and so Scott Morrison has to deal with this.”

“Scott Morrison is the prime minister and you can’t waive this off and say it is all part of gossip and the bubble. This is the national security of Australia.”

Asked later about Turnbull’s comments, Morrison said he had spoken to Dutton.

“I have spoken to Peter Dutton and there are no issues here that troubled me,” Morrison said. “No suggestion that Peter in any way, shape or form has sought or been provided with any benefit here.”

The allegations relate to the desire by Huang for Australian citizenship. The Four Corners investigation revealed Huang tried to speed up a citizenship ceremony for his wife and children late in 2014.

Dastyari claimed he was surprised that after passing on the ceremony application to Dutton’s office, it was approved within two weeks in the holiday period in January 2015.

According to the report, when Huang applied for his own citizenship in late 2015, he was already being investigated by ASIO. He was worried about his access so consulted Santoro who had boasted Dutton was one of his “best friends”.

Huang put Santoro on a retainer in 2016, according to the report, and in the same year, Huang, Dutton and the minister’s senior staffer had lunch at Master Ken’s restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown.

Dutton rejected the allegations as a “beat up” and said he met Huang as a “significant leader in the Chinese community”. Huang’s bid for citizenship failed.

“I have had that one meeting with him over lunch. I have never seen him since. What has he got from me? He is now offshore and is prevented from coming back into Australia,” said Dutton.

Dutton said that the transactions for lobbying businesses on both sides of parliament was an issue for lobbyists.

“There are lobbyists who are registered on both sides of parliament, people that operate as lobbyists,” he said.

“Their transactions and how they conduct their business is an issue for them.

Dutton said while he had never met Huang when his family’s citizenship ceremony was approved, it would be unusual for a minister to knock it back.

“You take at face value what somebody like Sam Dastyari, as a member of parliament, was vouching for and they ask for the ceremony and it would be very unusual for a minister of the day to knock that back,” Dutton said.

“So if Mr Dastyari has not been above board or misrepresented the reason for the citizenship ceremony then I think that is something that he, and frankly, Mr Shorten need to explain.”

Bill Shorten described the Four Corners revelations as unhealthy.

“It is explosive and very surprising revelations on Four Corners last night about the conduct of the minister in charge, one of the ministers in charge of national security where it is cash for access and meeting people connected to the Chinese government.

“This is very unhealthy.”

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Fake News vs Media Freedom and Alternative Truths

Media freedom houses the implied agreement to freedom of speech not only enshrined in Constitutions, but as a birthright.  Below I have provided a range of links to articles to awaken awareness to the reasons why freedom of speech underlined by truth is critical for humanity’s development.  The last article is the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s critique of Donald Trump.  I have just checkout out their board, and I am confident, they are bonifide journalists.  So I take on board their critique but remain open to questions in respect of Trump’s critiques.  

https://freedom.press/about/board/

The key is to keep an open mind and trust yourself, as you have inner guidance that will show you what is true and what is not. If you are still enough you will recognise a lie spun sprouting great principles as often the wolf comes in sheep’s clothing offering a good but underneath that is another agenda. So stay discerning of information but do not become cynical as the world is full of good intentions and negative and it is the yin/yang of life. It creates the clash of ideas, religions, civilisations and ideologies. This clash shakes up truth, as is its job.  In the future there will be inquiries into mass deception and mind control.

This blog is in the public interest.  

As you independently research you come to realise how much is not told in the so-called free press.  On the other hand there are shining lights in the media who risk life and limb to bring the story to the public’s attention.  However, media freedom can be caught up in the propaganda to justify restricting freedom of speech.  On the other hand the media have to be accountable for not revealing important information in the public interest. Compounding this issue is the online reality that is being forced on every person on the planet due to the ambitions of Silicon Valley partnering with equity financiers, like the Rothschilds, who have a vested interest in power and control given their lineage. Is this in the public interest to have an IT industry empowered by financiers to maximise profits of world business and at the same time remove privacy given influence in governments? There are also major questions around radiation and biological impacts (e.g. cancer, DNA), depopulation, targeting individuals, restricting information (them and us, type of information), rule by algorithms (filtering news and educational content), mind control (repeated messages), access to iPhones (private conversations), 5G mm waves and health impacts and the loss of felt humanity? 

What I have found is when money is NOT involved we have a chance at finding some light in the darkness of vested interest, politics, egoic defence and brand image risk management protection.  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is a truism. Money is power in our world (so it is believed) and people will obey when money talks. Yet the real power in this world is love of truth and each other.  Community bonds are powerful as well but minimised. Truth is the real gold in our world and it is the real liberator from falsehood and deception. Truth, when accurate, empowers people to make their own decisions. The real leadership is within every person when they decide for themselves. That is what life gave them from birth, the power of self determination. This is inherent within human rights or what I tend to say, the right to be human.

I personally found the Guardian here in Australia a good source and investigative journalists from the ABC. However, the ABC is likely to be sold off by the Liberal Party as a leak revealed at their national conference. I noted that Nine Entertainment now owns The Age.  Peter Costello, former Liberal Treasurer is the Chairman of the Board.  If that is not a conflict of interest, I don’t know what is!  We have Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and subsidiaries owning the majority of the media in key markets across the world. It is evident it has a right wing leaning. As a US citizen he is supportive of US interests not the Australian people. Yet he is the unannounced king maker to whom many make pilgrimages to in order to be validated for power.  Where is the media critique and community action around this clear bias. 

No-one should have any concentration in the media. They definitely should not have political affiliations or biases as a group.  Media must be absolutely clear of bias and constructed in the format of peace journalism, where both sides are shown and questions asked, so the community learns to think for themselves.  A profile of Rupert’s empire is as follows:

Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch

Peter Costello is the Chairman of Nine Entertainment. The question for the public is, should ex-political figures still aligned with politics be able to have control over media given vested interests?

https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/media/unbelievably-sad-fears-for-fairfax-legacy-as-183yearold-firm-bought-by-nine-entertainment/news-story/fe7db7b5f5d1ef1940e2cd10ac93cf93

This story below I just found which features Tim Costello, brother of Peter Costello. Tim and Peter were often at logger heads as he is a priest and Peter, a former Treasurer.  One speaking morals the other speaking money. This article talks to the corruption of Crown Casino. I note a little media item where the current Victorian government are looking into this. 

I’ve had inspiration around Crown Casino.  I note the word ‘Crown’ these days and the shields, symbols that reflect power, I feel the links to established power and endorsement. Interestingly, I interviewed Edward de Bono (famous Lateral Thinking expert) at the hotel at Crown. He was quick to say to me he wasn’t at the Casino, just staying at the hotel. Back then I had no idea, I am slowly waking up now.  

This article highlights why media freedom is essential and the importance of reporting on corruption as the public outcry does have power and is heard, alone we are ignored. The public has to find the truth if they want to be empowered to create change in its image not other’s with vested interests. This grows more important as our ecology collapses reminding us of our own imbalance.  It is true that knowledge with wisdom empowers.   Here is the article on the Crown Casino: https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/the-troubled-birth-of-crown-casino-we-were-warned-20190808-p52fa1.html

The links below will definitely not appear in the mainstream media. This provides insights into the different styles of reporting. Independent reporting is revealing what has been hidden by information control in the mainstream media. However, the internet freedom (whilst we still have it) is essential to being out the truth so that people can make balanced decisions, given their money is spent in ways they have no idea about. Those in positions of power must be held to account and those orchestrating false information must be tried.  Deception, PR spin, falsifying media items (video, written) in order to influence public opinion undermines democratic principles and freedoms (real freedom). The purpose of democracy is underlined by the implied ‘We the People’ and it is to represent not enslave the world community. I recall giving my poem ‘We the People’ to Kristine Keneally (shadow Minister Home Affairs). Later that day I recall her saying there would never be a Charter of Rights for the people. That is etched into my mind.  MP Andrew Wilkie tried to pass a Bill of Rights for Australians on 24 March 2020.  This was not passed. Questions should be asked.  Rights arise when values decline this is why democracy (in its true sense) is under threat with increasing secrecy, non disclosure, changes to discrimination laws, weakening of regulators, costly legal action and most notably media ownership – buying up the press by those seeking to ‘shape’ views rather than respecting diversity and allowing the publics differences to shape the future on the basis of debate, informed discussion, critiques and real needs in order to understand what is true and what is not and what is needed and what is not. As public money is channeled in the direction of influence not the greatest need. Critical thinking is essential if people are to be led out of the infotainment, electronic addictions, distractors and mainlining cultivated information to fulfil the needs of specific economic and financial interests.  

It is real freedom from fear that enables discernment. I turn off the television, I don’t listen much to radio and I inform myself using instinct, intuition, intellect, feeling and the love of truth to guide my words and actions.  My only interest is peace as harmony. I dreamed I was teaching peace and this changed my life from a market analyst to peace maker.  I was a community journalist in public radio for a few years. I was seeking to find my voice and allow other voices to be heard. Surveillance happened after I aired Scott Ritter (senior weapons inspector, Iraq) and Major Douglas Rokke (depleted uranium expert, Pentagon). I had no knowledge of the murky, smoke and dagger world of intelligence. Today I have become wiser. 

Peace will only arise from inner peace which resolves inner conflict (untruth) as realisation (ah ha) informs as the real shape changer.  This is how personal growth happens, you awaken bit by bit to the truth of what is really going on. You cannot go back to the uninformed unconscious life that just believes what it hears, reads and sees.  I no longer believe in most of it.  I am disillusioned but in a good way. I refer to my life similar to the ‘philosophers stone’ where questions open pathways to truth, intent is important. As I reach for truth I find myself changing as I grow in awareness.   I am open to being wrong, but ultimately I have felt the awakening and I come into a feeling of  ‘knowing’. This knowing is ‘I know I don’t know’ which opens my mind. It is the real wisdom, which is no about knowing it all but awakening to the illusion of it.  Below is further links I found by following a gentle search for truth.

This excerpt is from an article I believe is in the public interest and is the basis of control in our world. I remember Fiona Barnett saying once paedophilia is solved and those involved brought to justice much of the evils of our world will disappear. I felt truth in that. However, having said that by all means you critique the article and find your own truth, as I believe we all have to work it out ourselves. This article provides an insight as a contrast to the mainstream media. You would never find this article on the front page of a popular newspaper. I present it with a noteworthy quote which awakens to the underbelly of power:

“The ‘mass hysteria’ and ‘false memory’ bromides disseminated by the establishment press obscure federal and academic connections to the mind control cults, which are defended largely by organized pedophiles, cultists and hired guns of psychiatry.”

Refer: https://constantinereport.com/mass-media-concealment-of-the-nazi-style-mind-control-atrocities/

I suspect this is the main driver of misinformation embedded in the intelligence community.  I have concerns about Home Affairs or Homeland Security, the latter called ‘shadow government’ by former CIA Kevin Shipp. When intelligence is blended with an internal intelligence capability it raises real concerns about false flag operations, fake stunts to cause terror, holographic imagery and the very real concern of cults in positions of power. The Bush Administration is a case in point and the links to the Skull and Bones, KKK and CIA Whistleblower assertions of 911 as a CIA operation It further raises questions about COVID-19.

There has to be critical thinking. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the Trump narrative but I do think there is truth in what he is saying. It is not for the media to get defensive at the critiques but investigate as intelligence merges with the media as part of information control (counter=terrorism techniques).

Whistleblowers are coming out and revealing what the mainstream media is not revealing. For example ex CIA whistleblower:

Montgomery maintains that the data on the hard drives prove the existence of THE HAMMER and prove that Brennan and Clapper engaged in illegal domestic surveillance, despite the existence of safeguards that were already in place.

MONTGOMERY, ‘THE HAMMER’ SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM WHISTLEBLOWER, BECAME THE DEEP STATE’S ENEMY NUMBER ONE AFTER EXPOSING THE TRUTH

 

The last article is from Freedom of the Press Foundation online.  It is a critique of Trump. However, I see some truth in his tweets. He is definitely taking on the established media and those infiltrated by vested interests. Yes he is crass, yes a misogynist, yes a deal maker, ball breaker, but interestingly, he is taking on the power elites.  Why? he is not in the club. He doesn’t give a toss what anyone thinks, he plays by his own rules. He is a leader as he makes his own decisions. Yet there would still be room for critique with him in that he hasn’t revealed the whole truth, yet he is leaking out questions, particularly about COVID-19.  The question is are people giving thought to what is the truth of COVID-19?

https://freedom.press/news/trump-crisis-mode-tweets-his-2000th-attack-press/

Freedom of the Press Foundation

 

Trump, in crisis mode, tweets his 2000th attack on the press

Stephanie_Sugars_Headshot

Reporter, U.S Press Freedom Tracker

KM

Managing Editor, US Press Freedom Tracker

PFT_2kTweets_Blog.jpg
 

Illustration/Kelsey Borch

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend daily life, President Donald Trump accelerated smearing the press on Twitter, reaching 2,000 negative tweets about the media in a string of insults and accusations on April 11, 2020.

According to our analysis of more than 19,400 of Trump’s tweets, 2,000 means that he has, on average, tweeted negatively about the press more than once a day for the past 4 ½ years. While the president’s rate of tweeting about the media has varied over those years, a noticeable uptick occurred as the severity of the new coronavirus progressed throughout the United States, and his administration’s handling of the global health crisis came under increased criticism.

The 2,000th tweet came on a Saturday, as part of a series of posted and deleted tweets, criticizing the coverage of no fewer than five outlets and accusing most of bias, if not outright corruption. The 2,000th tweet:

2000 Tweet PFT_2000

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker maintains a searchable database tracking Twitter posts in which Trump mentions media, individual journalists or news outlets in a negative tone since he declared his candidacy in June 2015.

In January, we wrote that Trump’s anti-press tweeting had begun ramping up last year around his official reelection campaign launch, and that he was following the same “playbook” of attacking the press on Twitter that he used during his first campaign. Those Twitter mentions, however, dropped dramatically after the impeachment inquiry began in September 2019 and stayed relatively low through the end of the year.

As concerns about the new coronavirus took hold in the U.S. in early 2020, Trump’s negative media tweet rate began accelerating to a pace not seen in the previous 5 months. It rose from 5.6% of his overall tweets in January to 11.2% in March. During the week of March 23 — when the U.S. began to lead the world in confirmed cases — Trump criticized the news media in nearly one in every five tweets.

2000 Tweet PFT_Graph1

The Nation’s First Virus Death, and an ‘Enemy of the People’ Tweet

On March 1, Trump referred to a sweeping number of print and broadcast news outlets as “The Enemy of the People,” a term he first used shortly after taking office but which had seen less use in the previous six months.

The tweet came one day after the U.S. recorded its first coronavirus death, that of a Washington state man in his 50s.

The Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, ABC, CBS News and more, he tweeted, “headed” the “Fake News Media” and were a source of national disgust and embarrassment.

2000 Tweet PFT_EoP

A week later, on March 8, he used the term again, singling out only the Times. A few days later, on March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, or global epidemic. On March 13, Trump declared a national emergency.

Over the course of the month, Trump tweeted a total of 447 times. Of those, 50 tweets used a negative tone about the press — nearly the same amount as in January and February combined.

Trump’s anti-press tweets predominantly focused on the media’s coverage of the pandemic and his administration’s response. Trump repeatedly condemned the use of unnamed sources, alleged that the media was deliberately dramatizing the outbreak to hurt the economy and his reelection chances, and asserted that outlets should unite with him in the face of the crisis, rather than continue covering the outbreak and response critically.

Of the 50 tweets, half targeted the media as a whole, with terms like “Enemy of the People” and “LameStream Media,” and descriptions of the media as “corrupt,” “dishonest” and “hopeless.”

2000 Tweet PFT_LameStream

Twenty tweets targeted specific news outlets, with MSNBC and the Times attacked the most often, and used demeaning “nicknames” like “MSDNC” and “DeFace the Nation.” Five individual journalists — representing four outlets — were also targeted by name.

Rachel Maddow and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, Chuck Todd of NBC, Maggie Haberman of the Times and Chris Cuomo of CNN, all familiar targets of the president on Twitter, were each singled out. Cuomo announced he tested positive for the coronavirus on March 31.

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During his fourth year in office, 14.2% of Trump’s negative tweets about the media have targeted individuals, questioning their legitimacy, ethics and objectivity, as well as insulting their physical appearance or demeanor and assigning them demeaning nicknames.

By comparison, he targeted individual journalists in only 7.5% of tweets in his first year in office and 8.6% of tweets in his second year.

2000 Tweet PFT_Graph2

Press Briefings Return: In-Person Insults Mirror Those on Twitter

On Feb. 26, the same day White House press briefings resumed after a more than year-long hiatus, the president tweeted, “Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus [sic] look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible.”

Trump tweeted multiple assertions that the media was continuing in its “war” against him in spite of the virus, and that the press briefings — this time with Trump leading them instead of a press secretary — were “reaching millions of people that are not being told the truth.”

2000 Tweet PFT_Press Conferences

The president targeted ABC via tweet four times in 2020 — all in March and April — including calling the outlet an “Enemy of the People” and “Fake News.”

In the briefing room, the attacks on journalists were personal. When ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent, Jonathan Karl, asked during an April 6 briefing about a report from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general, Trump quipped, “You’re a third-rate reporter.” Karl is also the president of the White House Correspondents Association.

Trump had used the same insult in a tweet targeting the Times’ Maggie Haberman on March 27, as well as in reference to Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman on March 11, though the president didn’t name him.

When PBS NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindor asked during a March 29 COVID-19 briefing about the president refuting governors’ needs for equipment, he replied that her question was “snarky” and her approach always “getcha, getcha, getcha.”

On April 5, Trump targeted Alcindor on Twitter, writing that she was “a very biased journalist.”

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President Donald Trump takes questions during an April 6 coronavirus task force briefing at the White House with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Vice President Mike Pence. In this briefing, Trump responded to a question by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, in the second row of seats on the far right, by calling him a ‘third-rate reporter,’ an insult he also uses on Twitter.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The 2000th Tweet: A Milestone of Attacking the Press

Through early April, Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force held press briefings almost every day, and by April 11, Trump had insulted or denigrated the press in nearly one in six of his tweets.

On Twitter, Trump referred to CNN as “a JOKE!,” the Wall Street Journal as “Fake News!” and singled out the Post and the Times, asserting that advertising is “WAY down” either because they are “Fake News” or because “the Virus is just plain beating them up.”

2000 Tweet PFT_Advertising

On April 11, as Trump posted his 2,000th negative tweet about the media, the U.S. led the world in confirmed COVID-19 deaths, surpassing 20,000.

Trump posted a burst of eight tweets that day, a single-day amount not reached since September 2019.

All but one of the tweets targeted specific outlets. The president repeated his refrains about “MSDNC,” the “failing” Times and the “Amazon” Post, and criticized the Journal’s Editorial Board. Trump also disparaged Fox News, tweeting that watching it on weekend afternoons is “a total waste of time.” The tweet followed a report about equipment shortages at the Department of Veterans Affairs and coronavirus-related veteran deaths.

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Three of the tweets targeting the Times were nearly identical, with the first two posted and deleted within minutes of each other. The third, which was the milestone-reaching tweet, was posted two hours later. In it, the president called the Times “Fake News,” “Failing,” and questioned its use of anonymous sources in an article linking New York coronavirus cases to Europe, not China.

The day’s string of tweets struck on multiple recent themes, with the president criticizing coverage of the pandemic and implying corruption in the newsroom.

Trump also delegitimized the standard news practice of granting sources anonymity, asserting on Twitter that anonymous sources are fabricated in order to hurt his administration. Nearly one in four of his anti-press tweets in early April — and one in ten in March — denigrated the media’s use of unnamed sources.

Undermining Coverage in a Time of Crisis

Language eroding public trust in the news media, while a hallmark of the president’s administration, has increased on Twitter in tandem with the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. and criticism of the government’s handling of it.

Trump complained about media bias in a majority of his 2,000 negative tweets, accusing the media of conspiring against him and refuting the accuracy of their reports.

From the first confirmed U.S. coronavirus case on Jan. 20, through reaching the milestone tweet on April 11, Trump tweeted negatively about the media 113 times. In those 83 days, at a time when the public increasingly sought news from established outlets, Trump intensified his criticism of individual reporters and the media’s coverage.


Explore the database

As the president continues to communicate through Twitter, The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker continues to track the rhetoric using this live database.

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