Thursday, February 16, 2017

Attacks on the Media in Latin America

Marisa Kellam and Elizabeth Stein have a great post at The Monkey Cage about government attacks on the media with a comparison to Donald Trump.

One strategy hostile presidents use is to circumvent traditional media by finding ways to get directly to their constituencies. They mention TV shows, which of course Hugo Chávez was famous for. But it made me think about how Trump's choice of Twitter is more awkward because of the brevity. I could quite easily imagine, however, Trump deciding to create his own show since he already has experience doing so. In other words, it's a bad sign if that happens.

Another point that merits mention is one I was just bringing up in my Latin American Politics class, namely that U.S. presidents are weaker than their Latin American counterparts, so media suppression here is more difficult. Trump can bluster and Breitbart can complain about the traitorous "deep state" but the U.S. presidency has a lot less power than the average American thinks (and, clearly, Trump also thought).


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