Some of my old-timer colleagues still talk about the “good old days,” when we used to work in what they called a “free press.” I don’t know what they’re on about.
Sure, we were free. But were we happy? I think not.
It’s hard to remember back then, the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, when we in the fake news media were the enemies of the American people. I’m embarrassed to say it, but I was one of those who criticized President Trump. It was a tremendous disservice to the American people. I was one of the most dishonest people on Earth. I really did not like America, and 46 percent of people knew my colleagues and I fabricated stories about the president. It was frankly disgusting the way I was able to write whatever I wanted to write, and people needed to look into it.
People did look into it, and I was admittedly concerned when Congress passed — and all 11 justices appointed by Trump to the Supreme Court upheld — the following:
— The Trump Equal Time and Fairness Doctrine of 2018, making it a felony to criticize, or joke about, President Trump unless simultaneously providing “a harsher criticism and/or funnier joke about a Democrat.”
— The Adult Day Care Act of 2018, also known as the Corker Act, making it illegal to raise questions about the president’s state of mind.
— The Huckabee Sanders Act of 2018, making it a crime to commit the “highly inappropriate” action of questioning a military officer.
— The “Open Up Our Libel Laws” Act of 2018, which allows Trump to “win lots of money” when people write “negative and horrible” articles about him.
— The Fake News Reform Act of 2018, which revoked the “licenses” of all broadcasters, put Jeff Bezos under house arrest at the Federal Trade Commission and placed the failing New York Times and the Amazon Washington Post under the control of Minister of Information Sebastian Gorka.
That was 18 years ago, and Trump’s first term in the White House has now extended to nearly two decades. (Under the new rules, only House Speaker Steve Bannon and Senate Majority Leader Roy Moore can call an election, and they say they have no immediate plans to do so.)
While I at first chafed at the new restrictions — no sources, no criticism — I quickly came to realize how much easier and low-stress the new journalism would be. Each morning I get a call from Gorka with my assignment. I write it up, and then it’s up to the Russian bots to spread the word on social media.
Here’s the first draft of tomorrow’s column I just sent to Gorka:
President Trump has already Made America Great Again. In fact, he keeps Making America Even Better and Better.
It is fair to say that no other president has done more than President Trump, now 90: Over 50 Legislation approvals, massive regulation cuts, energy freedom, pipelines, border security, 2nd Amendment, Strong Military, ISIS, historic VA improvement, Supreme Court Justice, Record Stock Market, lowest unemployment in 17 years! He is getting what will be the biggest tax cut in U.S. history. He will give great and popular tax breaks to the middle class but not make any changes to 401(k) plans. It all stays! It will be historic and once-in-a-generation. He will also get HealthCare and it will be great. The budget that just passed is a very big deal.
Jobless claims were the best last month. The stock market continues to set all-time highs. Unlike his predecessors, Trump has written personally, on parchment and with quill pen, to every relative of every U.S. soldier ever killed, going back to the French and Indian War. Raqqa is liberated. The National Football League is requiring all 32 teams to participate in color-guard drills. And Democrats continue to be wacky and crooked.
OK, so it’s a bit dull. And it pretty much comes out the same every day. But it only took me about five minutes because I didn’t have to waste time with “research” or “interviewing” or “fact checking.” In fact, it took almost no thought at all.
And it’s safer. Remember Trump’s response when asked about Vladimir Putin’s killing of critical journalists? “Our country does plenty of killing, too,” he said.
Did I mention that Trump, in addition to being the best president ever, is very handsome?
Dana Milbank is a columnist for The Washington Post. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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