President Trump has proposed that the U.S. launch a government-run news network.
On Tuesday, the president tweeted his pitch for a propagandistic version of CNN. "Throughout the world, CNN has a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way," wrote Trump. "Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!"
....and false way. Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2018
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What the president is referring to is usually called state media, such as the channel RT (Russia Today) or the news broadcasts seen in dictator-run North Korea. Richard Painter, former chief ethics officer in the George W. Bush White House, tweeted that Trump's brainstorm sounded "Just like Pravda, the Reich Propaganda Ministry and other fine examples of state-run media."
The U.S. already has several government-run TV and radio networks, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, and Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
But Trump seems to have something in mind that will address his personal interests and vendetta against the media, which he continues to call "fake news" and "the enemy of the people." Tuesday on Twitter, Trump railed against the "fake news media" again for its coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. On Monday, Mueller's office announced that it was dropping a plea deal with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort because he had lied to the special counsel.
The president has already made a foray into producing state media. In summer 2017, his daughter-in-law Lara Trump hosted a "real news" show on Donald Trump's Facebook page, in which she read only favorable stories about him. "Watch here for REAL news!" said posts on the president's page touting the show.
And Fox News is a reliable cheerleader for Trump and conservative causes. The new White House deputy chief of staff for communications, Bill Shine, is Fox News' former co-president Shine will be paid $3.5 million in severance by the network this year and next year, concurrent with his Oval Office job.