The biggest threat to American journalism today isn’t Donald Trump, or threats of fake news. It’s the billionaire investors whose companies have taken over every major media outlet and are now strangling them for profits at the expense of good journalism and good journalists.
Over a thousand reporters have lost their jobs over the past month at outlets like HuffPost, AOL, Yahoo, and BuzzFeed, and more cuts are expected to follow as companies like Verizon (which owns HuffPost) and the Group Nine digital publisher abandon their civic duty to provide quality, accurate reporting to the public and in favor of chasing the bottom lines of their vulture investors.
Which makes it horrifying to see President Trump take to Twitter to gloat about the devastating wave of layoffs, pretending that it was a backlash to their determined efforts to expose the cruelty and corruption of the Trump administration that prompted the layoffs and not the insatiable greed of monstrous plutocrats like himself.
“Ax falls quickly at BuzzFeed and Huffpost!” Headline, New York Post. Fake News and bad journalism have caused a big downturn. Sadly, many others will follow. The people want the Truth!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019
To make matters worse, Trump fans and 4chan trolls have been harassing and gloating over the layoffs, sending death threats and images of nooses to the laid-off journalists, including barraging Jewish reporters with pennies.
These accounts entirely dedicated to sending death threats and pictures of nooses to recently laid off journalists are still live, 24 hours after our report citing examples.
Is anybody doing any moderation of any kind at these companies? This is not hard!https://t.co/Mm1EqoNCeI
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 26, 2019
trolls continuing to attempt to own me by sending me pennies (because jew) and in the process giving me their full names and email addresses pic.twitter.com/WKZYvKJd63
— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) January 26, 2019
The slow but inexorable death of the news media industry is very, very bad news for a nation that is already struggling to articulate the truth and focus on the critical issues facing our nation today — issues that by and large are all the fault of the same billionaire class that is pushing our once-mighty journalistic tradition under water.
We can’t let Trump muddy the waters and make this about himself once again, nor let him get away with cyber-bullying the journalists who have spent the past two years exposing his crimes.