by Ahmed Khan, Founder, The Rahnuma Daily
(RAHNUMA) Government is hinged upon the will of the people. In a democratic Republic, without freedom of speech and subsequently a free press and media to report, the will of the people is not known.
Similarly, in an absolute monarchy, the power of the monarch reflects the will of the people. Hence, in a monarchy, while the press must continue to have the freedom to report, in order to encourage reform and growth, and prevent corruption, it must also keep its reporting free from political biases that seek to undermine the ultimate will of the people – the longevity of the monarchy.
However, America is not a monarchy anymore, rather is a democratic Republic.
In a democratic Republic, without a free press, and freedom of speech, there is no such thing as a democracy.
Any country which pressurizes its press, and curbs the freedom of expression of its population, cannot at the same time claim to be a democracy. This must be clear.
I repeat, without the freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the will of the people cannot be known, and such a government cannot be referred to as democratic, even if it were elected to power in the first place by the will of the people.
That said, freedom of speech and freedom of the press and media requires it to be free from both governmental interference, but also ideological pressures of lobbying groups.
Today’s media is in camps, wherein the will of the people is compromised to the ideological will of the press.
Hence, we see the rise in hyper-liberal media, liberal media, right-wing media, and the ultra-right.
While such competing ideas and narratives are healthy for a democracy, they must not compromise when it comes to fair reporting. This means, even if the government in power is not ideologically compatible with the media outlet, it should still report fairly, and after reporting fairly, can comment and subsequently push its slant and political agenda.
This did not happen in the case of President Donald J. Trump, who instead became the punching bag for his ideological opponents in the American press throughout his entire Presidency.
When the media consistently targets an individual not acceptable to it’s own political or ideological slant and bias, as was the case with CNN when it came to President Trump, it is not acting freely, nor reporting fairly, but by putting its ideological or financial interests first, is acting undemocratically.
Despite the fact that it was the will of the people to elect Trump, over the four years of his Presidency, by consistently opposing him and attacking him, CNN actually acted contradictory to the democratic interests and will of the American people.
Trump de-escalated the nuclear threat from North Korea, maintained a strong trade policy on China, forced Europe to pay for NATO, defeated ISIS, killed the imposter caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, and ushered in the dawn of a new Middle East with the Abraham Accord.
Each one of his achievements was mocked, undermined, and de-emphasized by his opponents in the American media.
In a democratic society, the will of the people is reflected through popularity, and nothing more.
Consistent bad press, opposition, attacks, and slander are in fact not more than a form of political dissent, interference in the democratic process to change the balance of power, and are actually actions against the will of the people.
A fine line must be drawn between reporting and smearing by the press if a country is to function democratically.
Again, simply put, in a democracy, whoever is the most popular is the leader, and for him to remain the leader, he must remain most popular.
Propaganda, criminal allegations, tax scandals, press scandals, failed impeachments, and lies were all carefully crafted to undermine nothing more than Trump’s popularity, and thereby subsequently take away his leadership by subverting the will of the people.
Hence, in the case of President Donald J. Trump, while he has finally conceded to Joe Biden as of late yesterday, the real question remains whether President Trump lost his 2020 reelection bid to the will of the American people, or in fact, lost the will of the American people – because of the will of the American media.
Ahmed Khan is the Founder of The Rahnuma Daily (theRahnuma.com), the online global English daily edition of The Rahnuma-E-Deccan Daily (ReDD), India’s oldest Urdu daily print newspaper established in 1921. More than 81.1 million Indians identify Urdu as their language, and as per the annual INA (Indian Newspapers Association) report, ReDD ranks among the top 5 most widely circulated and read Urdu daily print newspapers throughout India. Ahmed resides in Hyderabad at his maternal ancestral home and can be contacted at, firstname.lastname@example.org