Eliminate the press and authorize elderly Americans as the new fourth estate


Humor columnist Erin Clancy proposes getting rid of the free press and solely relying on elderly Facebook posts for news.

Courtesy Steve Buissinne

Throughout his presidency, President Donald Trump has fostered an incredibly hostile environment toward the press that seemingly grows worse by the day. Among his attacks are his declarations of “a running war on the media” and that journalists are “among the most dishonest human beings on earth.” These sorts of claims are not ones the president throws around without forethought and tactfulness. When the media calls him out, he frames any attempt to expose him as yet another pointed, liberal attack on his presidency. Trump uses accusations to purposefully enact a war on the press, which undermines its ability to appear credible during instances in which he looks bad or is being held to account. 

And I hate to admit it, but it’s working. The failing news media just can’t take the heat. 

That’s why we should abolish the pansy press and institute provisions that would authorize elderly Americans with active Facebook accounts to be the new fourth estate.

Ok, hear me out. If old people replaced the press as a government watchdog, there would be no more elitist organizations serving their own interests under the guise of helping to progress the “public good.” White, working-class grandparents all over the country would be able to unite in their shared sense of ambiguous anger, directing it toward something like congressional efforts to combat climate change. “Whiny millennials should stop crying!! Their tears are the only reason for the increasing precipitation rates around the globe.” #Globalwarmingowned!

Additionally, it’s no secret that fake news is circulated at higher rates among older Americans.  While some see this as an alarming threat to democracy, I argue this tactic is an extremely refreshing way of sticking it to the man. Sharing fake news is an excellent way to undermine the legitimacy of any structural institution. Therefore, the more elderly Americans who share fake news, the more power that effectively slides into the hands of the proletariat. #MakeyourMarx 

Elderly Americans’ new role as government watchdog would also completely democratize the system by putting the technologically-literate government in its place. Comments written with capital letters and arbitrary punctuation interspersed between and in the middle of words would serve to undermine a system founded by and for societal elites. “Mi.SS. NUT CASE-IO CORTEZ! HONEY ,,WHY ?DONT YOU LEAVE THE POLITICS FOR THE PEO.PLE WHO UNDERS,TAND TH.EM!” #Powercheckmate, amiright?

Lastly, there’s the problem of redundancy. Time and time again, Trump has declared his belief that the press is the enemy of the people. His ceaseless smears against the “fake” news media have become an inevitable part of political discourse. At this point, his rhetoric is nothing more than boring, regurgitated fluff.

That will change, however, once the press is abolished as the fourth estate and elderly Americans become the new government watchdog. Trump will then be able to direct his slander toward a new group, and I doubt many people can deny their excitement over the prospect of old people getting yelled at about something for once  — ‘cuz, like, old people kind of suck, honestly. Just think of all the fun we’ll have watching the president deem old people “the opposition party” and “public enemy number one!” 

Let’s give the power back to the people. Let’s abolish the fourth estate.

Erin Clancy is a Humor Columnist at The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com. 

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