"Fake news." "Psycho." "Enemy of the people."
The insults President Donald Trump and the media hurl at each other are, in fact, nothing new. Over many centuries, journalists have accused governments of being "horrible monsters," with "guilty consciences," while reporters have been branded "poisoners of the people" putting out "false fables." Ever since the invention of the printing press, those in positions of power have seen mass communication as a dangerous threat, usurping their ability to tell people what to think, and capable of stirring up discontent and even rebellion.
Historian and international journalist Derek J. Taylor tracks the story of what’s been a long, bloody and messy war, and discovers that neither side has always had clean hands. He takes us from Henry VIII’s reign when writers and printers were executed, to the later struggles for the right to a free press, to the media’s battles with the governments of President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Tony Blair. Taylor ends with the social media revolution, which has put mass communication in the hands of ordinary people, as well as those of a certain U.S. president.