This is what being an “enemy of the people” looks like

Photo: Anthony Moretti 2Oct2016

Photo: Anthony Moretti 2Oct2016

Imagine you are an upstanding member of your community. You are respected. You are admired.

And then you quickly become a pariah.

Say you alert top officials in your town that the water is not safe, and that local residents and the many tourists are getting sick because of it.

Say that almost everyone is impressed by the evidence you have.

Except your brother.

Who is the mayor.

He tells you that fixing the problem will be costly. Raising taxes is never popular, you are reminded.

He lets you know that once the news spreads about the toxic water that tourists will stop showing up. Bad PR can be crippling after all.

He gets the town’s newspaper editor to change allegiance to him and from you.

Your brother uses his power to sway public opinion; the consensus around town now is that you are a liar; you are dangerous; you want to destroy the local way of life.

Soon, you are “an enemy of the people.”

Your family suffers.


Well, think about your answer as you watch “An Enemy of the People”.

And also consider what the Daily Beast (from which the synopsis is taken) thinks about the relevance of Henrik Ibsen’s work today.

With [President] Trump having declared the press the enemy, it would fit our exact circumstances today a little better if the newspaper had stood courageously with Stockmann. On the other hand, the portrait of media timidity is all too apt, is it not? I’m sure there were a lot of Americans who thought at any number of points over the past 18 months that surely the press would “stand up and do its duty.”

This entry was posted in culture, freedom of speech, freedom of the press. Bookmark the permalink.

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