Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mainstream Journalists Don’t Care About Free Speech Until Donald Trump Attacks It

In the wake of Trump's election, the mainstream media is suddenly concerned about the First Amendment. The truth is, they never cared about free speech.
“Our First Amendment test is here. We can’t afford to flunk it,” ran the headline of Margaret Sullivan’s column in the Washington Post on Sunday. The test, of course, is Donald Trump’s presidency, which Sullivan worries will threaten the First Amendment.
The column itself is a fine example of an emerging subgenre of post-election journalism that pretends to care about free speech now that Trump has won the White House. The great irony of these missives is that the outlets publishing them didn’t seem to care all that much during Barack Obama’s tenure in office. They were willing either to turn a blind eye to the administration’s attacks on the First Amendment, or actively cheer these on.
Sullivan quotes a column of mine from March, in which I argued that Trump doesn’t seem to understand libel laws, in part because he wants to make it easier to sue journalists and news organizations for “purposely negative and horrible and false articles.” Coming from a leading contender for the presidency, these were indeed troubling remarks at the time.
They still are. But Trump’s cavalier attitude toward free speech isn’t unique. In fact, it’s a fundamental feature of the political Left. For all its wailing about free speech in the wake of Trump’s election last week, the media spent eight years enabling and at times encouraging the Obama administration’s denigration of the First Amendment.
Read the rest of this op-ed from The Federalist HERE

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1 comment:

cimbri said...

Evidently, some people are misinterpreting the 1st Amendment. These Democrat operatives, otherwise known as news reporters, seem to thing the 1A gives them the right to ride with Trump in his plane, or go to dinner with him, etc. No, it does not. They don't have the right to press conferences, or any other communications from Trump. They do have the right to say and print whatever they want, about anything, unless it libels or puts people in imminent danger.

Having said that, Trump was very accessible to all press venues during the last year and a half, and people can also directly communicate with him on SM. You never heard any reporter complaining that they couldn't get an interview with Trump. Trump was and is accessible, but he isn't going to be jerked around by the media, or at least he is going to try to not be crushed by them, which is their primary aim.