Opinion

What the Media Don’t Understand About the First Amendment

“Responding to a tweet from President Trump about his meeting with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, the liberal newspaper released a lengthy statement Sunday afternoon in which Sulzberger explained that he confronted Trump over his “deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric” that he warned will cause journalists to be physically harmed.” (Breitbart)

What? The media’s reporting on Trump is more than 90 percent negative. This doesn’t mean that it’s all wrong. But it does mean that the media’s reporting that it skews the news toward the negative side.

There’s a lot going on in the country that’s very good. The good is the result of Trump’s policies. How do we know this? Even with all the negative media coverage, Trump’s approval rating is near 50 percent.

I’ll tell Mr. Sulzberger what’s troubling. The rhetoric and violence directed at conservatives, including Pres. Trump. Comments and actions by Kathy Griffin, Madonna, Johnny Depp, and Maxine Waters come to mind. Would Sulzberger like to see a list? Here are 15 examples from a list of 133:

  1. July 5, 2018: Trump supporter wearing Make America Great Again hat allegedly assaulted in burger joint (video at link).
  2. July 3, 2018: Nebraska GOP office vandalized.
  3. July 2, 2018: Cher accuses ICE of “Gestapo tactics.”
  4. July 2, 2018: Man accused of threatening to kill Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and his family.
  5. July 1, 2018Washington Post reporter publicly calls on mobs to give Trump officials a “life sentence” of harassment.
  6. July 1, 2018: Man wearing MAGA hat refused service in a restaurant.
  7. June 29, 2018: Media falsely blame Trump for the murder of five journalists in Maryland.
  8. June 28, 2018: Journalist lies about Maryland mass-shooter being a Trump supporter.
  9. June 29, 2018: Hollywood actor calls on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to be harassed at “every meal.”
  10. June 29, 2018: California man accused of threatening to kill FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s children.
  11. June 28, 2018: Reuters editor says Trump has blood on his hands for the murder of five journalists in Maryland. He still has a job.
  12. June 28, 2018: Singer John Legend praises and agrees with Rep. Maxine Waters for calling on mobs to publicly harass Trump officials out of public spaces like restaurants.
  13. June 28, 2018: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) calls on “angry” Latinos to oust Trump.
  14. June 27, 2018: Media defend and champion Virginia restaurant owner who kicked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and her family out, and then reportedly harassed them as they ate at a nearby restaurant.
  15. June 26, 2018: Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) blames President Trump for her intern yelling “Fuck you!” at him through the halls of the U.S. Capitol. The intern was not fired.

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What we’re seeing in the streets, confrontations in restaurants (Sarah Sanders Huckabee and EPA’s Scott Pruitt), homes (Kirstjen Nielsen), and movie theaters (Florida AG Pam Bondi), and the denouncement of free speech on college campuses are reminiscent of Stalinist tactics.

Speaking of Stalin, Andrea Mitchell compared Trump to Joseph Stalin, saying the president attacking fake news is “very dangerous.” If the news is fake, then the President is serving the people by pointing it out. Freedom of the Press does not mean that the Press is immune from criticism, from the President or anyone else.

Snopes' Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors

Freedom of the Press applies to everyone, including the President. Twitter is a modern-day means of communication that constitutes not only the Freedom of the Press but the Freedom of Speech. Unlike Stalinists, Trump is not shutting down the newspapers and arresting journalists. They’re free to report. They’re even free to engage in “fake news.”

We the People, and that would include the President, are free to call out the media the same way the media attack the people who voted for Trump and the President. It’s obvious to those who support many of Trump’s policies that the majority in the media oppose Trump and his policies, and it shows in their reporting. All you had to do was watch the media on election night in 2016. They were rooting for Hillary.

Mitchell went on to say, “fake news is what Russia did to our election, the propaganda that we see from Russia invading our social media, to say nothing of the hacking.”

We’re still waiting to learn what Russia did to our election that actually impacted the election. Where’s the evidence? Moreover, where is the evidence that Pres. Trump colluded with Russia to impact the election. It would seem to me that if Andrea Mitchell knew of one person who actually decided not to vote for Hillary Clinton because of the Russians, she would have reported the story. No one I know who voted for Trump did so because of Russian interference. We voted for Trump because we did not want Hillary Clinton to be President. The Russians didn’t have anything to do with our vote.

Andrea, if you don’t want to be accused of being in the fake news business, then I suggest that you report on all the news. Here’s the methodology you should follow: Visualize that Pres. Trump is Barack Obama. The problem is, you’ll still be reporting fake news because you rarely if ever reported anything negative about former Pres. Obama or his policies. I know what you’ll say. “But Pres. Obama didn’t have any bad policies and never did anything wrong.”

That, too, would be fake news.

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