Just when you think Donald Trump couldn’t be more ignorant of the Constitution, he manages to find yet another way to show disdain for the ideals upon which this country was founded.
“Freedom of the press” was viewed by our Founding Fathers as so critical to a functional democracy that it was written as part of the First Amendment. No other freedom supersedes it.
But President Trump doesn’t need no stinkin’ First Amendment:
Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone gave [a radio interview] this weekend with Breitbart News Saturday. In the interview, Stone denounced CNN and warned, “When Donald Trump is president, he should turn off their FCC license.” The context for this threat is that Trump previously denounced coverage in the Washington Post, implicitly threatening to go after the paper’s owner on antitrust and tax issues as retribution for the Post’s coverage.
Think that’s hyperbole? Think again. Donald Trump is so incensed by The New York Times using his own words against him that he’s been making loud noises to sue for libel:
He tweeted, inaccurately, that the whole story has been “proven false.” He also told his Twitter followers that nothing in the newspaper could be trusted: “Who can believe what they write after the false, malicious & libelous story they did on me.” Trump’s use of the word libelous stood out to some observers since Trump has talked repeatedly about wanting to “open up the libel laws” to make it easier to sue media companies.
So it appears that Trump thinks all press about him should be positive. How positively Pravda of him. Or, alternatively, it could be further proof that Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue as to how government is run and what it can and cannot control.
Either way, it’s pretty clear that Trump would target press freedom as president.
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)