We know we’re probably not supposed to laugh at this, but we can’t help it.
Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing. – POLITICO Magazine https://t.co/8qKdzqJyc3
— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) October 16, 2018
Serious, you guys. PEN America executive director Susan Nossel writes:
President Donald J. Trump’s frequent threats and hostile acts directed toward journalists and the media are not only offensive and unbecoming of a democratic leader; they are also illegal. In the Trump era, nasty rhetoric, insults and even threats of violence have become an occupational hazard for political reporters and commentators. To be sure, a good portion of President Trump’s verbal attacks on journalists and news organizations might be considered fair game in this bare-knuckled political moment. The president has free-speech rights just like the rest of us, and deeming the news media “the enemy of the American people” and dismissing accurate reports as “fake news” are permissible under the First Amendment.
But the First Amendment does not protect all speech. Although the president can launch verbal tirades against the press, he cannot use the powers of his office to suppress or punish speech he doesn’t like. When President Trump proposes government retribution against news outlets and reporters, his statements cross the line. Worse still, in several cases it appears that the bureaucracy he controls has acted on his demands, making other threats he issues to use his governmental powers more credible. Using the force of the presidency to punish or suppress legally protected speech strikes at the heart of the First Amendment, contravening the Constitution. Presidents are free to mock, needle, evade and even demean the press, but not to use the power of government to stifle it.
That is why this week PEN America, an organization of writers that defends free expression, together with the nonprofit organization Protect Democracy and the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Clinic, is filing suit in federal court seeking an order directing the president not to use the force of his office to exact reprisals against the press.
Donald Trump has certainly discussed taking action against the media … but thus far, his actions haven’t gone beyond insulting journalists. This “lawsuit” isn’t about fighting for free speech; it’s about self-righteous journalists seeking compensation for their bruised egos. Forgive us if we’re not exactly sympathetic to their plight.
What do you think of this suit. I'm very skeptical.
— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) October 16, 2018
This suit is garbage
— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) October 16, 2018
It sure seems that way.
— Mrs_Pinky Thoughts ? (@mrs_pinky85) October 16, 2018
You guys had a sit-down and determined the click-revenue would outweigh the legal costs, didn't you?
— Bohemio of the d'Urbervilles (@El__Bohemio) October 16, 2018
— Jonathon Zenk (@jzenk42) October 16, 2018
— Harold Stickeehands (@StickeeNotes) October 16, 2018
— Barnabus (@BarnabusShadows) October 16, 2018
— ? ?????????? ? ? (@SisyphusGoals) October 16, 2018
So funny. I needed a good chuckle this morning.
— Kelly Canon (@kjcanon) October 16, 2018
A lawsuit won’t restore the media’s integrity.
Absurd. Yall have a problem. Only you can fix it. pic.twitter.com/iwZQkla0Dg
— LaurieAnn ? (@mooshakins) October 16, 2018
Yep. And they’ve got a selective outrage problem, too.
Lmao good luck,where's the lawsuit for the Obama Administration hacking reporters computers and wiretapping them
— ✭LinebackerInc.✭ (@timdog68) October 16, 2018
And we might add that the number of journalists being thrown in jail by Trump's DOJ is … zero. Let's compare and contrast that to our last president who was long on virtue signaling, but short on putting up with the press when they failed to kiss his ass.
— White Chocolate (@rhodeislander) October 16, 2018
Mean words is worse than surveilling journalists I see.. Hypocrites.
— Drake Thomas (@DrakeThomas22) October 16, 2018
Last word to Comfortably Smug:
God willing he sends every last one of you to Gitmo
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) October 16, 2018