Sunday, April 30, 2017

They want to gut our constitutional protections


And the first and most important one to remove is freedom of speech and the press. That this was the subject of the first amendment was no accident. The Founding Fathers knew very well that if you stifle what can be said or read you can control what people think. And that is why it is such a threat to The Tangerine Shitgibbon and his evil minions.
A day after Watergate reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward issued a stirring call for the press to hold Donald Trump to account, the president’s chief of staff said the White House is actively considering a change to libel laws affecting news reporting.

“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at,” said Reince Priebus, appearing on ABC’s This Week. “How that gets executed and whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”

On the campaign trail last year, Trump responded to reporting on his policies and background by floating the possibility of a change to libel laws. Such a move would in reality require a change to the US constitution, which enshrines freedom of the press in the first amendment, the supreme court having ruled on the issue.

Undaunted, the president returned to the theme on Thursday, writing on Twitter: “The failing [New York Times] has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?”

On ABC, Priebus cited “articles out there that have no basis of fact and we’re sitting here and 24/7 cable companies writing stories about constant contacts with Russia and all these other matters”.

Links between Trump aides and Russia affecting the election campaign are the subject of House, Senate and FBI investigations as well as anonymously sourced reporting by major news outlets. Trump has been strongly critical of such reporting, on Russia and other subjects.

Woodward and Bernstein, who won Pulitzer prizes for their exposure of the cover-up of criminal activity by the Nixon White House, spoke at the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington on Saturday night.

Bernstein said: “This question of what is news becomes even more relevant and essential when we are covering the president of the United States.

“Richard Nixon tried to make the conduct of the press more the issue in Watergate instead of the conduct of the president and his men. We tried to avoid the noise and let the reporting speak.”

On ABC, Priebus was asked if the president should be able to sue news outlets over stories he didn’t like.

“Here’s what I think,” he said. “I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired–”

Interrupted, he said: “And I answered the question, I said this is something that is being looked at. It’s something that as far as how it gets executed, where we go with it, that’s another issue.
It is a real pity and a shame that they don't like what is written about their activities, but that is part of the cost of being the boss. If they don't like it they can always retire to Putin's Russia where Putin himself will see that they are not bothered by people saying mean things to them. At least not in English.

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