Donald Trump

Donald Trump's Threat To Sue The New York Times Is Another Sign of His Authoritarianism

He's threatening a media outlet for doing little more than verifying that Trump has indeed done things that he previouly bragged about doing.

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Ron Sachs/CNP/AdMedia/SIPA/Newscom

Donald Trump's threat to file a libel lawsuit against the New York Times is yet another indication of the Republican nominee's dangerously authoritarian impulses and blatant disregard for the First Amendent.

Yet it's also new ground. Trump's threats in this instance go beyond the insults and mockery that have come to characterize the candidate's relationship with the media over the past year. He's now moved on to threatening direct legal action against a specific media outlet for doing little more than verifying that Trump has indeed done things that he previouly bragged about doing.

Trump has almost no leg to stand on, legally, but that's somewhat beside the issue—the real question is: if this is how Trump acts as a presidential cadidate, what would he do as president, when he would be able to tell federal prosecutors to do his bidding, rather than using his personal attorneys?

Here's how we got here. Last weekend, an audio recording leaked of Trump in 2005 bragging about how he routinely sexually assaults women to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. He explained this away as nothing more than "locker room talk" (even though it isn't) and during Sunday's presidential debate he claimed to have never done the things he bragged about doing. On Wednesday, the New York Times (followed shortly by other outlets) dropped a bombshell of a story that included accounts from two women who said Trump touched them inappropriately and without their consent.

Trump denied those allegations, yelled at the Times reporter who contacted him for comment and, as soon as the story appeared on Wednesday night, had his lawyers draft a letter threatening to sue the Times if they did not retract it. The Times is standing by their story.

A few caveats: Trump hasn't actually filed a lawsuit, so we are breaking one of the oldest rules of news by talking about a potential lawsuit before it's filed. This might just be bluster—possibly intended to intimidate the Times into a retraction but also meant to scare other outlets off similar stories.

Even if it's all bluster, it still reveals something about Trump's character. Sure, he's threatened to go after newspapers before. In February, he said that he would like to "open" libel laws to make it easier for public officials to sue media outlets over unfriendly coverage. That's terrifying enough in theory, but now he's taken an actual step towards fulfilling his First Amendment-shredding promise.

"Through his words and actions, Trump has consistently demonstrated a contempt for the role of the press beyond offering publicity to him and advancing his interests," said Sandra Mims Rowe, chairwoman of the Committee to Protect Journalists, in a statement on Thursday. "Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values."

The next step would be to actually file the lawsuit—which, again, Trump hasn't done.

If he does take the Times to court, Trump would appear to have almost no case. As a public figure, he would have to prove that the Times' story was wrong, that their reporting was reckless and that there was actual malice in their coverage (basically that they knew they were wrong and went ahead anyway just to damage him politically) in order to win the libel suit.

If Trump believes that "the law of this country forces us and those who dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight," wrote David McCraw, an attorney for the New York Times, in a response to Trump's lawsuit threat.

Winning the lawsuit wouldn't necessarily be the goal. Trump could force the Times (and his accusers) to spend lots of money fighting him in court. He's no stranger to the idea of using lawsuits to bleed opponents until they run out of money, and that could deter other victims from coming forward or other publications from reporting on them.

Even if none of those potential harms are realized, you're still left with the basic absurdity of Trump's argument here: that something he's admitted to doing—bragged about doing, in fact—would somehow be off-limits to journalists.

You're left with a man who wants to be president but fails to grasp the importance of the basic rights held by the people of the country he wishes to lead.

You're left with a man whose understanding of the First Amendment boils down to whether he finds coverage to be "fair" or not, as he told the Washington Post earlier this year.

A man who has now gone beyond making threats about how he would attack the First Amendment if he were elected president. He's now taking action, and there's little reason to believe he will change his approach after the election.

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  1. Have a feeling the Times wants Trump to actually file. Not only would they easily win, but discovery would be interesting.

    1. Leftist media organizations need to be destroyed. Without them, no progressive could ever win a national contest, or a contest in any state that was not fully progtarded. Also, taking resources away from progtards is ALWAYS a good thing.

      1. My friend ‘Sarah Bartlett’ makes $95/hour on the internet. She has been laid off for six months but last month her paycheck was $14750 just working on the internet for a few hours.. Go to this website and click tech tab to start your own work…. http://www.Trends88.Com

    2. Donald Trump sucks. He’s a mean ol mister who says nasty things.

      Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has the entire media working to help get her elected and cover up all of her actual crimes.

      Who should I be more scared of?

      1. But what if he tries to grab a pussy and the woman let’s him?

    1. It’s kind of like this…

      http://www.justiceforkatie.com

      Given the circumstances and what’s come out though I’m more inclined to believe Trump’s accuser than Bill’s.

      1. ” I’m more inclined to believe Trump’s accuser than Bill’s.”

        No shit?

        1. Amsoc would be towing the exact same lion even if Bill was up him right now sans lube.

          1. How do we know Bill isn’t up him as we speak?

            1. There’s no way to find out for sure.

              1. We could send Jesse to investigate.

      2. Deadbeat, you would be more inclined to believe Trump’s accuser even if Clinton were caught on hi definition video and later admitted to it. You’re that big a progtard tool.

    2. 83 whole views. How many of those were you?

      1. Actually it’s a sort of mirror, several sites were talking about it in the bowels of google news and the linked videos in most of those articles were taken down or made private. I opted for one that hadn’t been.

  2. He’s threatening a media outlet for doing little more than verifying that Trump has indeed done things that he previouly bragged about doing.

    He said women would let (LET) rich and famous men kiss and grope them. Not assault. And unsupported allegations are not verification of anything, they are allegations. Verification requires actual proof.

    Oh, and let’s just forget that the NY Times had to settle a lawsuit over publishing a similar pre-election hit piece implying McCain had an affair with a lobbyist. So their credibly is questionable, to say the least.

    1. And for fuck’s sake, suing the the NYT over publishing allegedly defamatory falsehoods is not authoritarian, you dipshit.

      1. kind of a bottomless pit or perpetual motion machine at the very least

    2. C’mon. He said he’d do it and they can’t do anything about it because he’s rich and famous. That’s not exactly implying consent.

      1. No, what he said was “they let you”. A far cry from “they can’t do anything about it”. I’m no fan of Trump, but this blatant phony hysteria and deliberate exaggeration and assumption of guilt is just beyond ridiculous. It’s very obvious the media has timed and orchestrated this to damage the candidate they don’t like while also using it as an excuse to cover the Wikileaks email revelations. Very disappointing to see Reason following suit.

        1. Reason, so often critical of shoddy journalism and trading in unsubstantiated allegations has jumped into the mudpit headfirst when it comes to Trump. They’ve latched onto the most hyperbolic reading of every scandal, real or imagined, repackaged and reprinted from the most untrustworthy of news organizations, since he was a primary front runner.

          1. Reason just wants to stay off the naughty list.

            1. Reason wants, very very badly to be on someone’s’ naughty list. That would mean someone was paying attention to their flavor of blather

          2. They’ve latched onto the most hyperbolic reading of every scandal, real or imagined, repackaged and reprinted from the most untrustworthy of news organizations,

            100% correct. And because of it I can’t bring myself to NOT vote for him. I wasn’t even going to vote, then I sorta got pushed into it because my state is so fucked up I need to do whatever I can (short of murder) to get the criminal unions out, and now I’m determined to vote for Trump as a big FUCK YOU to all the pundits who don’t know any better telling me how much they know better.

            Clinton is a criminal traitor and Gary Johnson is a coward. The only trait lower than that is “murderer”. Even “racist” and “misogynist” aren’t lower than “criminal traitor” or “coward”.

            1. That’s pretty much where I’m at. Trump is my protest vote. I’m voting against all the pundits, the celebrities, the journalists, the academics and a few other assholes like Nick Gillespie.

      2. YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT. THEY SCREAM NO, BUT I FIST THEM IN THE VAGINA AND LAUGH. FUCK THEM ALL, BOTH HANDS AT THE SAME TIME. ITS AWESOME. THEN I SHIT ON THEIR FACE AND MAKE THEM RUB IT IN. THEN MY LAWYERS DRAG THEM OFF AND THREATEN THEM TO KEEP THEM SILENT. IT MAKES ME LAUGH! HA HA HA

        /The Trump that Soave, Gillespie, et al are reacting to

        1. That’s certainly the impression I got. The leaked audio, as it actually is without any spin, is embarrassing at worst. Not a confession of rape nor beyond the moral values most men in the country. And though crass, his statement wasn’t necessarily wrong. Male celebrities DO have vaginas flying at them from every angle. Star power DOES moisten vaginas significantly. The media, Reason included, really grabbed this story by the pussy and ran with it. They scored their goal and now Nick Gillespie has joined in with the victory dance. Time will tell if it’s excessive celebration.

          1. Boohoo. It’s so mean how people who hate your politics will use anything they can get their hands on to defeat you. So mean and unfair of them.

            1. What’s really disturbing is how blatantly the media have embraced their role as Clinton campaign operatives, and how Reason happily goes along with their narrative.

              1. Boo Hoo, why are libertarians so mean to Trump, even though they disagree with him on almost every single issue? Stop being such big meanies. Be nice to Trump or I won’t like you anymore.

                1. You’re off your meds today, Hazel.

                  1. I think Hazel’s just tired of those who are so unhinged over Clinton that they feel the need to constantly go to bat for an obvious asshole.

                    The GOP nominated a goddamn loser. Sad!!!

                2. Meh. I think it is possible for libertarians to be so gung-ho to go after someone that they give short shrift to longstanding libertarian principles. I’m not as convinced as WTF and others that Reason has gone that far, but it’s not necessarily just mindless Trump-worshipping.

                  1. I don’t think Reason has gone that far, either, but they are definitely drifting in that direction.

                    1. I thought we went over this. Reason criticizes Trump over Hillary, because everyone agrees Hilllary is awful (except Chapman). So it is sort of pointless to spend so much time on Hillary. Trump, though, is worshipped by enough so-called libertarians that it needs addressing.

            2. Boohoo. It’s so mean how people who hate your politics will use anything they can get their hands on to defeat you. So mean and unfair of them.

              We can always expect such reasoned arguments from HazelMeade. Such a good argument in fact, that you didn’t actually address anything that I actually wrote. Very meta.

              Shouldn’t you be out protesting patriarchy or something?

              1. the vaginarchy? the next big thing

            3. It’s so mean how people who hate your politics will use anything they can get their hands on to defeat you.

              Intellectual Dishonesty FTW!!

          2. Actually, the most embarrassing thing about the whole clip is that, by the very standards of his fan base, Trump comes off looking like a “beta cuck”:

            And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony t*ts and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

            1. REAL MEN JUST SLAP THEM AND SAY MAKE ME A SAMMICH THEN TAKE THEM FROM BEHIND WHILE INSULTING THEIR COOKING

            2. Yeah no shit- I mean I’d take her out shopping, but only after she’d blown me. And, just to avoid being a cuck I would carefully track my blow-job to furniture shopping ratio (I have a Google spreadsheet that that tracks my blow-job to annoyance ratio for all of my girfriends.)

              1. Btw, I aim for 1.45, but often have to settle for something like 1.3.

      3. In case you haven’t been reading the comments, whenever someone doesn’t explicitly say no that means they totally want it. Not because you’re rich and powerful and/or they’re frightened of you or what you can do to their career. Nope, they’re gagging for it.

    3. If the accusations came out before the leaked audio debacle, they’d have a tad more credibility. The timing of the accusations swings the pendulum so far the other way, I think it’s only fair to assume it’s political theater until otherwise proven.

      1. Do you think these women were also involved in the Kennedy assassination in some way?

        1. I assume that you believe that, that is if that narrative somehow satiates your progressive sensibilities.

          1. Is this a good time to discuss my plan to euthanize/spay/neuter all the progressives?

    4. Yeah, he said that. That doesn’t mean that’s what really happened.

      It doesn’t mean that any other particular thing happened either. But evidence does seem to be mounting that he is at least an obnoxious pig when it comes to women.

      I have no opinion on whether that makes him more or less qualified to be president.

      1. Wait, a guy who’s gone through three wives, sleeping with at least the second while still with the first, isn’t the epitome of marital fidelity and chivalrous treatment of womanhood?

        I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you.

      2. I absolutely believe that he is a scumbag pig. But, the fact that he bragged about doing piggish things does not mean that he actually did those piggish things. Maybe he did; it’s very possible. But a recording of his bragging does not mean it happened. I could tell you that I was the one who shot Tupac, but I might just be full of shit.

        But, yeah… he’s scum.

        My only problem is the idea that him being a complete asshat who is unfit to be president is distracting from the fact that HIllary is also a complete asshat who is unfit to be president (in different ways).

        This election is no longer Giant Douche vs Turd Sandwich. It’s more like Pauly D vs. Dr. Evil. Dr. Evil is laughing his (her) ass off at the thought that her opponents stupidity is distracting people from the fact that he(she) wants to take over the world using fricking sharks with fricking lasers.

    5. And unsupported allegations are not verification of anything, they are allegations. Verification requires actual proof.

      Unless it’s Bill Clinton being accused of rape by Juanita Broderick. Then it’s obviously true, according to H+R commenters.

      1. Paging Dr. Cosby, paging Dr. Cosby…

    6. As long as an article performs its function to sway the election, a retraction after the election is a small price to pay.

  3. Since Hillary is so adamantly opposed to Citizen’s United, somebody ought to ask her if she thinks Trump ought to have the legal right to sue the NY Times Co into oblivion.

    1. Hell, if you overturn Citizen’s United, Trump could have the government simply censor the NYT in this matter.

      1. Nah, see, teh kkkerperayshunz don’t get free speech because KOCHTOPUS or something but state-approved “press” get are exempt because First Amendment. Or something.

  4. How many times has Trump threatened to sue for libel, slander, or defamation and actually followed through on it?

    1. Libelous!!!

    2. The article says, “Yet, it’s also new ground.” No it’s not. That ground is on Google Maps.

  5. This political machinery is kind of fascinating. Trump has been making jarring headlines for how many months, then a hot-mike moment hits the news, shortly followed by several women claiming they did to him exactly what the public recording says he can get away with.

    Is there some 3d chess here? Was all this on tap, like a wikileaks reveal, or did these women see this news and finally decide to come forward after their silence for so many years prior?

    1. It’s hard to know, I kind of find it suspicious that all these stories came out the same night Wednesday after a couple of days of letting the comments marinate, but the simplest answer is usually the right one and it’s not like Trump isn’t a creepy scumbag.

      1. I have little doubt that the moment the Billy Bush tape hit every jouro-list outfit had a small army of investigators trying to dig up anyone anywhere who would say Trump harassed them in some way. It seems to have taken several days.

    2. I hate it when in the vetting process for becoming President people feel inclined to come forward and tell the world that one of the candidates is a sexual predator. A clear example of main stream media bias.

      1. Are there mirrors in your house? Do you ever look into one of them?

      2. Kind of missed the point about the timing, but I imagine you were working on a mortgage refi, so you’re forgiven

      3. Wouldn’t that come out when Trump was already famous, like the day before he declared his run for the presidency? Or was his candidacy the final straw?

        1. Look, nobody amsoc knows had ever heard of Trump before last summer.

        2. I would have thought at least one person would have come out much earlier in hopes of getting a payoff if nothing else. It’s very convenient, but it will serve its purpose.

      4. I hate it when in the vetting process for becoming President people feel inclined to come forward and tell the world that one of the candidates is a sexual predator enabler. A clear example of main stream media bias.

        FIFY

      5. And why didn’t they come forward almost a year ago? The wait is a trifle suspicious at least. Trump gets caught on tape saying ‘I like to do this,’ next day, a few women come out and say, ‘oh yeah, I never bothered to mention this but, that stuff he said? He did that to us.’

        I doubt this is a case of fabrication. I’d guess it’s more something In between. If I found every woman you ever dated and asked them if you ever touched or tried to kiss them without their stated consent, I’m guessing I’d find something I could portray as sexual assault before a credulous audience.

    3. Some of them had previously come forward, but it’s not like Republican primary voters give a shit.

      1. Most Republican primary voters did not vote for Donald Trump.

      2. Source?

        When and to whom?

        1. There’s this, for starters.

          1. Houraney and Harth were eager to tap into the cachet and glitz of Trump and his casinos. It ended in a bitter, drawn-out legal battle when the planned partnership crumbled after the first pageant.

            The couple alleged Trump broke his word, cheated them out of a $250,000 fee, and deprived them of up to $5 million in future business. More explosively, they said he continually made aggressive, unwanted sexual advances toward Harth, who was vice president of American Dream.

            Oh, okay, I totally believe that wasn’t just a tactic to force a settlement over a business dispute involving a lot of money.

    4. Of course it was all on tap. TMZ has information that NBC held onto the tape and timed its release to have maximal impact on the election. And there were no contemporaneous complaints about Trump. If he really was a serial groper, there should have been complaints swirling around while it was going on, just like Bill Clinton and his “bimbo eruptions”. One of these women claims Trump moved an armrest on an airplane seat and put his hand on her leg? really? He was flying commercial next to this woman? Let’s see proof she was even on an airplane with him, before we start accepting the rest of her story. I can’t believe how easily otherwise intelligent people are falling for this shit.

      1. I can’t believe anyone thought that this WOULDN’T happen.
        Last election’s October Surprise was Romney talking about the 47%.
        They probably have enough shit on Trump to drop a new one every 24 hours until election day.

        1. People are so fucking gullible it’s ridiculous.

        2. Only every 24 hours? Why the long pauses?

        3. Agreed. And the fact that it was released on a Friday before a holiday weekend (even if it was in the lead up to a debate) makes me think there’s more and worse to come before November 8.

          1. They had to release it before the debate to make sure Trump didn’t get any post-debate bounce.

            1. it’s so mean how the Democrats use all the tools at their disposal to win elections.

              1. The Democrats are not the issue, here. The media acting as Democrat campaign operatives is the issue. But I bet you already knew that, and are just being dishonest.

                1. But Breitbart/Fox/Rush/Coulter acting as Trump mouthpieces was fine presumably.

                  The losers here are conservative media, that fed Republican voters fantasy after fantasy about how great of a candidate Trump would be. There is basically no other candidate on earth with as much baggage laying around, waiting to be picked up as Trump. And from the DNC Wikileaks, the Dems knew it, encouraged the press to give the crazy candidates a pass early. Considering how often that trap has been sprung on Republicans, you’d think they’d be smarter by now.

                  1. Junyo,

                    FOX has been anything but a Trump mouthpiece. The opinion shows like Hannity I will agree but he is not a NEWS program. Breitbart makes it very well known that they are a right leaning site and Ann Coulter is a conservative author. CNN claim to be a news channel and are sharing questions before debates with one party and not the other. Same thing for many of the news papers in this country. The NYT had no issues blasting out Trumps taxes from over a decade ago knowing they were not legally obtained yet would not share any of the hacked DNC emails because they were acquired nefariously. The media’s job is to bring forth the facts, not spin them and they have been failing miserably since the late 60s.

                2. Exactly, I mean if the e-mail dumps have shown us anything it is that the democratic party and the MSM is colluding together on just about everything. I am tired of opinion journalism. What ever happened to the “who what when where why and how” method of journalism and letting the reader make their own decision based on the facts provided. Journalistic integrity is a thing of the past. Even here on Reason …

                  1. Someone on a Libertarian Facebook group said something along the same lines, and I’ll reply the same way. The media has deferred to and coordinated with the Democratic Party for at least 50 years. If you’re not playing the game understanding those ground rules, then you’re an idiot. My issue is the conservative media let themselves get suckered into carrying Trump’s water by diminishing the structural negatives he had as a candidate. What should have made the media’s job harder – nominating a qualified candidate with little to no scandal around them – was squandered.

                    Why? Because the GOP drank their own KoolAid and hung their hat on Hillary’s emails, or anti-PC, or some other bullshit dreamed up in the echo chamber. And we had to endure long months of being told that Trump was a media genius, beating the media at it’s own game, that the volume of negatives made him scandal-proof.

                    When, in fact, Trump was a chump. Being used as a patsy to take out qualified candidates and clear the road for Hillary. But here’s the thing; the “media” didn’t do this. Republican voters did this. By betraying any semblance of principle and latching own to a flag waving racist, sexist, authoritarian demagogue because he promised to keep the brown people out.

                    1. cont’d

                      So now we’re going to whine about how “the media” screwed over Trump. After insulting a female candidate during the primaries, and having a very public spat with a female Fox News debate host his numbers among female voters were already abysmal. If he were actually media savvy, he would have had his people combing every statement or recording he’s ever made to do a massive media dump right after he secured the nomination and have time for spin control. Instead, knowing that he had talked shit on a hot mic with someone from the fucking Bush family, he just let the shit get released at the time of his opponents choosing. So realistically, fuck Donald Trump for being a fucking moron. This is the fucking game.

                3. The media acting as Democrat campaign operatives is the issue.

                  OF COURSE THEY ARE. This has been the case for-fucking-ever. Sicne before i was born, the media have been acting as Democratic campaign operatives.

                  Why is this a fucking surprise? Why do you expect anything different?
                  You think they’re not being fair? BOO HOO. POLITICS ISN’T FAIR. Politics is about power. It’s about winning, and both sides are going to use whatever tools they have to win. Nobody gives a shit about whether it’s “fair” or not. Get over it. Stop pissing away your time whining about how unfair it is that the media is in the tank for the Democrats and deal with it.

                4. or a giant douche canoe?

              2. And it’s totally fair that they have a totally compliant co-conspirator in the entire media, right?

                1. Since when did fair matter? Seriously, someone’s always going to have an advantage, built in or created. If you want to bitch about fairness, maybe you should go find a safe space.

                  1. Since when did fair matter? Seriously, someone’s always going to have an advantage, built in or created. If you want to bitch about fairness, maybe you should go find a safe space.

                    ^^^^^^This in spades.

                    1. So, Hazel and junyo believe any underhanded, foul, dishonest, cheating tactic is acceptable because the ends of winning justifies any means. Good to know the level of morality we are dealing with here.

                    2. Ah, so you pretty much gave up on even attempting to make a point, and went straight to working on your strawman. Nice to know the level of intelligence we’re dealing with here.

                    3. This is a guy who’s saying he can outmaneuver Putin, re-negotiate all of our international trade agreements, and fight ISIS, who cries like a bitch (along with his supporters) when he gets his lunch money taken by some geeks from J-School because they didn’t fight fair.

    5. More like 1D chess. It’s not like anyone had to try really hard to find some clips of Trump saying or doing stupid shit, so they could sit on them until October.

      1. That’s what I’m wondering. This isn’t some obscure guy who ran a chain of dry cleaning outfits in North Platte, Nebraska. This dude has been a reality ‘star’ for a long while now, and has occupied a place in the American media landscape since the 1980s. We’re talking 30 years of notoriety here.

        1. Who could have predicted that the Democrats would have audio of Trump saying something sexist, Paul? Now really?

          1. Does anyone find it strange that the “democrats ‘had’ the audio” and that the media didn’t just, you know, find it themselves? I like to accuse the media of bias towards Democrats as much as anyone else, but it seems strange that the media didn’t discover this on their own, by, you know, looking through their own archives.

            This makes it look like it’s not JUST a bias factor against republicans, but the media has become entirely feckless. Like they’re just sitting around their fax machines waiting for the parties to send out memos.

            1. Technically speaking there isn’t that much difference between “the democrats” and “the media”, when you get right down to it.

          2. Who could have predicted that people would be more disturbed by Trump’s sexist words than by Bill and Hillary’s sexist actions?
            Actually, I guess that is kind of predictable. People are gullible idiots.

            1. You’re starting to catch on, finally.

              1. When will you start to catch on, I wonder?

            2. There’s another angle to this, and the H&R commentariate are too focused on their hatred of the mainstream media and Clinton to notice. Trump basically does to women what he accuses career politicians of doing to the public. He uses his power, money, and access to do whatever he wants to people for his own benefit and self gratification.

              So, why would he be any different once he has access to executive power? He’s basically Bill Clinton, without the charisma, intellect and temperament.

              1. This is why this election is the most important ever. If I’m going to cheer on more power in the executive, I sure as hell want the right people in charge.

              2. It wouldn’t. People are stupid. Including many libertarians.

      2. More like 1D chess.

        AKA Candyland. Sounds about right.

          1. It’s stupid even for little kids. Literally no choices to make at any point in the game.

            1. Don’t you have a choice as to whether or not to take the shortcuts when you land on them?

              1. I suppose you have a choice whether or not to throw the board in the air and dump all the pieces on the floor or not.

            2. The lack of choices is the whole point. It’s a game adults can play with small children without 1) absolutely crushing the kid every game which ends up not being fun for the kid or 2) deliberately losing which ends up not being fun for the kid.

      3. Maybe even non-dimensional chess. We knew this about Trump a long time ago, and that;’s the point isn’t it?

    6. Keep in mind during the debate Anderson Cooper pressed him very hard on the exact question of whether or not he’d actually done what he’d said until Trump actually said “No” – which leads me to suspect Cooper was aware there was evidence and deliberately wanted to set a trap.

      God, I hate defending Trump, but the obvious fact that CNN in particular and the media in general are openly working on Team Hillary is just disgusting. The worst part of it is knowing there’s a hell of a lot of voters who don’t pay attention on a day-to-day basis and if you only catch it once in a while it’s not obvious to them that they’re being spoon-fed the “news”.

      1. If Trump were worth defending I would say you have a point. He’s not. He’s a horrid human being, which I admit is fairly par for the course when it comes to politicians. He’s also not qualified in any way shape or form to be president.

        Clinton is a liar, she skirts the law for her own benefit. She and her husband have used their access to make themselves and other rich. But she’s qualified (in the same way the mechanic who replaces your transmission for $4K when all you needed was an adjusted clutch). But at least the shady mechanic knows how to replace your transmission and does an acceptable job. Trump is a buffoon who doesn’t know the first thing about how to run federal republic. Worse his knee jerks towards the authoritarian solution in almost every scenario.

        I hope someone is keeping notes on the Trump apologists here so that if he does win, they can be thoroughly discredited later on.

        1. “Clinton is a liar, she skirts the law for her own benefit. She and her husband have used their access to make themselves and other rich. But she’s qualified (in the same way the mechanic who replaces your transmission for $4K when all you needed was an adjusted clutch). But at least the shady mechanic knows how to replace your transmission and does an acceptable job. Trump is a buffoon who doesn’t know the first thing about how to run federal republic. Worse his knee jerks towards the authoritarian solution in almost every scenario.”

          Sadly, that’s the best logical recommendation for Clinton I’ve read this year.

          1. Too much experience can be a bad thing.

            The upside to Trump is that he doesn’t have too many friends in DC willing to go to bat for him if he’s the Chief Executive. With Hillary, she’s totally inside baseball and wouldn’t have as much opposition for her ideas.

            Think about that.

            1. I’m sure a political figure with near Imperial powers and no concern about balancing the budget will have such a hard time finding new friends.

          2. Oh for fuck’s sake, Clinton is “qualified” as a leader the same way Typhoid Mary was “qualified” as a cook. She has demonstrated herself to be incompetent, lying, corrupt, and criminal. But yeah, she’s “qualified” to keep the shit show going and hasten the USA into third-world banana republic status.

      2. God, I hate defending Trump, but the obvious fact that CNN in particular and the media in general are openly working on Team Hillary is just disgusting.

        ^^^^^ This x ?

        Combined with the whole “Pied Piper candidate” Podesta e-mail – basically TELLING them to play up Trump –
        it truly is disgusting… and frustrating to watch.

        And it worked.

        1. The only solution to all this is to destroy the progressive media complex. These news organizations need to be bankrupted through lawsuits then bought up by conservatives and libertarians. Then blacklist progressives from working in the media.

          1. The solution is to be smarter than they are. But it doesn’t look like the stupid party is likely to figure that out any time soon.

            1. Okay, Hazel, tell us how the right and/or libertarians can gain control of the media? And academia and primary education for that matter? The left has completed their Gramscian “long march through the institutions”, and I don’t see how this can be reversed.

  6. If he does take the Times to court, Trump would appear to have almost no case. As a public figure, he would have to prove that the Times’ story was wrong, that their reporting was reckless and that there was actual malice in their coverage (basically that they knew they were wrong and went ahead anyway just to damage him politically) in order to win the libel suit.

    But winning wouldn’t necessarily be the goal. Trump could force the Times (and his accusers) to spend lots of money fighting him in court. He’s no stranger to the idea of using lawsuits to bleed opponents until they run out of money, and that could deter other victims from coming forward or other publications from reporting on them.

    So now that we pants-shat about a hypothetical, can we have a similar article about Michael Mann suing Mark Steyn, in a suit that has been dragging for years and hasn’t actually reached trial yet, but has certainly drained Steyn’s funds?

    Just, you know, for comparison of things being done vs said

    1. This is why we need a Federal anti-SLAPP law.

    2. ^^Done vs. said. Good point, PZ.

      1. It’s the story of Trump vs media. I keep saying this, but US media is no better than Serbian state-controlled media was in 1990 (the first multi-party election I witnessed). Except at least people working in state-controlled media were ordered to follow the marching orders.

        1. My point of reference is Yeltsin’s reelection in 1996. The media raised his rating from 8% in February to the upper 30s in June. The journalists sincerely wanted to stop the Communist candidate. And surely the funds spent by the Russian oligarchs didn’t hurt. Yeltsin even disappeared for several days before the second tour — presumably because of poor health — the media tried to cover it up. Four years later Putin moved into the Kremlin.

          Though now I think I’m too generous in my opinion of the US media, they may be closer to their Putin’s era counterparts.

  7. Instead, let’s crack locker room jokes!

    Why do women have legs?

    Because if they didn’t they’d leave a trail like a slug.

    1. Isn’t that why Hillary wears pantsuits?

      1. crack joke or gtfo

        1. Why do women have periods? Because they deserve them.

        2. What is the definition of eternity?

          The time that elapses from when you come till she goes.

          1. I did this one earlier, but why are a woman’s holes so close together?

            If she passes out, you can carry her home like a six pack.

        3. What if women had apostrophes instead of periods? They’d be more possessive and prone to contractions.

          1. Women do have apostrophes. If you haven’t found one, you are not doing it right.

        4. Why did God invent the Yeast Infection?

          So that WOMEN would know what it’s like to live with a miserable cunt.

      2. Her legs aren’t long enough to keep the mutton flaps from dragging?

    2. I used to know an old Vermonter who had this to say about women: “If it weren’t for that little patch of fur we’d hunt them in the woods like deer.” He also liked to say that there was nothing more overrated than sex, and nothing more underrated than taking a satisfying shit. Note that I am not endorsing anything he said- I am simply a reporter.

  8. what would he do as president, when he would be able to tell federal prosecutors to do his bidding, rather than using his personal attorneys?

    About the same thing as Ms. Citizens United would do. “Constitutional rights are subject to reasonable regulation.”

    1. Good thing the current occupant of the White House doesn’t use the DOJ and other federal agencies to do his bidding to punish his enemies and protect his cronies.

  9. Aren’t most of the claims made in this article still a bit? up in the air? As in, some of the things presented may or may not be true, and the veracity of the claims of everyone involved needs actual verification?

    So, what am I missing?

    1. Funny, you all were talking about Bill Clinton’s alleged rape of Juanita Broderick as a proven fact a few days ago.

      1. Not proven in court, thanks to overt threats and intimidation, but very credible. As are many of the other credible accusations, including an actual $800 million payout, providing overwhelming evidence of a pattern of behavior, confirmed by multiple third parties including Arkansas State Police and Secret Service agents, among others.
        Bill Clinton’s long history of sexual assault

  10. That’s EXACTLY how I picture a DNC delegate.

    1. Needs more buttons and a stupid hat.

    2. An obese woman wearing an unironical “Doctors For Hillary” T-shirt. Yeah, that’s some good optics all the way around. Any bets on whether or not her “doctor” identity is based on her being a registered dietician for a public school somewhere?

      1. Don’t forget the Indian girl in the “smart” suit extolling the virtues of Progressive politics pushing money her way…

        “No, see…that kind of authoritarianism is totes great, because I end up benefiting from it!”

  11. blatent?

    I’ll sue you for pain and suffering.

    1. A dwelling made of cloth that you can see from a long way off?

  12. The truth is an absolute defense. If the NYTimes is lying, sue away.

  13. “You’re left with a man who wants to be president but fails to grasp the importance of one of the basic rights held by the people of the country he wishes to lead.”

    We can’t elect a President who would undermine the First Amendment…but enough about Gary Johnson…

    1. We can’t elect a President who would undermine the First Amendment

      That is clearly a false statement. We can and do!

      1. Continuously.

  14. The Democrats and the media played this perfectly. Play up the buffoon in the primary, give him a lot of free air time–and then October surprise him to get Hillary in. They’ve had all this just waiting for the right time to use it.

    I mean, the poor whites, rednecks, racists, and dey-tuk-ur-jerbs types didn’t have to play along, but it was easy to predict that they would.

    1. But only Trump could tear Hillary a new one! The rest of the GOP field just wasn’t man enough!

      1. “Oh, man. This loose cannon is all over the place. How’d that happen?”

      1. Which, of course, would only make her braver and more inspiring to her core supporters.

        1. I always kind of imagined that Hillary would play the lesbian card if backed far enough into a corner. It absolves her of Bill’s sins and boosts her victim rating.

        2. Damn, I didn’t even know Yoko had any core supporters but I can tell you I for one think a lot more of her bravery.

      2. Given the Clintons’ desperation to cling to every last drop of Boomer cred, if she really had spent any time in the ’70s hanging out with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, do you think Hillary would have ever shut up about it?

        1. Hmm. Good point.

        2. Except that not a lot of *ahem* sober people were hanging out with John & Yoko at that time . . . . “I didn’t inhale, but I did go to town on that plunger in my vein” doesn’t scream “qualified for office.”

          1. Frankly, i would prefer a President Hillary who is too busy riding the horse to do all the retarded shit that she admittedly plans to do.

      3. Great. First she ruined The Beatles, now she’ll ruin the USA.

      4. I never thought I would find Yoko Ono more repellent than I already did. Was I ever wrong.

      5. “We met many times during the New York Vietnam War protests in the 1970’s, and became very intimate. We shared many of the same values about sexual equality, fighting against the authoritarian, patriarchal, male-dominated society we were raised in” she explained.

        OK, very definitely _not_ sexy lesbians.

    2. The baffling part is that the level of stupidity Republican primary voters exhibited had to have exceeded the Democrat’s wildest dreams in order for it to work. And yet it did!!

      1. 10 million people voted in this year’s primary who didn’t vote in 2008 (turnout was lower in 2012 than 2008).

        I remain skeptical that this was entirely the result of Republican primary voters (as in, the people who usually show up for Republican primaries).

        It’s not hard to change party membership in most states.

        1. ^ This – I have several very liberal friends who register Republican in order to influence the Republican primary.

          1. I have little doubt that no small number of “disaffected Democrats” participated sincerely in the primaries to support Trump.

            If anything, this election cycle has revealed that, while the two major parties are as strong as ever in terms of political organizing, they are quite weak in terms of representing the breadth of voters’ interests on the national stage.

            1. If anything, this election cycle has revealed that, while the two major parties are as strong as ever in terms of political organizing, they are quite weak in terms of representing the breadth of voters’ interests on the national stage.

              That’s ultimately going to be the fallout from this election, regardless of Hillary’s “historic” win. You have two candidates that the majority of the country absolutely can’t stand. Obama excited a lot of people due to his skin color and ability to mouth the right platitudes, but there’s absolutely nothing about either Hillary or Trump that inspires people. “We’re going to continue to fuck around in the Middle East for no apparent reason and inspire new generations of terrorists? Oh boy!” “Mexico’s going to pay for a wall? Where do I sign up?” These are not candidates who are capable of representing anything other than their own self-aggrandizement, and there was going to be 4-8 years of divisive governance no matter who won. How on earth could either of them represent the country in anything but the grossest, most corrupt way?

              1. I think you’re mostly right, but I do think both Clinton and Trump have sincere constituencies (well, as sincere as anything political is). It’s just that those constituencies aren’t nearly exhaustive. Usually, one of the two major party candidates wins by pulling together disparate political groups. This election doesn’t seem to have that dynamic.

                1. Agreed. When you look at their actual constituencies, both are really extremely narrow. the rest seem to mostly be TEAM players going along for the ride out of habit more than anything else.

      2. The GOP hasn’t stood for anything other than empty bluster for years. It’s no surprise that the most blustery butthole of all time could come along and steal the show.

      3. Well, it was a large, if weak, field and the RNC managed it very poorly. They starting believing their own hype that people would vote GOP to punish the Dems for Obama like they voted for Obama to punish the GOP for the shitshow Bush years.

        And GOP has been ripe for fracture for years. It has been a three-headed beast for a long time.

        1. The GOP field’s platforms for 2016 – Clinton/Obama/Spic Derangement Syndrome

          Rand Paul was the exception.

        2. How come none of the R’s had this audio? You really have to fault the ground game of every single R candidate if it was this easy for the D’s to take him down.

          1. Because Access Hollywood wasn’t going to go through tons of hot mike and out-take footage to find it for them. I bet they have all kinds of stuff from the NBC media archives.

            I mean, we haven’t even seen an out-take from The Apprentice yet. You know he said some crazy on that set.

            1. To be fair, nothing that was done or said on the set of The Apprentice could ever be crazier than the time Meat Loaf threatened to kill Gary Busey over some sponge paints.

              1. Gary was way out of line.

                1. Gary didn’t steal Meat’s paints, though! Meat had left them under a table, as they found out after Lil’ John and the skinny half of Big ‘n’ Rich calmed him down.

            2. Because Access Hollywood wasn’t going to go through tons of hot mike and out-take footage to find it for them. I bet they have all kinds of stuff from the NBC media archives.

              Boom. You’d think that the NBC newsroom would be doing exactly this.

              1. And this isn’t the worse they have. They wouldn’t shoot their wad this early, Trump was already on shaky ground on women’s issues after taking the Machado bait in the first debate.

                1. What networks have Trump’s reality shows been on? Doesn’t that practically make Trump an employee of the news networks that are reporting on him?

          2. Seriously – Billy Bush is Jeb’s cousin, for Pete’s sake. Was there no family occasion where Jeb was sobbing about his shitty poll numbers and Billy could go “hey – wait a minute!”

          3. How come none of the R’s had this audio?

            Who did have it? If I wanted to use it for “maximum effect” and/or I was a Democratic partisan, why would I let it play out during the primaries?

            1. Exactly – NBC had it, and they are Democratic partisans with no desire to help out the other Republican candidates, so they saved it up to help Hillary.

              1. NBC had it

                If so, then regardless of their partisanship, Trump has been good for ratings, so of course they’d want to drag out his candidacy.

          4. Because the D’s didn’t technically have the audio, NBC did, and they deliberately sat on it until they they and their D coordinators figured it’s release would have the maximum effect on the election.

          5. My thought is that the Dems or related news outlets bought the audio rights early and were sitting on it.

      4. level of stupidity Republican primary voters

        It’s the GOPe’s fault for basically being dickless turds for 8+ years. Trump presented a strongman aura that no other beta cucked GOP whore could pull off.

  15. u attack orange man you attack amreica!

  16. The First Amendment protects citizens from the govt, NOT citizens from each other. FFS, threatening to sue doesn’t have anything to do with the First Amendment. Nor does this have anything to do with Federal prosecutors. This is a CIVIL case (that doesn’t even exist yet).
    And the recordings in question don’t have Trump saying he specificslly did anything. He was saying as a celebrity, he could do all sorts of things and women would let him.

    Meanwhile Hillary wants to specifically reverse Citizens United (either by stacking the court, or even a constitutional amendment). So Trump is suing a big media outlet for publishing unsubstantiated allegations of criminal behavior. Clinton wants to put people in Federal Prison for essentially making a movie arguing against voting for her.
    Totes the same thing!

    1. Trump is asking the federal government (which includes the courts) to force the NYT to give him money. The First Amendment absolutely applies.

  17. If this is untrue, he should sue them. There is nothing authoritarian about sueing someone who slanders you. In fact, if you don’t sue, people can rightly assume it is true since you are unwilling to put your denial under oath.

    Fuck you Eric. If it is true, the Times should be delighted to go to court. If it is not, the Times deserves to pay dearly. I can’t figure out how a Libertarian magazine has decided that the press should be allowed to lie with impunity.

    1. Public figure. High bar for a suit, even if untrue. And presumably, the Times made no claims, just reported that other people are making claims, i.e., the news. They’re the lawsuit targets, if any, but no deep pockets.

      1. Public figure is a made up doctrine that has no basis in the constitution. It was ironically enough invented to save the Times sorry ass after it slandered a state official in Alabama.

        The point is not that it is hard to win. The point is there is nothing wrong with Trump bringing the suit. If he feels slandered, he should sue.

        1. Public figure is a made up doctrine that has no basis in the constitution.

          So is the “national security” exemption that allows you and your jackbooted colleagues to routinely violate our constitutional rights.

          But as was pointed out by others, the constitution is irrelevant here- this is civil tort law.

          1. The Constitution is very relevant here. The reason why there is a lower standard for public figures, when there was never any such thing under the common law, is because the Supreme Court decided the 1st Amendment required there to be.

            And there is no “national security” exemption to the constitution. I can’t argue with you over made up doctrines.

            It appears to me that you don’t know enough about this subject to speak intelligently about it and have no interest in learning anything.

        2. I wonder about that. We say all kinds of things about Hillary Clinton, and other officials too. Many of those comments are quite obviously not parody.

          If I call Hillary Clinton a criminal who belongs in supermax, which I thoroughly believe to be true, but she is never convicted (for whatever reason!), doesn’t that make my comments slanderous without the “actual malice”/”public figure” standard?

          It seems to me that NYT v. Sullivan cuts both ways.

          1. Truth is a defense. So if Hillary wants to sue, she opens herself up to answering questions under oath about the truth of that allegation. That prospect makes abusing libel laws to shut truthful people up a bit tricky for bad actors.

    2. I’m pretty sure no one is delighted to be sued.

    3. WTF? A few days ago you were all about believing the victim in the Bill Clinton-Juanita Broderick case. What changed, John?

      1. Credibility matters.

  18. While everything they are saying about Trump is true, Reason seems a lot less interested in Hillary’s authoritarian tendencies, which are as many, only quieter.

  19. LEAVE DONALD TRUMP ALONE!!!!! HE’S A PERSON!!

    1. So you think libel and slander is authoritarian? I would be curious to hear how you came to the conclusion that anyone who sues for libel is an authoritarian who hates free speech.

      1. Who cares? You should have predicted that, whether it’s true or not, it would be believed.
        Stop whining about the fact that the big bad liberal media is against you, and start dealing with it.
        This is one reason why Trump was always a terrible candidate. You don’t nominate someone with a habit of running his mouth off saying stupid shit because you ought to know that your political enemies will have a fucking archive of quotes ready to drop at just the right time.

        In other words, you’re a fucking idiot, John.

        1. You don’t nominate someone with a habit of running his mouth off saying stupid shit because you ought to know that your political enemies will have a fucking archive of quotes ready to drop at just the right time.

          +1 Joe Biden.

        2. To be somewhat fair, the Republicans ran perhaps the most unobjectionable candidate they could in 2012. And every minor defect of character was played up as a sign of his true depravity.

          No doubt, a certain (even if misguided) lesson was learned from this experience.

          1. And a lot of the GOP fooled themselves into believing that the problem with Romney wasn’t a firebrand (or true conservative) instead of understanding that Obama was a fairly popular President, sympathetic media or not.

            1. And a lot of the GOP fooled themselves into believing that the problem with Romney wasn’t a firebrand (or true conservative) instead of understanding that Obama was a fairly popular President, sympathetic media or not.

              I think this is also true. Carter was unpopular in 1980, and Reagan wasn’t quite the firebrand he’s been painted as in retrospect.

              But the odd thing is that while Trump is a firebrand, he isn’t an especially conservative firebrand. Or at least, his version of conservatism is at odds with, say, Romney’s and the RNC establishment’s. Not to mention the socons.

              1. “But he says things other people are too coward to say!”

                It’s simply a cult of unstable personality.

                1. It’s unstable personalities all the way down.

              2. Not to mention the socons.

                Did you mean neocons?

                1. No, I meant socons. I just plain forget about the neocons. Which is probably for the best.

                  1. It’s the neocons that have roundly endorsed Hillary. It seems to me the socons have fallen in behind Trump.

                    1. I think the support is somewhat begrudging, but my point was that Trump himself is no socon.

          2. They’re only slightly more hyperbolic than they were about Romney in real terms, but relative to Romney’s tameness and moral integrity as compared to Trump, they were an order of magnitude more hyperbolic about him than they are about Trump. Hazel acts like this media treatment is purely a byproduct of Trump. The fact remains that very decent GOP candidates have historically had their characters mercilessly assassinated and voters were asked to come to the same exact conclusions about them then as they’re being asked to reach about Trump now.

            1. The media is the boy crying wolf. But they never learn their lesson and just cry harder.

              1. I’m looking forward to 2020 when Candidate Paul Ryan is slimed as a rape enabler, and he ends up not having any idea why people are being so mean to him all of a sudden.

              2. The media is the boy crying wolf. But they never learn their lesson and just cry harder.

                Which candidate is losing again? The media is doing *just* *fucking* *fine*. They are getting exactly what they want, which is another Democrat in office. Trump merely made their job easier than usual.

            2. Hazel acts like this media treatment is purely a byproduct of Trump.

              Um no. My entire people is that the media is going to be in the tank for the D’s and you should count on that and plan for it instead of nominating someone who is going to be super easy for them to take down ,and then bitching about how unfair it all is.

              Life’s fucking unfair loser. Deal with it. Nominate someone who doesn’t have a kick me sign taped to his back next time.

              1. Take your meds, you lunatic.

        3. You are a complete lunatic Hazel. You are just pathetic. All you do is rant and rave.

  20. “and blatent disregard for the First Amendent.”

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Trump is Congress?

    1. Trump is disregarding the first amendment, i.e. pretending it doesn’t exist and acting as though there’s some legal case to be made against free speech/free press.

      1. If they’re lying, he’s right, and not disregarding anything.

      2. He is bringing a tort suit you half wit. If it has no merit, then the Times has nothing to worry about. And if he wasn’t suing, reason would no doubt be calling him a liar for denying it because of it wasn’t true why isn’t Trump suing.

      3. Trump can’t disregard the 1st Amendment any more than he can disregard the law of gravity, the hyperbolic overreach is really something to see.

  21. …this is how Trump acts as a presidential cadidate…

    Awesome typo.

  22. Was just over on The Times’ website.

    Some schmo over there wrote a column to the effect of Donald Trump’s an authoritarian because he wants to sue their paper.

    Whew. Glad to be back on Reason.

  23. one candidate brags about fondling women

    the other runs an ongoing criminal enterprise

    1. I’m wondering if there’s a dirty tricks campaign the republicans are missing out on. Like… surely there’s some archive of data somewhere that could be discovered and released to the media that might show some off-color dealings with the State department and the Clinton foundation. Nothing comes to mind here, but you’d think if something were released like that, it’d make pretty big news.

  24. Trump has almost no leg to stand on, legally

    He needs to grab its fucking leg to stand on.

    1. The only reason Trump will have a hard time winning is because the public figure doctrine gives the media a virtue license to lie about anyone known to the public. Reason never bothers to explain why giving the media a license to lie is necessary for free speech. They just know it is because journalists are special.

      1. Special like the Olympics?

      2. Think the best explanation comes from NYT v. Sullivan (internal citations omitted):

        A rule compelling the critic of official conduct to guarantee the truth of all his factual assertions — and to do so on pain of libel judgments virtually unlimited in amount — leads to a comparable “self-censorship.” Allowance of the defense of truth, with the burden of proving it on the defendant, does not mean that only false speech will be deterred. Even courts accepting this defense as an adequate safeguard have recognized the difficulties of adducing legal proofs that the alleged libel was true in all its factual particulars. Under such a rule, would-be critics of official conduct may be deterred from voicing their criticism, even though it is believed to be true and even though it is, in fact, true, because of doubt whether it can be proved in court or fear of the expense of having to do so. They tend to make only statements which “steer far wider of the unlawful zone.” The rule thus dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate. It is inconsistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The constitutional guarantees require, we think, a federal rule that prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with “actual malice” — that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.

        1. (continued)

          An oft-cited statement of a like rule, which has been adopted by a number of state courts, is found in the Kansas case of Coleman v. MacLennan, 78 Kan. 711, 98 P. 281 (1908). The State Attorney General, a candidate for reelection and a member of the commission charged with the management and control of the state school fund, sued a newspaper publisher for alleged libel in an article purporting to state facts relating to his official conduct in connection with a school-fund transaction. The defendant pleaded privilege and the trial judge, over the plaintiff’s objection, instructed the jury that where an article is published and circulated among voters for the sole purpose of giving what the defendant believes to be truthful information concerning a candidate for public office and for the purpose of enabling such voters to cast their ballot more intelligently, and the whole thing is done in good faith and without malice, the article is privileged, although the principal matters contained in the article may be untrue, in fact, and derogatory to the character of the plaintiff, and in such a case the burden is on the plaintiff to show actual malice in the publication of the article.

  25. Pepe hysteria of Reason scribblers is out of control.

  26. Good luck to Eric Broehm getting registered as an official journalist so he can exercise his 1st Amendment rights after President Clinton gets Citizen’s United overturned.

    1. Because that’s how it was before Citizens United.

      1. Because when crafting a law to counter an event or court decision they don’t like, the government is always precise and measured, and certainly never ends up making all kinds of other things “they never intended to be covered by the law” covered by the law.

        1. after President Clinton gets Citizen’s United overturned

          Not after she gets the 1st amendment repealed. There are a few more steps in there. Which may well be what she wants to do. But I don’t see the courts allowing that without a change to the constitution. I could be too optimistic, I suppose.

          1. Just wait until Hillary has an opportunity to pack SCOTUS with her appointees, then see what they allow.

      2. When th hd Dems discuss this issue tbey tend to speak as if they think that freedom of the press apllies only to th ed journalist profession. The amendmwnt they offered up a couple of years ago hadclanguage to that effect (self-contradictory as it was). Besides, tbe original post was a worst case interpretation of Trump’s intentions, why be so sensitive about Hilary’s?

  27. Does this sort of mopey thumbsucker count as journalistic malpractice, at least?

    Donald J. Trump, especially the Donald J. Trump we heard last week on tape, is nothing new to me. His macho-isms, his penchant for dividing the world into losers and winners, his lack of empathy for anyone but himself ? it all reminds me of home, and the sense I had, even as a boy, of a system of privilege that has ailed this country since its beginnings, but now seems to be, and sees itself, fading away.

    Taking refuge in traditional masculinity is a coping mechanism that works only so much as it deadens a man and his emotions. In its most pure state, masculinity is a hardening shell meant to protect men from the disappointments and travails of life, a self-delusion that preserves them from feeling overwhelmed by the odds against them.

    “Toxic masculinity” is literally killing us. Literally.
    If only American men could shake themselves loose from insipid two-dimensional thinking, what a wonderful world this would be.

    1. This was probably the stupidest line part:

      Though such masculinity might temporarily shelter men from the pressures of their daily lives, inevitably it robs them of their lives: Disturbing trends show that men, especially the white men who make up a majority of Mr. Trump’s base, are suffering greatly for their posturing.

      Oh, it’s the posturing that’s killing them and not the lack of decent jobs or persistent cultural demonization of them for the skin color, gender, and social class? Well shit, maybe if they change their wardrobe to skinny pants and bitch about the Koch Brothers in the campus coffeehouse things will start picking back up for them!

  28. Just for the hell of it: Yoko Ono, “I had an affair with Hillary Clinton”

    The punch line: she was just using Hillary to get to Bill.

    1. More likely: She was using Hillary to get Bill to stop harassing her.

  29. I need a vocalist for my new band, Snatchgrabber.

    1. Perhaps a Trump-et player is more what you need.

      1. We have an opening for clamshell.

    2. I’m fine with this as long as you don’t compete with my new band: The Pussygrabbers. Hey, it’s what it says on the tin, OK?

  30. Donald Trump’s threat to file a libel lawsuit against the New York Times is yet another indication of the Republica nominee’s dangerously authoritarian impulses and blatent disregard for the First Amendent.

    Wouldn’t the authoritarian thing to do is threaten to arrest the publisher of the New York Times and shut down the newspaper by decree? Isn’t threatening to sue the opposite of being an authoritarian since he’s essentially saying he’ll follow the law and file a lawsuit and let the courts handle it?

    And come on, there’s two misspellings in that one sentence. Did Trump trigger you that badly Eric?

  31. All these Trump antics are because of NPD

  32. Doing opposition research on Trump is like trying to find a book in a library.

  33. I’m wondering if there shouldn’t be a third standard for libel, one for public figures when published within a certain window of an upcoming election. Where the standard is squarely between that of a public person and private person.

    Shouldn’t the “actual malice” of the public figure standard be assumed when you’re inside of two months til an election? You’d still have to prove falsity and recklessness, but I don’t know why the press (that’s obviously hostile to one party) gets to shield themselves with a near-impossible-to-prove motive. If anything, the defendant should have to prove that they didn’t have malicious intent, not the other way around.

    Keep in mind that the current two standards of libel are judicial constructions. There’s no constitutional reason why a third can’t be added.

    1. I have trouble imagining that NYT didn’t publish this without malice.

      (Also, as discussed briefly in the AM Linx, “actual malice” is a stupid expression. Simply “malice” should be sufficient.)

    2. I think that “actual malice” is supposed to mean that they published it knowing it to be false and with the intention to defame. Not simply that it was intended to hurt his reputation.

      Your third standard sounds an awful lot like the regulations struck down in Citizens United.

      1. I’m not sure how that could be the case when the more stringent and less stringent standards that bookend it are still fine.

        Also, “actual malice” can mean the publisher just didn’t care if it was true, not necessarily that they knew it wasn’t true.

      2. “Actual malice” is a term of art and has a specific definition. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actual_malice .

  34. This Eric Boehm guy seems like a douche. When and where did Reason find him?

  35. “You’re left with a man whose understanding of the First Amendment boils down to whether he finds coverage to be “fair” or not …”

    Who knew the SJW’s had the perfect candidate in Trump?

  36. Hey, I’m not a computer person so can anyone teach me how to cross out agenda item #1 below? Thanks,

    LEADING BULLSHIT JUSTIFICATIONS FOR DONALD TRUMP

    1. What he said was just words. Every guy talks like that in the locker room with other guys. Why just the other day I was talking with my guy friends about how I’d like to look up the skirt of my 15-year old cousin. What guy doesn’t do that?

    2. The fact that DT’s accusers didn’t level these accusations against a powerful and litigious rich blowhard one hour after these… Pfft… Supposed incidents shows the orchestration of the HRC campaign with the New York Times. How low will they go?

      1. I also need a URL for the chemical that DT. Uses to erase his email. Do you know where I can find that?

        1. It’s in a cupboard with the cloth Hillary used to wipe her server.

    1. Do you still have your Bill Clinton kneepads?

      1. Don’t know what you’re talking about. I voted against him in 1996 and his VP in 2000.

  37. I have trouble imagining that NYT didn’t publish this without malice.

    Not only have they endorsed the Clinton woman unreservedly, they published an editorial explicitly claiming a Trump Presidency would be the worst thing conceivable for the nation. Malice aforethought is easily established.

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  39. Can I just say one Not ironic and not sarcastic good thing about Donald Trump. He was the best candidate– including Rand Paul– that the Republicans had in 2016. He wasn’t a down-the-line militarist and had interesting things to say about trade. I found myself nodding when he went after Clinton’s acquiescence during the Iraq War debate and the list of debacles she has been involved in– most notably regime change in Libya.

    My wife had a soft spot for John Kasich. Yuck. Can anyone imagine having to listen to that boring windbag talk about how many countries he wants to invade and that drugs are bad? Trump was the right choice.

    1. In other words, he is a Democrat from before the party went insane.

    2. Your wife? Has she been treated with rBGH?

      1. He just wipes out the fleshlight with isopropyl alcohol once a month, whether it needs it or not.

      2. You mean is it like this at my house?

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tzr5Cubph9Y

        I wish. That ewe is hot!

    3. You have a wife? Do you make her pay your fair share?

      1. In all seriousness I am forced to wonder who would do the things he’s done with his mortgage when he has a family to take care of.

        1. Probably the same kind of human colostomy bag that would self-describe as a socialist?

        2. For real, he believes the taxpayers should be taking care of his family. Why should he have to try to make a living when there are people richer than he is out there?

          1. And also, what kind of beta-fucking sow marries a man who is beta enough to call himself a socialist? Socialism is the ultimate beta sausage festival. No real man would ever accept life under socialism.

            1. No real man would ever accept life under socialism.

              I think many people wouldn’t call Josef Stalin anything other than “a real man”. Although, he wasn’t living under socialism.

  40. He’s now moved on to threatening direct legal action against a specific media outlet for doing little more than verifying that Trump has indeed done things that he previouly bragged about doing.

    I’m not sure I would call printing unverifiable claims that happened years ago “verifying.” Although, while IANAL, I would think Trump would need more than his word to prove that the NYT really did commit libel and slander. I believe that he would have to prove that the NYT knew the stories were false and printed them anyway, with the intent of disparaging him. Unless he has iron-clad verifiable alibis for all occurrences, I don’t think he has much of a case either. It’s all “he said, she said.”

    1. I dunno. Discovery will be interesting. The internal NYT email traffic alone could prove, well, malicious toward Trump. I hope he sues, just for that.

      1. Oh sure, like the NYT doesn’t know about Bleachbit.

  41. You’re left with a man who wants to be president but fails to grasp the importance of the basic rights held by the people of the country he wishes to lead.

    He doesn’t want to lead the country, he wants to rule the country. Big difference. Of course, so does Her Cankleness, so… either way we all lose.

    1. -1 republic

        1. +3 harambe

  42. Clinton’s burning desire to take us to war with the Russians in Syria is the sign of her authoritarianism, and means a fuck-ton more than anything Trump’s doing.

    You’re idiots, Reason staff…you’re absolute fools to think she’s not the fucking anti-Christ in this race.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/arti…..C020151005

    1. But Trump is just so… uncouth!

      1. Yeah, and while the press is fixating on that, Putin is moving missile systems into position to threaten Poland and the Baltic states and telling his citizens overseas to return home.

        1. This is why Hillary is more “qualified”, because as SOS she was instrumental in developing the policies that led to this.

  43. A public figure has always had the right to sue for libel if he can show actual malice or reckless disregard for the truth. Basically, Trump is just claiming (right or wrong) he can show that. Given the press’ obvious antipathy toward him, maybe he can (maybe he can’t).

    At the same time, Democrats are openly promising to strip political speech from First Amendment protections (there’s even an article on this site about it)

    But keep wringing your hands about Trump, guys. I’m sure it will keep you getting invited to the cool kids’ DC cocktail parties.

  44. This type of thinking does not seem uncommon at the DNC.

    About 3:00

    Q: Hillary Clinton has said If she is elected and Congress won’t act on guns that she will take some sort of administrative action to regulate guns. Do you agree with that even though it kind of circumvents the legislative process?

    A: If Congress doesn’t want to work with the public, then that is her right as President and she is representing all of us.

  45. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

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  48. So according to the article lawsuits for when a paper fabricates stuff about you is authoritarian. How amusing. Sorry but fabricating stories, which has turned out the be the truth, does not absolve you from the conseces of your actions. The NYT purposely used their media power to fabricate a hit on a guy they dont like and the guy they attacked has the money to sue them for it. So let them defend themselves, we have a court system to work out these differences.

    What is authoritarian is when Obama jails the creator of that now famous video hillary blamed benghazi on. That guy is a total innocent. He had nothing at all to do with any part of arab spring, he made a video and no one cared until Hillary needed a scapegoat. And then Obama sent in the justice department to attack this guy, that is authoritarian. Funny how leftists can ignore real authoritarian actions by Obama or Hillary but fabricate them for trump.

  49. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

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  50. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

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