Free Speech

Donald Trump Doesn't Think 'the Mainstream Media Is Free Speech'

At his social media summit on Thursday, the president ranted incoherently about the media's "crooked," "dishonest," and "dangerous" speech.

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The threat of platform censorship took center stage Thursday at the White House's "social media summit," where President Donald Trump addressed a friendly crowd of conservative internet figures who are concerned about Big Tech policing their speech.

Whether private companies treat conservatives unfairly is not a free speech issue in the First Amendment sense, since only the government is constitutionally prohibited from engaging in censorship. Trump, on the other hand, made some remarks that were at least an implicit threat to freedom of speech. About 46 minutes after taking the podium, the president said this:

We don't want to stifle anything. We certainly don't want to stifle free speech, but that's no longer free speech. I don't think that the mainstream media is free speech, because it's so crooked, it's dishonest. Free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad, to me that's very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it, but it's not free speech.

The statement is not completely coherent, but Trump appears to be asserting that speech loses constitutional protection when it's "crooked" or "dishonest." Now, it's true that objectively false and disparaging speech can in some cases be deemed libelous. But speech that merely strikes Trump as "bad" does not lose its First Amendment protection.

The false claim that "bad" speech is "dangerous" and thus unprotected by the Bill of Rights is not fundamentally different from the equally false claim that hate speech is not free speech. Conservatives—including many of the conservatives in the audience yesterday—often mock campus progressives for making the latter claim. For the sake of intellectual consistency, one might hope that they would also object to the former claim, and thus be willing to call out Trump. Trump, after all, is president of the United States, and in that capacity has much more power to violate the First Amendment than any social justice warriors or social media CEOs do.

For more on anti-speech trends on the left and the right, check out my new book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trumpwhich was recently featured on The View's summer reading list episode.

NEXT: Trump's Census Surrender Hints at the Real Reason He Tried to Add a Citizenship Question

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  1. “Donald Trump Doesn’t Think ‘the Mainstream Media Is Free Speech'”

    It isn’t, it’s a business.

    Oh wait, that slipped by you didn’t it?

    1. Commercial speech is still speech. The SCOTUS says so.

      Also, there’s this pesky little clause about freedom of the press. In order to deny the press the ability to speak, you have to first deny them the freedom of speech AND THEN freedom of the press. It’s a double whammy you are too small to overcome.

      1. “Commercial speech is still speech. The SCOTUS says so.”

        Which has nothing to do with my point.

        1. Clearly, if it’s dangerous and commercial, it’s not free. In fact, nothing that’s dangerous is free, and if it impinges on a reputation, it’s dangerous. Prosecutors, criminal courts, and many of our finest colleagues here at NYU fully agree with our great leader about this. We had to spend nine years dealing with a pile of “free speech” baloney here, and we ultimately prevailed, although not to the extent we should have. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

          https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      2. That’s not what “the press” means in the first amendment (it refers to literal printing press, to apply the same protections to the printed word as those afforded to the spoken word) but your point about commercial speech applies to commercial press as well

      3. It’d be interesting to examine “news” reports in light of fraud.
        Not sure how they skirt the issue, but it would be interesting

      4. The MSM isn’t ‘the press’. They are a propaganda cartel that owns, or is owned by the democrat party. Trump makes very good points. Most of the people at these ‘news organizations ‘ are lying propagandist activists.

    2. That has nothing to do with anything but nice try.

      1. That you think so disqualifies you from discussing this.

    3. It isn’t, it’s a business.

      Oh wait, that slipped by you didn’t it?

      Your/his angle is off slightly. Youtube’s (and Google’s and FB’s and Twitter’s…) free speech is no greater or lesser than its (their) contributors and whether Youtube (…) has wronged a contributor or a contributor has wronged them isn’t up to Congress to decide.

      1. That really has nothing to do with my point though. I’m not saying it isn’t free speech because it is commercial. I’m saying it isn’t free speech at all.

        1. But why isn’t it free speech at all? The only point you seem to be offering to support that assertion is that it’s commercial

          1. Look at the title.

            ““Donald Trump Doesn’t Think ‘the Mainstream Media Is Free Speech’””

            It isn’t. The mainstream media is a business. They engage in free speech.

            Burger King is a business, not hamburgers.

            1. Not to be patronizing, but a fairly decent point.

              “We fired a sub-contractor, that didn’t breach contract, for the message he put out, notified and coordinated with his other distributors, and even alerted his payment handlers who also booted him and we were all totally justified in doing it because mainstream media and free speech… but we’re still working on the issue with bots programmed by state-sponsored ‘hackers’ though.”

            2. I see, your argument is merely the semantics of the headline and not any actual substantive commentary on the article

          2. Tulpa doesn’t do explanations, he makes snark. It’s the best you can expect from this kid, unfortunately.

            1. “Tulpa doesn’t do explanations”

              Right below the explanation, that’s pretty fucking fabulous lololl.

              1. Wow, you don’t even realize what you’re being mocked about. Lol

              2. 2 examples that illustrate my case in a row.

        2. OK, so it isn’t free speech because it isn’t speech. Fair enough.

          By the same token, Trumps statement that “I don’t think that the mainstream media is free speech” is pretty incoherent. Might as well say “I don’t think the mainstream media is sportsmanship”.

          1. Let’s say the NYT misrepresents its earnings and this is discovered. Or they pay for slave labor and keep children chained up in the basement.
            Then let’s say this leads to the NYT being shut down.
            Should it be labeled an “attack on free speech” because the target is a press outlet?
            Mainstream media is not synonymous with free speech, but with discrete companies which happen to produce speech.
            I think that made sense, but I got a little distracted. No promises. FREE SPEECH, BITCHES!

            1. Lefties wont admit that Freedom of the press is printed word not some special protection of the media.

              1. The MSM is a lot of why we need McCarthyism back.

    4. I agree, the MSM isn’t Free Speech; the prior is a business, the later is a freedom. The bigger problem, is Soave claiming Trump is against freedom of speech. If that were true, then why hasn’t Trump supported legislation restricting speech? All he’s done is attack the MSM for their lack of integrity, and make empty threats which might give some of the biased propagandists masquerading as journalists some pause before bearing false witness against Trump, and isn’t a bad thing IMHO.

      1. Trump signed SESTA into law, which I definitely consider to be “legislation restricting speech”.

    5. Trying to apply conventional rules of English to parse Trump’s statements is like bringing a pocket knife to a gun fight. The guy changes topics mid-sentence, is a big fan of metonymy and can insert so many segues and asides that it’s nuts to try to be pedantic about terminology.

  2. Free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad, to me that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it, but it’s not free speech.

    The president is absolutely right. Speech you get mad at isn’t free. It costs you blood pressure.

    1. Isn’t that covered under Obamacare?

      1. is anything covered under Ocare?

    2. “The president is absolutely right. Speech you get mad at isn’t free. It costs you blood pressure.”

      The ironic thing, is it’s the Democrats who want to legislate restrictions on the freedom of speech, when that speech is, in their opinion, hate speech. Trump just talks about it, has done nothing, and gets attacked for attacking the freedom of speech when he calls out lying propagandists masquerading as journalists for their lies.

      Consider this fact. Why haven’t the MSM exposed their anonymous sources, when those sources have been shown to be liars regarding what they told the MSM? By taking their position, the MSM is telling people, they want more LIES to publish. If they want a reputation for honesty, they’d reveal their lying sources.

      1. I’d ask why CNN is such a vanguard in the process of doxxing people who make memes they do not like and in de-platforming people they disapprove of.

  3. Trump once again proving that he’s kind of an idiot. We’re lucky that we’ve managed to get so many decent policies out of him so far (not all of them are decent of course).

      1. Signing a budget that blows out the spending caps, funds itself by borrowing massive amount of money while also signing a bill that reduces taxation? To be sure, indeed.

        1. Didn’t you get the message? Questioning the wisdom of tax cuts when spending continues to rise means you are a secret-prog, lefty, cuck, shitweasel.

          1. Haha, yeah I suppose so.

            Everything is all or nothing these days it seems. Like Trump? You have to approve of everything he’s ever said, done or thought. Hate Trump? You cannot possibly praise him for anything ever, even if it enacting a policy you wanted 3 years ago. I actually included the stuff in parentheses in my OP to show that I have a more nuanced position than “Trump good/bad” but alas, I suppose that makes me a “to be sure” Robby-type.

            1. Lol you don’t even understand what you’re being mocked for.

              1. Oof, reading comprehension is not your strong suit. I addressed that in the comment you’re replying to.

            2. Yeah, the two-party system is the worst. https://www.fairvote.org/fair_rep_in_congress#why_we_need_the_fair_representation_act would start to get rid of it, but it’s probably years from being enacted.

        2. No, I was mocking you for your Soave-esque virtue signaling “not all of them are decent of course” crap.

          1. Oof, reading comprehension is not your strong suit. I addressed that in the comment you’re replying to.

          2. Wait – how is saying “not all of them are decent of course” virtue signaling?

            1. Lol it’s funny that you only now realize that I was right and you didn’t get what you were being mocked for.

              1. I see, so glad to know you can’t justify anything you were saying. For a moment there I thought maybe I should take you seriously. Now I realize that you’re actually a teenager.

            2. Don’t bother, dude. It’s like trying to reason with a 4 year old who just discovered “I know you are, but what am I” and thinks it’s the cleverest thing ever.

              1. Yeah, I just realized that he’s a kid just trying to stir shit up. It’s too bad, he could do a lot better I think if he just applied himself.

  4. Mainstream media are Propagandists.

    1. So is most of the media outside of the mainstream.

      1. reason is a double whammy- not mainstream and propgandist.

      2. The main difference is that most of the non-mainstream is explicitly propagandist and the mainstream press pretends not to be.

        1. Some non-mainstream investigative journalists out there, so not sure about the explicitly part.

          1. Most is not all. Maybe propagandist is a bit strong. I’d say most media is biased towards certain preferred narratives. Non-mainstream media tends to be more so in my experience. Which isn’t a complaint. Honest bias is better than dishonestly claiming to have no bias.

            1. “I’d say most media is biased towards certain preferred narratives.”

              Ya think? I dub “biased towards certain preferred narratives” euphemism of the week.

                1. Well then I have to say your pretty good at it. Enter pics of Mad cow woman the the brother of the governor of NY.

    2. And propaganda is protected speech/press.

      1. Not defamation.

        1. Wait, so you’ll support a 2A interpretation that even nuclear weapons are protected, but “Congress shall make no law…” means they can make a law about defamation?

          1. “…that even nuclear weapons are protected”

            FFS, can we just ban the GD trope?

          2. There is no federal law against defamation. Key word is “Congress” which allows states to ban defamation. As designed and states mostly did ban defamation.

            The 14A changes all that for states.

            This has not been reconciled and that is a violation of the Constitution, just like infringing on the right to keep and bear Arms. Nukes included.

            I would relish the day when Lefties brag about having the 2A right to build a snuke and even Hillary Clinton would not help by offering her nasty vag.

            You people are so bad at this. Figures that you work where you work.

            1. You talk in circles. You recognize that freedom of speech has been incorporated to the states, but still claim defamation laws are ok at the state level?

      2. Slander and libel are not protected; sure you can say and write it, but the accused can become a plaintiff and sue your pants off.

        1. And most of what outlets like CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, Vox, etc. produce is slander and libel.

          1. Just when I think you’ve said the dumbest thing you go and top yourself.

            There’s nothing that qualifies as slander or libel when you call out Trump for being a moron, corrupt, or any other label you can throw at his worthless, unqualified butt. Truth hurts huh?

            1. Look Kiddie Raper, you’re a very stupid person. So it’s hard for you to understand things. Like the fact that Trump is a great president, and how you tear him down because you’re an evil piece of shit that loves child porn and is a servant to a political philosophy that is antithetical to the existence of the human race.

              But you can’t possibly understand that that. So best you go and commit suicide. Best thing for you really , your comments are going nowhere.

    3. everyone is a propagandist. some get paid.

      1. Propaganda is used to describe what governments do but technically anyone can produce propaganda.

  5. which was recently featured on The View’s summer reading list episode.

    Now it’s a must buy. Way to know your audience here at Reason.

  6. “We don’t want to stifle anything. We certainly don’t want to stifle free speech, but that’s no longer free speech. I don’t think that the mainstream media is free speech, because it’s so crooked, it’s dishonest. Free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad, to me that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it, but it’s not free speech.”

    He’s wrong about this from a constitutional perspective, but I don’t believe he was using this in a strict legal sense.

    You’ll often hear the same thing from social justice types, who claim that “hate speech isn’t free speech”. Technically speaking, of course, the First Amendment protects racist speech, homophobic speech, etc.

    But that’s not what they’re saying, really. They’re trying to draw a distinction between legitimate criticism of government and the damaging expression of racism, homophobia, bigotry, etc. and that’s what I think Trump is trying to do here–he’s saying that the news isn’t actually engaging in legitimate criticism or even educating the public about what’s happening.

    There is nothing whatsoever wrong with criticizing what other people say, print, publish, and broadcast. In fact, it’s a hobby of mine. I see no reason why Trump shouldn’t be free to criticize the people who cover him in the news. I see no reason to why social justice warriors shouldn’t be free to criticize what other people say, print, publish, and broadcast, too. To whatever extent their criticism of “hate speech” and “fake news” undermines the public’s understanding of the right of free speech, they should both be ashamed of themselves for the same reasons.

    “Trump appears to be asserting that speech loses constitutional protection when it’s “crooked” or “dishonest.”

    I don’t see that in what he said, and I don’t see that he has acted out on that basis. There’s nothing about being president or the First Amendment that means he can’t have an opinion on free speech. Has he actually done anything to use the government to violate the free speech rights of anyone? The social justice warriors are driving people out of public institutions and private industry because of things they’ve said.

    We all see the difference between speech and action, right?

    1. Not to nitpick, but when SJWs say “hate speech isn’t free speech” they do mean it in the strict legal sense. Many of them believe that the 1A doesn’t protect hate speech (apparently none of them heard of Snyder v Phelps).

      They want to ban people from saying things that offend them.

      1. Well, they’re certainly trying to undermine the idea that hate speech is or should be acceptable because it’s legal. I mentioned that they’ve actually chased people out of both public universities and private industry because of their speech. I can speculate about their motives when they’re saying hate speech isn’t free speech. They’re wrong to try to make that distinction, but there’s a big difference between that and actually getting people fired or actually depriving them of a forum because of what they’ve said. If Trump is guilty of the former, I disagree with him. If Trump is guilty of the latter, he’s actually working to violate someone’s rights.

        1. No, they specifically are moving to remove legal protections for “speech we find offensive”. And they are having some success on this front. (see California, state of; US College system)

          Of course, you are right that most of their success has come in the private arena, where they’ve managed to enact a form of censorship that is centered on the “hate speech” tentpole, but clearly is also being used to eliminate political views that are in opposition to the progressive left.

          1. “No, they specifically are moving to remove legal protections for “speech we find offensive””.

            I didn’t say they weren’t.

            I said that there’s a difference between advocating something and actually doing it. We really shouldn’t conflate the two.

            One of them is wrong intellectually.

            The other is actually violating someone’s rights.

            If we can’t tell the difference between being wrong about something and violating someone’s rights, then it’s no wonder if non-libertarians can’t tell the difference between what Trump says and what Trump does. Trump’s speech didn’t violate anyone’s rights–even if what he said was wrong.

            Meanwhile, if comparing what Trump merely says to social justice warriors violating people’s rights is incorrect, then it’s also incorrect to compare what social justice warriors say to social justice warriors actually violating people’s rights. It’s the difference between being wrong about what would happen if we instituted Maduro style socialism in this country–and actually marching libertarians up against the wall and shooting them by the dozen.

            The appropriate thing to do with social justice warriors who are wrong when they advocate Maduro style socialism is to argue with them. Once they start marching their opponents up against the wall and shooting them, more aggressive resistance is warranted. When social justice warriors advocate violating our rights, they’re simply exercising their right to free speech. I may despise them for it, but advocating their awful plan is within their rights.

            What Trump said was also wrong, but it was only speech. No one’s rights were violated by what he said. It’s the same standard for everyone: indulging in stupid and awful speech is wrong, but it’s only speech and protected by the First Amendment. It’s actually violating people’s rights that makes something rise to the level of crime and injustice.

    2. Has he actually done anything to use the government to violate the free speech rights of anyone?

      Trump blocked me on Twitter!

      And I’m just kidding, I’ve never been on Twitter.

      1. He did throw that idiot Jim Acosta out of a presidential press conference for being himself.

        1. being Jim Acosta *must* violate at least a regulation.

      2. > Has he actually done anything to use the government to violate the free speech rights of anyone?

        He signed SESTA.

    3. Thats a really generous interpretation of what SJWs are saying when they say “hate speech is not free speech.” I’d even go so far as to say that its a very naive interpretation. So far as I can tell, modern day SJWs are very much interested in making sure that hate speech is defined as being outside the realm of legal protection.

      I have never, ever, seen a SJW defend a person’s right to say racist, homophobic, etc. stuff while also strongly disagreeing with what is being said. “I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It” is not a position that I have seen any modern day SJW take.

      In fact, I would say that this is the defining issue that differentiates a SJW and a classical liberal.

      1. Or even an old fashioned left-liberal. There is nothing liberal about SJW progressives.

      2. “Thats a really generous interpretation of what SJWs are saying when they say “hate speech is not free speech.” I’d even go so far as to say that its a very naive interpretation.”

        Good. Then no one will think I’m being unfair to SJWs just because I hate them. Libertarianism is often about sticking up for the rights of people we hate–since we’re sticking up for the rights and not the people behind them.

        The First Amendment isn’t just for people I like. If the SJWs think otherwise, then that’s on them. If the world’s a better place without SJWs in charge because dissent wouldn’t be tolerated if they were in charge, then that’s on them

        if fair-minded people like us are what it takes for civil society to thrive, then they need to contend with that reality, as well. The fact is that they want to build a world that wouldn’t tolerate their dissent, and the only reason they’re still tolerated is because they’ve failed.

    4. True, he hasn’t proposed any restrictions on the press or, as far as I know, done anything terribly egregious when it comes to free speech.
      But when speaking as the president, he really ought to choose his words more carefully when discussing constitutionally protected activities.
      And I can’t really think of any consistent meaning for “free speech” or “free press” that doesn’t include slanted news coverage and propaganda. Free speech means you can say what you will (unless it reaches the level of fraud or libel). And it applies in all cases: media, corporations, individuals, Russian trolls and aliens from outer space.
      If he wants to criticize the news media for being biased and sometimes dishonest, great. They deserve it. But don’t couch it in the language of free speech.

      1. Its drives the Lefties crazy and distracts them so he can actually fulfill his campaign promises and roll back some gubmint.

        1. Do you think it actually helps him do that? Or that that’s the intent? Given how poor the support for free speech on the left has become and how they are also always complaining about “fake news”, I’m not so sure.
          Of course, digging at Trump also seems more important to them than any kind of consistency.

          1. What we need to roll back is the number of progressives within the US. There is ultimately no other solution.

            1. And how do you propose doing that? Be specific.

              1. There are a variety of ways. Perhaps the simplest is a mass exodus to Venezuela, where the camaraderie will keep them warm. Socialism provides, right?

      2. If he wants to criticize the news media for being biased and sometimes dishonest, great. They deserve it. But don’t couch it in the language of free speech.

        Is that exactly or entirely his fault? When CNN is feeding debate questions to one candidate and not the other while asserting their fair and unbiased reporting is protected free speech is Trump really the one at fault when he says, “No, that’s not free speech.” I’ll certainly grant you a better statesman would probably say it better but I’m not entirely certain it would be a better statement of the truth or facts.

        1. Yes, he is responsible for the words that he utters.
          And as president, he ought to have some idea (or care) what words mean when they apply to core constitutional principles.

      3. But when speaking as the president, he really ought to choose his words more carefully when discussing constitutionally protected activities.

        He was talking to people who understood exactly what he was saying.

        He was talking to the people who are getting screwed by social media and the mainstream media.

        1. Be that as it may, what he said was still either wrong or incoherent.

      4. So I’m curious – what is the difference between dishonesty and fraud?
        I haven’t really come to any conclusions, but it has occurred to me that some media outlets essentially commit fraud, if not technically.

        1. Fraud usually involves swindles to gain property.

          1. “Fraud usually involves swindles to gain property.” — Wouldn’t that describe almost the entire DNC platform? Vote here – Free education. Vote here – Free healthcare. Vote here – Free citizenship. All granted by swindling the U.S. taxpayer his rightful wages.

    5. At what point do we get to assume that the President’s literal words are actually what he believes?

      1. If we go with a literal reading of the 1A, the President can get as abusive of Free Speech as he likes as long as Congress doesn’t pass it into law.

        So far, neither his speech or his actions with regard to the press and MSM aren’t even at terror threat level blue, especially with regard to his predecessors.

        1. The President has just as much right to free speech as you or I do. So, yeah, you’re right from that point of view. But that certainly doesn’t mean that his words shouldn’t carry political consequences.

          My point is, do we have to wait for him to act on speech to hold him accountable politically as anti-free speech in light of the quote in this article? This quote is indefensible to anyone that values freedom of speech/press, yet here we have several examples of supposed libertarians defending his words because they aren’t yet actions.

          1. It’s the usual Trump Two-Step around here:

            When Trump SAYS something stupid: “But they’re just words, he hasn’t DONE anything, stop freaking out!”

            When Trump DOES something stupid: “But Obama/Bush/Etc. did so much worse! Stop freaking out over basically nothing!”

            Either way – Trump is off the hook!

            1. There is soooooooo much sand in Jeff’s vagina

              1. We get it – Trump is never at fault for anything.

                1. Keep crying wolf Che,jeff. It really works for you.

                2. Pedo Jeffy, you are a weak, stupid child rape enthusiast. One who is very late on his rent. No one gives a fuck about your stupid statements.

                  Fucking paraphilliac dumbass.

          2. Isn’t that your exact position on border defense, leo?
            “It’s ok if a bunch of people invade, so long as they aren’t armed and dressed in military uniforms”

            1. Um… what?

          3. I’m not seeing the president making a real threat there. I am seeing criticism.

            I would prefer a president who vocally supports the rights of stupid bigots and stupid religions, but is the ACLU even doing that anymore?

            Is the staff at Reason defending the right of racists to say racist things and make racist association choices, etc.?

            I’m far more tolerant than the rest of the world when it comes to all sorts of things: religion, crime, guns, the threat of terrorism, etc. When I consider Trump relative to threat of the Democrats he’s up against, I think he’s probably less of threat to free speech than some of the leading candidates on the left.

            Liz Warren wants to break up Google and Facebook because, in her opinion, they do an insufficient job of censoring hate speech and fake news. If Donald Trump comes out the other end of a summit on social media deplatforming the right–and he doesn’t even make a threat like Liz Warren, why should I pretend he’s just as bad as Liz Warren on free speech–or any of the Democrats that cheer her on?

            It’s the same thing with gun rights. I’d have preferred that Trump didn’t hit us with a bumpstock ban in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, but there’s no point in comparing to Trump to some perfect libertarian standard in an election year. The Democrats who he’s up against would have given us far worse than a bumpstock ban if they could–and there’s no reason to pretend that Trump is just as bad as they are when he isn’t.

            Why isn’t it enough to condemn Trump’s logic when all he’s done is speak his mind? If and when he acts to restrict speech, I’ll be all over him for that. Trump is trying to make social media and the mainstream media do a better job of covering them and their ideas. Warren wants to make Facebook and YouTube to censor speech or face the consequences by way of antitrust. Why should anybody pretend those are equal threats–in the name of balance?!

            How many times over the past few weeks have I pointed out the issues with “both-sides-ism”?

            1. But aren’t they all just words? The Democrats say something stupid, illogical, anti-freedom and you’re all over them, and rightly so. But Trump says this, which is pretty much all of the above, and you seem to find some way to defend it or rationalize ignoring it.

            2. Why isn’t it enough to condemn Trump’s logic when all he’s done is speak his mind? If and when he acts to restrict speech, I’ll be all over him for that. Trump is trying to make social media and the mainstream media do a better job of covering them and their ideas. Warren wants to make Facebook and YouTube to censor speech or face the consequences by way of antitrust. Why should anybody pretend those are equal threats–in the name of balance?!

              Actually –

              https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/10/18659619/donald-trump-facebook-google-amazon-apple-antitrust-european-union-eu

              Asked if he thinks tech companies like Google should be broken up, Trump says, “well I can tell you they discriminate against me. People talk about collusion — the real collusion is between the Democrats & these companies, because they were so against me during my election run.”

              Trump calls for the federal govt to sue tech & social media companies: “The EU is suing them all the time. We’re going to maybe look at it differently. We have a great AG, we’re going to be looking at it differently… [the EU] gets all this money. Well, we should be doing that.”

              1. I’ve consistently opposed all the antitrust efforts against Facebook and Google.

                I don’t see anything there saying that Trump wants to break up Facebook and Google because they don’t censor the speech of their users.

                “People talk about collusion — the real collusion is between the Democrats & these companies, because they were so against me during my election run.””

                —-Donald Trump

                In the future, when you’re trying to convince people that Trump is launching antitrust probes because he hates free speech, you might not want to cite quotes that show Trump saying that if Facebook and Google are colluding with anyone, it’s with the Democratic Party to shut down the speech of his supporters.

                P.S. Collusion may be a legitimate basis for an antitrust probe. You’re just flailing again. Why is it that every time I bother to read one of your comments, it’s either about something you don’t understand or something you want other people to misunderstand the same way you do? Picking a side and then filtering everything so that it matches your worldview might seem normal if you watch a lot of cable news, but it’s abnormal, and it makes you come across like a flat-earther or a Moonie.

                1. Ken, you haven’t answered my original question. You consistently hold the Democrats accountable for their literal words. At what point do we start holding Trump accountable for his?

                  Is this acceptable from a President or any politician really to define free speech from the media in this manner?
                  Free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad, to me that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it, but it’s not free speech.

        2. That is certainly true. But I don’t see anyone saying that Trump should be impeached or censured for saying what he said.

          I think you are right that he has not been as bad as recent predecessors. But that’s no reason to give him a pass.

  7. Fox Newz is also the MSM.

    1. Who watches fox news?

        1. One of the upsides to targeted advertising and streaming may be that programming isn’t so skewed to younger audiences anymore. It used to be that broadcast media was interested in younger viewers because their tastes were less set in place, so they were more susceptible to “throw it up against the wall and hope something sticks” advertising. A lot more would stick with a younger audience, so advertisers were willing to pay a premium for programming that would target younger audiences. Who cares if your show is the most watched show in America? If the demographic isn’t young enough, the advertisers will only buy time from you at a discount. Now that they can show different demographics different advertising that’s more suited to them through streaming and targeted advertising, that should go out the window.

          And the programming should get better. We live in the golden age of television, and it’s about to get even better that the programming isn’t skewed towards the tastes of children.

      1. People who ask that question.

        1. How would I watch FOX News with no tv service genius?

          1. I remember when FOX News was free on-air. The OBAMA administration killed free TV with their “Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005”. Gotta love how they make destroying things sound so sweet.

            1. Crap – Republicans enacted this (109th Congress). GWB sucked bad! No wonder Obama won the next election :)… Not that it helped anything.

    2. This is where I’d usually go to video of Megyn Kelly going back and forth with Trump from YouTube, but linking to anything by Google makes me feel nauseated these days. Suffice it to say that Trump has had his own problems with Fox News.

  8. You know what other political party promised to put a stop to “the deliberate political lie”?

  9. Free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad, to me that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it, but it’s not free speech.

    Why are people interpreting this? Why are people acting as if this has to be deciphered?

    If you see something good and deliberately report on it and say it was bad that’s lying. Depending on the situation it could be libel or slander–in the case of Trump is IS libel or slander, because that seems to be the starting point on all reporting on him.

    They start with something that a normal person would take them to court and win over, and go from there. The ‘special rules’ that apply to public people are all that saves them.

    This doesn’t need interpretation

    Stop fucking lying.

    What does Sargon say? Dirty, dirty smear merchants.

    1. Well I knew it was only a matter of time before one of Trump’s bootlickers would come here to Trumpsplain to us all how what he said really isn’t what he said.

      He wasn’t talking specifically about libel or slander. He said “mainstream media”.

      1. Jeff, where in that quote do you see the words ‘mainstream media’?

        And how, in the name of everything unholy do you get me saying that what he said was what he said, that it DOESN’T require interpretation is me trying to “Trumpsplain to us all how what he said really isn’t what he said.“?

        Is there just something wrong with you?

        1. “I don’t think that the mainstream media is free speech, because it’s so crooked, it’s dishonest.”

          1. Here, let me post the thing I quoted again for you–

            Free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad, to me that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it, but it’s not free speech.

            I didn’t quote what you posted.

            I wasn’t talking about that.

            If you’re going to respond to someone’s post, the least you can do is read it.

            1. And *I* was talking about *the other part* of Trump’s comments when he was accusing the mainstream media *broadly* of not being a part of free speech because they are “crooked”. That isn’t just about libel.

              You have to remember, Trump is the guy who actually sued a reporter who claimed that Trump was *merely* a millionaire and not a billionaire.

              And even with your quote, he didn’t use terms like “libel” or “defamation”, he used the horribly vague descriptors of “good” and “bad”. Guess what, “bad” speech isn’t necessarily libelous, and “good” speech isn’t necessarily virtuous either.

              Only when you come around and try to Trumpsplain that his horribly vague characterizations are “supposed” to mean this common-sensical idea that he’s really just talking about libel, that we are supposed to interpret his words in the most charitable way possible. Yeah, sure, Trump isn’t a thin-skinned narcissist who sues reporter who writes *non-libelous* things about him that he doesn’t like. Oh no. He’s a victim. Poor Trump, always the victim. Sheesh.

              1. There’s really no reason to talk to Jeff

                1. And yet here you are

                  1. And yet here you are too Pedo Jeffy. Shitposting again, as usual. Instead of shitposting you should go drink Drano.

                2. Considering what a worthless little like he is on so many different levels, all of them highlighted while not diminishing the others, no there isn’t.

                  I focus on saying mean, hurtful things. Hopefully he goes away, or maybe harms himself.

                  1. He’s just a resentful psychotic lacking the intellectual and psychological ability to converse with other human beings.
                    All he does is argue with his phantasms- projections based on his instincts about his own inadequacy that he’s too emotionally weak to confront.
                    The pathetic NPC uses the remarks of others as props to project his self-hatred onto, so that he can white knight and appear the hero in front of himself.
                    It’s sad, but the twit is too much of a coward to just end his life.
                    It disappoints me that civilization has developed to the point where scum like Jeff are allowed to exist without having to face reality, because so much stating alive is taken care of for him.

                    1. “He’s just a resentful psychotic lacking the intellectual and psychological ability to converse with other human beings.”

                      Are you aware of who you’re replying to right now?

                    2. Of course I am – a person who speaks his mind through hyperbole. LotS has a point that he makes directly and with exaggeration, but it’s honest and… he’s not wrong.
                      Some may disagree with violent rhetoric, but it is just rhetoric.
                      Progressivism is totalitarianism. It has been since the beginning of the era in the early 20th century through the progressive world wars and purges to now.
                      We are at a crucial point – the ideology of progressivism is experiencing a psychotic breakdown down, but is simultaneously as powerful as it has ever been. We are in the early stages of the information age, and if the progressive era isn’t ended liberty cannot recover without complete cataclysm.
                      The urge to violence, the fight over flight response, may be primitive – it is also fundamental.

                    3. When one is continually subjugated through indirect force, at what point does direct response become justified? Wise?

                    4. Thank you Nardz. Bignose (Buttplug!) doesn’t get it. I’m very disciplined and law abiding, but feel it’s necessary to use brutal language with people who are as intellectuals lazy and dishonest as Chemjeff. Plus there’s the whole thing where he advocates for importing illegal alien child molesters. Which is vile, just like Buttplug and his kiddie porn.

        2. And this is where you try to Trumpsplain that what Trump “really meant” was actual libel, and not just mean things that the big baddie press says about him.

          1. I think that is rather obvious to anyone who is t a dishonest little twat like you Pedo Jeffy.

            Stop shitposting, and pay your rent.

    2. Libel, slander and fraud are pretty narrowly defined. There is plenty of untruth that is protected speech and/or press. Lying is not illegal in general. Spinning a misleading narrative definitely isn’t.
      If Trump wants to cite specific cases where the media defamed someone and call that “not free speech”, fine. But that’s not at all what he did.

      1. Libel, slander and fraud are pretty narrowly defined. There is plenty of untruth that is protected speech and/or press.

        Absolutely. And what I’m saying is that the stuff they say about Trump is often the same kind of stuff that would have them convicted of libel, slander and/or fraud if Trump wasn’t subject to the rules that pertain to public persons.

        He can’t do anything about it–but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t grown to the point where if he had decided to cite specific cases he might’ve had to stand there for days reciting them off.

        His audience understood him perfectly–as did some of the media, if the threats issued afterward by at least one of them are any indication.

        His speech was standard meandering Trumpism, but it wasn’t wrong.

    3. The quote sounds like something a seventh grader would say.

      Oh wait I said something “bad” when Trump & friends think he said something “good” so I guess it is not free speech. Hope I don’t get in trouble.

      1. You’re not running a media outfit that is engaged in a coordinated effort to destroy Trump. Making this a top priority for years a t a time. Lying repeatedly every day.

        1. Nah I just want to destroy and eliminate most of the government. I don’t care which flavor. And I am willing to lie to do it.

          1. What else are you willing to do?
            What at all are you willing to do?
            If it’s ‘nothing’ then what does it matter what you want?
            May as well wish for a pony

  10. Since becoming president, Trump seems to be getting more and more incoherent. Is he going senile? Like most, I’ve seen Trump on TV for decades, and I don’t recall him being so obtuse before.

  11. There are six words too many in the headline of this article.

    1. The Media Is Free?

  12. Bold defender of free speech.
    So bold.

    1. Kill yourself pedo lover.

  13. Robby seems to be going with the “trump is a dictator who will soon shut down the press” trope. Almost as fun as “trump is a dictator who has military parades on the 4th of July to celebrate fascism” trope.

    1. Huh, don’t recall Robby writing that Trump is a dictator. Could you provide the quotation?

      1. He said it was a theme, not a direct quote, you stupid pedophile moron.

  14. I think this is the most extraordinary collection of tiny human penises that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Nancy Reagan dined alone.

    1. I’m going to have to defer to your expertise on Nancy Reagan and tiny human penises.

      1. I’ve seen more than my share of both, let me tell you.

    2. That is a great one liner. Ha.

      1. It really isn’t.
        But Tony’s rejoinder at 3:51 is damn good

        1. Classic is line, response, punch line.

          Lou Costello, Don Rickles, Groucho Marx, Rodney Dangerfield, they could all do this in real time.

    3. So Michelle had a bigger dick?

      Well, I can buy that.

      The Wookie was the man in that marriage…

  15. Imagine if pre-2016 Trump, the private real estate mogul, terminated an employee or dismissed a subcontractor for their political views. Not just fired, but fired and then colluded with other businesses to make sure they didn’t hire them and *then* went and leaned on the guy’s bank to make him do business elsewhere. Would we really, as libertarians, be going “Tough luck, free speech.”? How about if Trump were protected from being sued because some late-70s era politicians thought he had some novel ideas about real estate contracting? Still just free speech? What if Obama or, heaven help us, Bush weighed in saying what Trump did was, in no way, free speech? Those President’s should’ve kept their mouths shut on such an issue?

    1. Imagine if pre-2016 Trump, the private real estate mogul, terminated an employee or dismissed a subcontractor for their political views. Not just fired, but fired and then colluded with other businesses to make sure they didn’t hire them and *then* went and leaned on the guy’s bank to make him do business elsewhere. Would we really, as libertarians, be going “Tough luck, free speech.”?

      Okay, so what part of this hypothetical situation do you object to?

      – Trump the employer fires a guy based on his political views – fine, at-will employment at that.
      – Trump tries to blackball the guy. Should he not be allowed to discuss his experiences with this employee with others in his field? Ultimately the decision on whether or not to hire someone is based on the employer alone. Now if Trump were to *threaten* other potential employers not to hire this guy, that would be different, but I don’t think that’s what you’re referring to.
      – Trump leans on a bank to get them to drop this guy as a customer. I mean, I suppose he could do that, but the bank presumably has a contractual relationship with this guy that they can’t simply break because Trump told them to.

      Now if you were to argue that this is shitty behavior on the part of Trump, then I’d agree with you. I’d even go so far as to say that Trump deserves a fair bit of social shaming in trying to use his economic clout to not just fire a guy, but harass him afterwards to make his life miserable. But I don’t think Trump should be punished by the state for those actions. Do you? If so, precisely what should be the illegal part?

    2. He’s welcome to take the media to court if he thinks they have libeled him. Just as your hypothetical employee would be.

      And you are talking about specific actions in your hypothetical. In that case, it would be possible to make a reasoned judgement as to whether what he did was simply free speech or something else.

      1. You do realize that he’s talking about what happened to James Damore, right?

        And Trump CAN’T claim libel–because public people get different rules. There is no question that, were he not a public figure, he could win a libel suit.

        1. What do you *honestly* think would happen if public figures could be sued for libel?

        2. You do realize that he’s talking about what happened to James Damore, right?

          Umm, what? When did Google the company try to blackball James Damore, or try to prevent him from opening a bank account?

  16. The media propaganda pumps have succeeded dragging free speech through the mud, of course Trump is now to be vilified for pointing that out.

  17. I’m open to the possibility that free speech may be harmful in some cases.

    For example, most journalists work for corporations, which are required by law to maximize profit. Therefore, journalists put profit over facts and truth. However, they pretend that this isn’t the case. Isn’t that fraud?

    So, I’m open to the possibility that most journalism is bad for America, and shouldn’t be protected speech.

    If democracy decides to put more requirements on journalists to put truth above profit, who are you to say they shouldn’t? Obviously, that makes you a sky-god worshipping idiot. Therefore, censorship can be good. QED.

    1. The only guy here attacking the first amendment is St. Donald.

      1. Whatever, Jesus freak.

        1. He had good abs and didn’t exist.

          1. Corporate journalists put profits over people. Words hurt, Tony. Words hurt.

          2. Jesus was a living man. Long since proven you fucking antichrist idiot.

    2. They also sell credibility. We all know the difference between the National Enquirer, which is entertainment, and Fox or CNN which sells news and opinion. We also understand that there is bias.

      Of course it does happen. In the rush to get a big story sources may not be checked and it may be proven false. The outlet loses credibility points. We know that as well.

      You advocate Truth above profit yet who are you or any of us to be an arbiter of truth? Now we are in Pravda territory because the government decides.

    3. “For example, most journalists work for corporations, which are required by law to maximize profit. “

      SMH. Kids today.

      You ain’t gonna pass the LSAT with that. If you do heaven help us.

  18. […] Donald Trump Doesn’t Think ‘the Mainstream Media Is Free Speech’ – Reason Trump Donald Trump Doesn’t Think ‘the Mainstream Media Is Free Speech’  Reason […]

  19. “Now, it’s true that objectively false and disparaging speech can in some cases be deemed libelous.”

    That was probably his whole point. He thinks the MSM lies and distort. He tried to make a distinction by noting that he doesn’t want to stifle speech in general (although he threw support behind criminalizing flag burning). Adding things like “bad” and “crooked” is just signature Trump.

    I don’t doubt that Trump will enforce regulations on social media platforms, especially because gripes against YT is a bipartisan effort. When YT demonetizes a user based on some random and minor copyright claim, the content creator may lose his entire livelihood.

    Having said that, who can really disagree with Trump on his characterization of the media? They’re biased. If Ross Ulbricht was gay and his silk road project involved gay porn or something, he might be a cause celebre right now. Leftists defend and celebrate cop killing animals for far less.

    The media in this country is utterly incapable of objective thinking that deviates from the established narrative on race, gender, etc. Not a single major media outlet raised an outcry when Obama put kids in cages. The people who died under his care or during the trip had no voice. Did you guys hear about how MLK might have been a rapist? No, the MSM don’t have time for that. They did courageously uncover that Mitch Mcconnell’s family used to own slaves a hundred years ago. Bravo.

    1. That was probably his whole point.

      Probably. Which is why he used precise terms like ‘libel’ and ‘slander’, and not vague terms like ‘bad’, right?

  20. So, Trump said that “bad” speech is not free speech.

    His defenders predictably rush to his defense to come up with the most generous defense: he was only talking about libel and slander.

    Everyone else understands that if he had wanted people to understand that what he meant was libel and slander, he would have said so. Furthermore, he has a habit of thin-skinned narcissism lashing out at people who say mean things about him.

    So clearly we should interpret Trump’s words as just harmless meaningless drivel.

    1. Libel and slander.

      Well those are bad. Those are bad.

      You know what else is bad? Pineapple on pizza. You take a beautiful pizza which is a great Italian food, I had a great pizza with Italian President Conte, we have a terrific relationship. I have great respect for the Italian people. At my place in Mar a Lago we have pizza night every Wednesday. A wonderful Italian chef comes in.

      And you ruin it with fruit.

      It’s bad folks. Bad.

    2. chemjeff; You should go call in some bomb-threats to the local schools and then come back and fill us all in on how Trumps “bad speech is not free speech” idea is just all wrong.

      1. I think you’ll find out that “free speech” (words) like the right to “bear arms” doesn’t VOID or SUPERSEDE criminal law. The right to bear arms doesn’t VOID one of the consequences of “attempted murder” when shooting at someone but purposely missing nor does the right to “free speech” VOID the consequences of using words to defraud, deceive or lie.

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