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Donald Trump Suggests Unfair Media Coverage of His Presidency Could Be Illegal

"Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?"

President Trump has once again taken the position that criticism of him is, or ought to be, illegal.

On Sunday morning, he railed against "one-sided coverage" of his presidency, tweeting this:

No, the real scandal is the president's oft-stated desire to censor his opponents.

Trump's tweet is as wrongheaded as it is incoherent. (Collusion? What?) The First Amendment protects the right of the people to speak out against the government, even if the president thinks such speech is one-sided or unfair. This has already been tested in court numerous times throughout the Bill of Rights' 200-year history.

It's true that not all speech enjoys legal protection. But as a general rule, speech is only considered defamatory if it meets certain criteria: reckless disregard for the truth, actual malice, etc. And obviously, true statements of fact can't be defamatory. Just because Trump doesn't like what NBC and SNL are saying about him, this does not mean what they are saying is wrong, let alone defamatory.

Trump has First Amendment rights too, and thus he is free to make appalling statements. But everyone in the conservative camp ought to condemn his remarks. Press freedom is a cornerstone of American democracy, and while it's true that many presidents have sought to undermine it—including recent presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama—few have proclaimed their desire so openly.

Related: Corie Whalen, former communications director for libertarian-friendly Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), recently penned a worthwhile essay about Trump's takeover of the conservative movement and how it has harmed—perhaps destroyed—the libertarian Republican cause.

Photo Credit: Polaris/Newscom

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  • SIV||

    Still not tired of winning.

    MAGA

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Still not capable of reading or comprehending either.

    MAIA.

  • Fancylad||

    It's okay a-ahf, you're doing just fine. Reading comprehension is hard but I have faith in you.

  • SIV||

    Donald J Trump is the most press-friendly world leader since Gutenberg invented the damn thing.

  • Fancylad||

    Go away Hihn.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Here, Michael, let someone with functioning brain cells fix this for you--


    John Galt Jr | 12.17.18 @ 7:16PM | #

    Left-wing thugs been burning books, censoring speech and burning witches for centuries.
    The authoritarian left.

    I can be bullied, even by a mouthy 10-year-old.

    There. All better. Now have someone change you and go lie down.

  • KAO||

    Good correction, well done.

  • buybuydandavis||

    6 more years!

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    He has a lot in common with John Adams. That should be a compliment, but alas, John Adams sank far after his initial good work, and proved himself to be nothing but a statist whose only objection to the British was that they were in charge, not him.

  • Kefka||

    Adams popped into my mind as soon as I saw the article.

  • DajjaI||

    At the risk of being banned again by Reason - I agree completely.

  • Longtobefree||

    We will miss you - -

  • Hank Phillips||

    Do you know who else sought legal measures against "the conscious political lie"? (Besides Beto?)

  • Myshkin78||

    Trump has less regard for the Constitution than the left does. That's quite an accomplishment.

  • Cy||

    Ha! No. The left has managed to wipe their ass with literally the entire Bill of Rights. It's not just a couple of them either, the standing marching orders for the left are all counter to the US Constitution.

    If certain super special groups feelz bad, anyone else's rights and freedoms are immediately null and void. Any actions taken upon the accused are immediately forgiven, no matter how egregious.

  • Dozendonuts||

    As a member of the left, I always hate it when we're given standing marching orders. They're so confusing. Which is it?! Standing or marching?!

  • VinniUSMC||

    Speaking of crazed bullshit, there's the Hihnfection.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    The "left" might not be perfect, but they agree with us Koch / Reason libertarians on the most important Constitutional right of all — the right to access abortion care.

  • Tony||

    The right of a person to choose whether some screeching infant shits on her life forever might actually be more immediate than the right to blog about stuff, depending on the circumstances.

  • Trigger Warning||

    It's really gross how cavalier babyciders are with the entire concept of life. In fairness, the deity of the three primary monotheisms is a straight-up murderer.

  • Tony||

    And that deity, not to mention centuries of common law, always had a bargain with women. If the baby makes it past the cooch, try to keep it alive. Otherwise, you're cool.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Is baby cider then new thing Planned Parenthood is now selling?

  • JoeyBagaDounuts||

    If he created life he has the right to do with as he pleases. Also he can't be a murderer by definition.

  • Fancylad||

    Absolutely fucking amazing. If you have a housemate you should ask them "Do I sound like a serial killer here?" each time before you post.

  • Tony||

    I've never had an abortion unlike countless Trump mistresses.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I guess jelly babies don't count?

  • Hank Phillips||

    See? The sockpuppet makes positive contributions now and then.

  • Tony||

    Yeah this is peanuts compared to when the Left was torturing people without trial... oh no that was Republicans too.

  • Tony||

    Do you take regular showers?

  • Trigger Warning||

    Do the golden variety count?

  • Fancylad||

    Remember how CIA black sites and off the books torture houses definitely, probably, maybe didn't double in number under Hillary's watch?
    Remember how drone warfare and assassinations even in allied countries totally didn't increase a hundredfold?
    Remember how Barry and Hillary fixed Libya and Yemen along with Iraq and Afghanistan?
    Tony remembers...

  • James Pollock||

    "Remember how CIA black sites and off the books torture houses definitely, probably, maybe didn't double in number under Hillary's watch?"

    Remember how Hillary isn't President, and never was? Or do you know something we don't know. Are you here from the future?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Um she was secretary of state when that shit happened.

  • Fancylad||

    Remember how she was Secretary of State and responsible for that shit?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Is dub step still a thing? Which Sharknado are we on?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Michael, you can't sockpuppet twice on the same post. It confuses you. You trip up too easily.

    You're not like a normal person, Michael.

    You're subnormal.

    Now relax.

    And please, can we get an orderly to change him? It's clear he enjoys it too much to do it himself.

  • BigT||

    Yeah, some empty threats from Trump are way worse than drone-executing citizens with no warning or due process. Way worse than starting bombing campaigns in several countries, worse than locking up a bunch of Japanese, worse than segregating the civil service, expanding war into a neighboring country, among other things.

  • Tony||

    Well there was also Hitler. He's way better than Hitler.

  • Fancylad||

    And Kennedy, and Johnson, and Reagan, and Bush I, and Clinton, and Bush II and Obama.

    Probably not Nixon though. Nixon ended American involvement in Vietnam and ended the draft. Started diplomatic relations with China and détente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviets. He also transferred power from D.C. to the states.

  • Tony||

    Nixon was was way better than Trump, agreed.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I have to agree although somewhat reluctantly.

  • Chili Dogg||

    Praising Nixon for Vietnam? Wow! Don't forget to praise him for bombing the shit out of Cambodia and killing lots of civilians, too. Also, his domestic policy, which he did not care about as much as foreign policy, was mostly bsd.

    In addition, he persuaded South Vietnam to walk away from peace talks right before the 1968 election, in order to help Nixon's chances. Hitchens excoriated him for that, though you never know whether the talks would have been successful.

  • Chili Dogg||

    bad, not bsd.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    Nixon also screwed our currency and gave us a decade of lost economic growth (helped by Carter, of course). Trump's leftist economic policies seem right in line with the Nixon's idiotic incompetence.

  • Hank Phillips||

    But Nixon did cause libertarians to form a party, and a good one at that!

  • James Pollock||

    "some empty threats from Trump are way worse than drone-executing citizens with no warning or due process. Way worse than starting bombing campaigns in several countries, worse than locking up a bunch of Japanese, worse than segregating the civil service, expanding war into a neighboring country, among other things."

    Give the guy a break. He's still learning the job. Not working very hard at it, admittedly, but somebody told him that the job consisted of mostly watching Fox News and sending out stupid tweets, so he thought he had it nailed down.

  • JesseAz||

    Obama did a shit ton if renditions to other countries. He also executed citizens with drones sans trial.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    Who cares what Obama did? He isn't the fucking president.

  • Sevo||

    Gonna need some sites for that.
    He talks a mean-anti-liberty line but the left starting 'way back with that scumbag FDR has him well covered.

  • Nardz||

    You mean Wilson
    Who, admittedly, was FDR's mentor

  • JesseAz||

    What has done that is against the constitution in regards to the 1a? Actions. Not words. He's allowed to speak his mind as well.

  • Windchaser||

    I thought the whole point of being libertarian was to *escape* the left-right dichotomy?

    C'mon guys, it's not a competition. There's plenty of suck on both sides.

  • Cy||

    Didn't it used to be illegal with the "newspaper and broadcast cross-ownership rule?"

    Essentially it was an attempt at anti-monopoly legislation for news organizations. Not that it would prevent the current scenario, where the vast majority of the media are hatchet men after the sitting US President. I blame that more on our shitty university, grants and student loans system.

  • Longtobefree||

    " reckless disregard for the truth, actual malice, etc."

    Sounds like the mainstream media to me.
    I no longer even trust the dateline of the NYT / WaPo etc.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Disaffected, anti-social, envious, resentful, no-count losers always hate the mainstream.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Let the hate flow through you!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You mistake condescension and disdain for hate.

  • Chili Dogg||

    He is Arth Vader.

  • Sevo||

    "Disaffected, anti-social, envious, resentful, no-count losers always hate the mainstream."
    You really are jealous of those with the intelligence to read between lines, loser asshole.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    But everyone in the conservative camp ought to condemn his remarks.

    Ideally, yes. But unfortunately there are only a handful of respectable, patriotic conservatives left. David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, and Max Boot will undoubtedly stand up for our Constitutional freedoms like they have been doing ever since the alt-right took over the GOP.

    Most Republicans and conservatives, however, will fall in line behind Orange Hitler. If colluding with Russia to steal the election, enacting draconian immigration restrictions, and putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court were not enough for them to denounce Drumpf? Well then, I seriously doubt more bad tweets will convince them they're on the wrong side of history.

  • JFree||

    Yeah I know you're just trolling - but you are right. Pretty much ALL R's and conservatives will fall right in goosestepping formation behind Orange youknowwho.

  • Fancylad||

    I thought goosestepping was a leftist social signal?
    The Soviets, the National Socialist Workers Party, the Cubans, the Viet Kong, the North Koreans, the Red Army, the Khmer Rouge, the East Germans, SFR Yugoslavia, the Romanian People's Republic, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Communist Albania... all goosesteppers.

  • James Pollock||

    "... all goosesteppers."

    You left out the jokers in Virginia with their tiki torches.

  • Nardz||

    Swing...
    And a miss

  • Nardz||

    You don't know what the word "equated" means, do you?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Michael!

    See, this is what we mean. You're absolutely worthless when you get onto a thread and slowly populate every response--eventually sitting there screaming at yourself for bullying you.

    You havr got to stop with the endless sockpuppets.

    And now you need to be hosed off as well as changed.

    Oh, Michael, do you stink so badly that the Reaper himself avoids you?

  • Chili Dogg||

    "you people"?? Racist!!

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    Left...right...what's the difference? They are the same. Do you want to get beaten with the left end of the steel rod or the right end? And the idiots here are arguing over which end is slightly worse. How about growing spines, standing up, grabbing the fucking rod and fighting back? Instead you want to grovel over which master may beat you slightly less, may beat the other simpering animals more than you.

  • Fancylad||

    "goober"
    Found Kirkland's newest sock.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Hitler was on the right?

    But, Michael, you said "left + right = zero"

    Which is it, Michael?

    According to you, Hitler was on the 'right' which is the 'left'.

  • Lester224||

    Sorry leftists have no monopoly on goose-stepping..

  • Chili Dogg||

    Orange Hitler? What are you, a 5th grader? Your collusion comment is just silly. And how does the president enact immigration restrictions? Congress enacts laws, not the president. Apparently you are mad at the president for enforcing the law. And Kavanaugh? Please!

    I know, I should not feed the troll.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    You're right, "Orange Hitler" is over the top. "Orange Hilary" is a more apt description of the piece of authoritarian shit in the white house.

  • Windchaser||

    "And how does the president enact immigration restrictions? Congress enacts laws, not the president. "

    The Executive Branch executes those laws, and often has some leeway in how the laws are executed. C'mon, man.

    Plus, as the leader of the Republican Party, Trump has some sway over the views of his constituency, and can push Congress to take up laws or policies he favors.

  • Toranth||

    The "impartial media" runs a continuous political campaign, giving tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars of 'in-kind' contributions to Democrats, Look at the dozens of Robert Francis fluff pieces, for an excellent example.


    These articles are run with the desire to help certain politicians, or to harm others. If campaign finance laws are being applied honestly, then how can that media coverage be legal?

  • Moo Cow||

    "It's called earned media. It's worth billions. Next question?"

    The real estate magnate got $4.96 billion in free earned media in the year leading up to the presidential election, according to data from tracking firm mediaQuant. He received $5.6 billion throughout the entirety of his campaign, more than Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio combined.

    TheStreet

  • Brett Bellmore||

    That's like describing assault and battery as a free deep tissue massage. He got loads of free media, and it consisted of attacks on him.

    Sure, incompetent attacks, because the media didn't understand his appeal. But still attacks.

  • JFree||

    it consisted of attacks on him.

    Why the fuck do you think he appeals? Because every single person who has been pissed on for decades by elites and coasties stands up and cheers when he is attacked and fights back. No attack - no fight back. Which means - no attack and he'd have to appeal to those folks as a narcissistic draft-dodging billionaire who's probably never had a callus on his hands and certainly has never had to face the consequences of what he says in different circumstances (say - a bar on a weekend where people who get pissed off at an asshole don't resort to tweeting).

    Yeah - the media/pols that do hate him are incompetent at realizing the source of his appeal. But that is incompetent. Not some new phenomenon of 1st amendment being used to attack.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Most of those people are pissed on for good reason.

    They were losers and malcontents when this started. They'll be losers and malcontent when this ends.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "I so hate Americans!"

  • Cavadus||

    It's amazing how progressives think belittling and offending average Americans will somehow convert them into allies.

  • Nardz||

    Try reading the comments on a WaPo article about the yellow vests
    Total shitshow of smug and ignorant

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I belittle below-average Americans, not average Americans.

  • Azathoth!!||


    I belittle below-average Americans, not average Americans.

    You personify below-average Americans, Artie.

    'belittle' doesn't have anything to do with your adult crack-baby fetish.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    I'm an average midwest American and I hate most Americans too. They are simpering cowards for the most part, just begging for a strong man to come and save them from all the scary stuff in the universe. The Alt right and progs are just two sides of the same cowardly, bitch-ass coin. Simply look at the shit the right wants now too. Medicare...increased welfare...economic intervention to help them compete with foreigners...censorship of meanies....
    The right wing people here want to act like their own socialist garbage is somehow less toxic because the left does it too...Well, I've got news for you...being a cowardly welfare rat isn't mutually exclusive.

  • Chili Dogg||

    Thanks for your comment, Arth Vader.

  • Toranth||

    Thank you for supporting my argument. Almost $5 billion in the primaries alone.
    Tell me, how much benefit do you think his opponent got after that, when there were no other Republicans and 95% of his media coverage was negative?

  • James Pollock||

    "Tell me, how much benefit do you think his opponent got after that"

    Most of the popular vote, including all of the illegal aliens, of course, but not enough electoral votes.

  • Toranth||

    When did 48.5% become "most"?

  • Fancylad||

    That's a pretty dishonest insinuation Moo Cow. Getting called a babykilling rapist isn't exactly promotional.

  • James Pollock||

    "The 'impartial media' runs a continuous political campaign, giving tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars of 'in-kind' contributions to Democrats, Look at the dozens of Robert Francis fluff pieces, for an excellent example."

    Is the "fair and balanced" media included within the "impartial media"?

  • JesseAz||

    Even Fox's coverage was more negative than positive for trump dumbass. They have studies you can educate yourself with.

  • James Pollock||

    No, it's true. Republicans thought Trump was an ignorant buffoon, until they hitched their wagons to hiim

  • Mickey Rat||

    "...few have proclaimed their desire so openly."

    No, few have proclaimed their desire so inartfully, Many politicians at that level have proclaimed such desires openly. He is essentially calling for some kind of version of a fairness doctrine, the ending of which had been openly lamented by many pols.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I believe he's specifically stated that he wants a end to the "public person" doctrine in libel law, where it's much harder for somebody in the news to win a libel suit than average people.

  • Mickey Rat||

    That is a legitimate criticism , but that libel law changes are a bit more nuanced and debatable than what Soave is suggesting Trump as advocating.

  • Jerryskids||

    Trump squeezes out a turd and every journalist in the country runs over to examine it to see if they can delve some meaning out of the shape and the size and the texture and the color and the odor and the taste of the turd. Stop paying attention to Trump's turds, they don't mean a goddamn thing except that Trump can't go 5 minutes without dropping a turd on somebody or something because he thinks it's hilarious to watch how fast the flock of clucking hens show up to peck at it. That and because he's a seriously fucked-up individual.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    The problem is that people who have actual power eat up those turds.

  • Lost in the Woods||

    So true. And this is part of Trump's power, I think. That, at some level, he manipulates the left wing news media like puppets on strings, simply by tweeting ridiculous tweets. And then they dance for him. For whatever reason, they simply can't or won't ignore him. Ditto for most of his detractors in the general public. Perhaps we would all be better off if we just ignored him a bit.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Well, I was referring to his supporters, but ok.

  • fatcyst||

    Theyre not turds. Its sad but he is the most impartial media right now.

  • Moo Cow||

    Poor snowflake.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Just because Trump doesn't like what NBC and SNL are saying about him, this does not mean what they are saying is wrong, let alone defamatory."

    While that's true, neither does it mean that it isn't wrong, and perhaps defamatory. It isn't actually that hard to identify things that have been reported about Trump that were objectively false, ("Hatgate", for instance.) and probably reported in actual knowledge of their falsity, or at least reckless indifference. Statements he's made, that were deliberately reported out of context.

    Now, do I think he should be able to sue for this defamation? Nah, I'm a 1st amendment absolutist. But it's still true that some of the negative things that the media 'report' about him are defamatory, and likely deliberately so.

  • Tony||

    How could anyone possibly defame a man who extramaritally fucks a porn star while watching Shark Week?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The usual way, by saying something negative about them that's not true.

    You're basically trying to say that, if you really don't like somebody, lying about them isn't defamation. But that's not how it works.

  • Tony||

    Lying like saying they were born in Kenya?

  • Toranth||

    Leave Hillary and Obama's publisher out of this!

  • Tony||

    Pathetic. Trump's not worth defending. Especially when the defense is "he's too retarded to know better."

  • Cavadus||

    Actually, Tony, *everyone* is worth defending. That you will never understand this explains everything one would ever need to know about your world view.

  • Tony||

    I don't even know what that's supposed to mean. Everyone? Okay, defend Pol Pot.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Pol Pot was a friend of mine. Trump is no Pol Pot.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    What it means, Tony, is that everyone has to have their rights respected. EVERYONE. So, yeah, even people you don't like are capable of being defamed, and we should care if they are, because a press that will lie about and defame Trump, won't stop with Trump.

    If the truth about Trump were bad enough, they wouldn't need to bother with the lies.

  • Tony||

    The press is not defaming Trump. It's reporting on the batshit stuff he does on live TV. I'm sorry he's such a criminal idiot, but come on.

    The press did, however, defame Barack Obama, every time fat Limbaugh or one of his ilk racistly questioned his birthplace, something Trump knows a little something about.

  • Chili Dogg||

    Left-wing dictators are usually defended by left-wing college professors, not Reason commentors.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Kenyan and Nigerian papers, his agent, all claim the 'Bama is Nigerian. His school records say Indonesian. https://preview.tinyurl.com/y8pmfn5v
    By contrast, nobody in Canada proudly claims Ted Cruz as one of theirs.

  • Tony||

    I'm saying he's a big fat hypocrite, I believe.

  • James Pollock||

    "You're basically trying to say that, if you really don't like somebody, lying about them isn't defamation. But that's not how it works."

    You are correct that that's not how it works. That's also not what anybody but you said.

    If a person doesn't have a reputation for doing good things, then lying about them not doing good things doesn't harm their reputation. Thus, a suit for defamation fails because actual damages are one of the required elements of defamation torts.

  • Cloudbuster||

    extramaritally fucks a porn star while watching Shark Week

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

  • Jerry B.||

    But a man who extramaritally fucks a movie star, and probably wouldn't watch Shark Week due to his swim in the Pacific after his PT boat was sunk, gets a pass from the media, and that's OK with you?

  • CE||

    It is hard to argue that the relentless negative coverage is objective journalism however.

  • Tony||

    Maybe Trump is objectively terrible. It's not like that wasn't in the cards.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Good point. Compared to Gary, all the looter candidates are terrible. But Nixon & Co. subsidized their media campaigns via the IRS Code, so guess who got the brass ring?

  • Chili Dogg||

    Reporters now make even more blatant commentary, going beyond just reporting. Instead of just reporting "Trump's claims such-and-such", they now report "Trump, without evidence, claims such-and-such".

  • Tony||

    I wonder if authoritarianism always starts with an idiot with a fragile ego in the right place at the right time.

  • CE||

    Pretty much.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, that explains FDR.

  • BigT||

    You know who else had a fragile ego?

  • Trigger Warning||

    Murray Gell-Mann?

  • Windchaser||

    millions of fragile egos, I think.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Democratic Party platform 1866.

    Slavery was of course, ended in 1865 so the Democratic Party had to change.

  • CE||

    Sometimes the deep state really is out to get you.

  • Rich||

    Should be tested in courts, can't be legal?

    "Actually, while at it, test EVERYTHING for legality!"

  • rrgg||

    His legal argument is that this is considered an in-kind contribution. Election contributions and party contributions don't have to be cash. Free advertising from what he believes is completely one-sided coverage from CNN is a contribution.

    I'm not saying I agree. In fact I don't like the limits on election law. I just think this article is being slightly intellectually dishonest.

  • Jerryskids||

    His legal argument is that this is considered an in-kind contribution. Election contributions and party contributions don't have to be cash. Free advertising from what he believes is completely one-sided coverage from CNN is a contribution.

    You got a citation for where you got that information from or is that just what you decided the turd meant after you pecked at it a bit?

  • Tony||

    The president being a dumpster fire is now an unfair campaign boon to Democrats. I've literally heard everything.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So much so it's probably an in-kind contribution of the campaign finance violation variety.

  • Tony||

    Nothing MSNBC reports on is not factual, and SNL gets to parody whatever it wants. Trump could try not to be objectively terrible at his job and a giant fucking criminal, but on the other hand it's never fun to watch a toddler try to do something he's incapable of.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Same reason it's not fun to read your outbursts.

  • Sevo||

    "Nothing MSNBC reports on is not factual,"
    Bullshit.

  • Chili Dogg||

    The scary thing is that Tony believes that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Should be tested in courts, can't be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?"

    Collusion is illegal. Not sure whether what he's talking about fits that definition or even whether collusion should be illegal, but collusion is illegal.

    Oh, and let's not forget about this classic tidbit from early in the Trump administration's tenure, when the White House press corp all but promised to collude against Trump:

    "We're going to work together. You have tried to divide us and use reporters' deep competitive streaks to cause family fights. Those days are ending. We now recognize that the challenge of covering you requires that we cooperate and help one another whenever possible . . . . you're going to face a unified front."

    ----"An Open Letter to Trump from the US press corps"

    Columbia Journalism Review

    http://www.cjr.org/covering_tr....._corps.php

    Trump is right about often being covered unfairly, as well. If the White House press corps wants to avoid being charged with covering the president unfairly, one of the things they might consider trying is covering him fairly.

  • BigT||

    If Coke and Pepsi collude to set prices it's illegal. Is there some way that memo does the same thing?

    Otherwise, what could be illegal?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Like I said:

    "Not sure whether what he's talking about fits that definition or even whether collusion should be illegal"

    Whatever you want to call it, the White House press corps has treated him unfairly, and they all seem to be working together on that. I don't know that a broadcast license will be worth much in the future, but if Trump sends the FCC after the White House press for their shitty coverage, somebody let me know. In the meantime, let's not miss the forest for trees.

    The forest is that the White House press corps sucks and has been, is, and will be totally out to get Trump.

    I see the collision and trial tweet as sort of like a woodchipper reference around here. Nobody around here is actually breaking out a woodchipper for whatever political figure, and I seriously doubt Trump is about to bring collusion allegations against anybody for giving him shitty coverage.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The forest is that the White House press corps sucks and has been, is, and will be totally out to get Trump."

    The MSM has been, is, and will be the Enemy of the People.

  • fatcyst||

    Dont forget - big tech, public ed, universities, shit rags like reason has become, etc...

  • ohlookMarketthugs||

    But you're ok with Republicans doing it.

    How has this racist not been banned yet? Are we waiting for another article where Ken gets mad that Reason points out bigotry?

  • Ken Shultz||

    You suck.

  • Fancylad||

    Who's sock is this? Chemjeff's? Chipper's?

  • Don't look at me!||

    If you think Ken is racist, you have big problems.

  • buybuydandavis||

    FakeNews is the EnemyOfThePeople

  • Fancylad||

    Fuck off Kirkland.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, he's always been a narcissistic ass, even before he was president. Just normal behavior for him.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You don't try to become President if you're not a narcissist. Some narcissistic asses get exposed and exaggerated, some narcissistic asses get covered for.

  • No Longer Amused||

    To be fair, CNN has drifted into libel territory on a daily basis...

  • Cloudbuster||

    Twitter posts are srs bizness!

  • ||

    Not sure why he's doing this but come on...there's some truth to the irresponsible reporting on him. The media sees itself as 'resistors'.

  • fatcyst||

    That seems like a very naive view.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Not really: "Journalism is to politician as dog is to lamp-post."--H.L. Mencken, just doing his job.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Trump is branding the Republican-conservative cause with bigotry and backwardness for at least a generation.

    Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of authoritarian, slack-jawed, disaffected, superstitious, bigoted, half-educated losers.

    Carry on, clingers. Just don't get in the way of your betters.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Very well said. Sadly I fear with the passing of John McCain and George H. W. Bush, we may have seen the last of the great Republican politicians. I might not have agreed with McCain on everything, but he was a patriot who opposed the Russian takeover of our government.

  • lovestatism1789||

    Nonsense. Bigotry and backwardness is an essential part of the American dream and true freedom for REAL citizens. The Founding Fathers were old, white, and male. Therefore, a genuine Originalist interpretation of the Constitution would recognize that the Constitutional rights granted to Americans are reserved exclusively for REAL citizens. ie: old, white, males like Trump. Mainstream media simply needs to recognize its betters and get over it. Move to lefty-land Europe or South America if they don't like it.

    Screw the mainstream loser media who is nothing but an arm of the progressive agenda that wants illegals and criminals to flood this once great land. One America is for One Nation and Trump will lead us back to this hallowed era.

  • Nardz||

    You are really bad at parody.

  • fatcyst||

    He makes a lot of good points.

  • Windchaser||

    I mean, he's kinda right -- bigotry and backwardness have been part of this nation since the beginning. But it's not a *good* thing. It's constantly held us back.

    Free-er immigration both pays for itself and increases global freedom. But American xenophobia has often led us to oppose it. You can see anti-immigration rhetoric in the 1700s, in the 1800s, in the 1900s... given our retardedness on issues like this, I'm honestly surprised that we've done as well as a country as we have.

    We probably wouldn't have even been a superpower if it wasn't for other countries destroying each other and leaving us relatively unscathed.

  • CptNerd||

    You need to expand the vocabulary your auto-posting script is using.

  • Chili Dogg||

    Thank you for your comment, Arth Vader.

  • KWlib||

    The torrential volume of you Trump suckers that have shown up here is astounding.

    All you soy bean farmers and auto workers that voted for him created this shit storm that is raining down upon you. So quit your whining and shut the fuck up.

  • buybuydandavis||

    6 more years!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why stop at 6? I'm prepared to continue the culture war as long as right-wingers want to keep getting their downscale asses kicked.

  • Chili Dogg||

    Thank you for your comment, Arth Vader.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I find your faith disturbing.

    Faith in reason, education, tolerance, science, modernity, inclusivity, and progress, that is.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA!

  • Echospinner||

    Other presidents have had the same complaints. Trump just seems to whine about it more.

  • fatcyst||

    Enlighten the public you mean

  • Chili Dogg||

    Fight back, you mean.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

  • Rich||

  • Don't look at me!||

    Think of the money saved if everyone got a free car!

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    What's always hilarious is the R's love of Trump's "guy at the end of the bar" schtick where he goes ham on whoever he wants, says whatever he wants, and they champion him as this anti-PC tough guy...

    Then he cries that a bunch of lib snowflakes make fun of him on saturday night. Biggest pussy in the country. Funny thing is SNL is long past its time for being good/relevant. It would be like a dem going after Gutfeld or one of the other non-funny conservatives because they said mean things. What a fucking bitch

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    The real issue isn't that the media wrongly criticizes Trump, it's that they don't criticize Democrats enough. The media should be skeptical of all those in power.

    It's also a bit amusing that the most powerful man in the world -- a successful billionaire business man, a boorish man who belittles everyone with whom he disagrees (questioning their very manhood quite often) -- melts like a little snowflake whenever someone is just a little critical of him.

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    Agreed, the dems are a running joke at this point and there is so much material to make fun of. The identity politics SJW stuff is so extreme it is a farce on its own.

    But SNL is the dems, and no one thinks they are going to turn on their own BS. The fact that he can't handle those little bitches is just more evidence that he is himself a little cuck bitch.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "just a little critical of him"

    They've been calling him Hitler for 3 years.

  • Nardz||

    Obama's mouthpieces called anything short of worship racism - he didn't say it himself because his court was there to insulate him.
    Trump handles his own beefs.
    And I don't see any "melting" - I see hitting back.
    But the progressively inclined cannot help but view the world through their own lenses

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You seem to have a hard time handling losing the culture war. Maybe get some help?

  • Chili Dogg||

    Thank you for your comment, Arth Vader.

  • Fancylad||

    Should be tested in courts, can't be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?

    See those question marks Robby? They may be rhetorical, but they're there and they're important.
    Now reread your blog post taking them into account and realize what a hysterical little demagogue you are.

    For fuck's sake. Every time Trump bitches about the DNC party organs currently holding the national microphone, dishonest overreactions by "journalists" like Robby immediately underline his point for him.

  • Tony||

    Eye on the ball, big shooter. The president of the United States thinks the first amendment should be "tested in courts."

  • Windchaser||

    The "DNC party" holds the national microphone?

    Trump literally has the presidential Twitter account. If he wants to present data to support his claims of the day, he can do so. He just doesn't.

    Remember when he said his inauguration was the biggest ever, and most watched? without evidence.
    Remember when he said that millions of immigrants were voting illegally? without evidence.
    Remember when he said that Republicans were working to pass a middle class tax cut before the 2018 election? without evidence.

    The guy just lies constantly. He doesn't read, he's not informed, he's incredibly sensitive... so yeah, of course he does a shitty job of utilizing his own national microphone, in the position of the President.

  • Fancylad||

    Trump has a twitter account, there's no such thing as a Presidential Twitter account.
    The DNC has owned the NYT, WaPo, CNN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Time, Newsweek, etc. for at least the last fifty years, and Trump has his old twitter account. You sure proved me wrong.

    "Remember when he said his inauguration was the biggest ever, and most watched? without evidence.
    Remember when he said that millions of immigrants were voting illegally? without evidence.
    Remember when he said that Republicans were working to pass a middle class tax cut before the 2018 election? without evidence"

    OMG! he boasted he had a big inauguration without proof?! Immigrants were voting illegally? without evidence (even though it's all over the place)!!? Republicans were working to pass a middle class tax cut before the 2018 election? without evidence (except that they had a working group created and were doing just that)???!! That's worse than Hitler drone bombing Libyans. WTF, I hate Trump now.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    When the founding fathers gave us freedom of the press, they never imagined a world with radio waves, TV, and internet superhighways. Nor did they rule out common sense regulations, such as the FCC. It's time for America to start the conversation about speech control, because this free speech absolutism will get us nowhere. Especially on the Facebook, and with Russian trolls.

  • Don't look at me!||

    So our gun rights extend beyond muskets and the blunderbuss?

  • Rich||

    When the founding fathers gave us freedom of the press, they never imagined a world with radio waves, TV, and internet superhighways.

    *** in the apparent spirit of IB's comment ***

    Ah, but *God* knew about these things!

  • Nardz||

    God is dead.
    Long live God!

  • Fancylad||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Don't look at me!||

    If it was so successful, why did the government feel compelled to interfere?

  • Echospinner||

    Blue Cross began the same way.

    Someone at Baylor Hospital in Dallas made a deal with a teachers group in 1929.

  • Chili Dogg||

    You realize, of course, that Obama sees Obamacare as just another step on the way to a single-payer government system, right?

  • Lester224||

    Obamacare is Romneycare. Romney had it first.

  • JesseAz||

    If paying off sluts is an in kind contribution, so is a biased media pushing hard for the DNC.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Biased media pushing hard for the DNC certainly influences the election.

    Did Dan Rather violate campaign finance laws in 2004?

  • Fancylad||

    It's Kirkland's new sockpuppet. Don't look for reasoned thought.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Corie Whalen, former communications director for libertarian-friendly Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.), recently penned a worthwhile essay about Trump's takeover of the conservative movement and how it has harmed—perhaps destroyed—the libertarian Republican cause."

    As I've explained, here, so many times, Trump didn't take over the Republican party so much as the white, blue collar, middle class abandoned the Democratic party and flooded into the Republican party. That's the demographic that voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and abandoned Hillary Clinton for Trump in 2016.

    For the umpty-umpth time, people generally only register to vote when they move or renew their driver's license. When you look at how Trump won the Republican primary, he did far worse in closed primary states--where registered Democrats couldn't vote for him. By the time Trump's primary win had become a foregone conclusion, the only open primary states--where registered Democrats could vote for him--that he lost were in Texas and Ohio to native sons Cruz and Kucinich. Trump won every open primary state except those two up to that point.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Stop focusing on Trump. It isn't about him or his policies. It's about the progressives and social justice warriors who run the Democratic party hating the white, blue-collar, middle class--and chasing them out of the Democratic party. If the Republican party has changed since Trump was elected, it's because of that. If there's one thing BLM, feminists, illegal immigrant interests, LGBTQI+ activists, and environmentalists all agree on, it's that they hate the white, blue-collar, middle class they need in order to win national elections. Trump isn't anywhere near as powerful as people are making him out to be.

  • Tony||

    So now explain why dumb white men are more important than everyone else.

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    From the vote counters who care about winning elections, they are more important because there are more of them. They are a huge voting block, one that used to be locked down by the dems until their identity politics festival of recent years. And there's a lot of them in swing states. Trump decided to basically play identity politics courting that voter block, and guess what...they are still big enough to swing an election.

    Maybe in 50 years demographics will change such that the dems can just shit on "dumb white men" and win an election by courting the black, trans, LGBT vote, but for now the numbers are such that they will lose with that message.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    From the vote counters who care about winning elections, they are more important because there are more of them. They are a huge voting block, one that used to be locked down by the dems until their identity politics festival of recent years. And there's a lot of them in swing states. Trump decided to basically play identity politics courting that voter block, and guess what...they are still big enough to swing an election.


    This is such basic stuiff.

    For example, the Slavic vote does not count anywhere except a few cities with large Slavic-descent populations.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Trump still couldn't have pulled it off if the Republican leadership hadn't already pretty much given up on even pretending to agree with their own voting base on issues like illegal immigration. He secured the nomination by appealing to Republicans better than the establishment's candidates could.

  • JoeyBagaDounuts||

    It is illegal it's called defimation

  • Lester224||

    SNL is defamation? Satire is allowed, in fact satire is the best tool against a police state. Too bad SNL is such lame satire.

  • tructuyenbongda||

    nice

  • higgyb||

    Reason" "Ted Lieu? Who's that? We're too busy hating Trump to take off the blinders yet."

  • CptNerd||

    If the major media actually reported facts instead of opinion, and didn't hide inconvenient facts that make Democrats look bad, then there'd be no problem.

  • akita96th||

    Trump suffers from shit-fer-brains syndrome.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The problem is, the Honorable Donald Trump is right on the law.

    http://reason.com/archives/201.....e-catch-22

    "In the Cohen case, the prosecutors hung their hat on FECA's definition of "contributions" and "expenditures" as anything spent or contributed "for the purpose of influencing any election." That's a pretty broad definition, and certainly it may have been thought that paying hush money to Trump's old memories would "influence an election." Thus, they argue, payment of the hush money was subject to limits on the size of contributions used to pay, could not include corporate funds, and had to be reported to the FEC.

    Did the leak of that Access Hollywood tape "influence the election"?

    Hell, do editorial endorsements constitute "Influenc[ing] the election"?

    The question should not be what constitutes influencing the election.

    The question should be what does not.

  • Lester224||

    Since when is Saturday Night Live news coverage? Stop watching comedy shows (especially unfunny ones) if it gives you such angst.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "President Trump has once again taken the position that criticism of him is, or ought to be, illegal."

    Poor Soave still does not know the difference between propagandists lying to defame a person and written or verbal criticism covered under the 1st Amendment.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I be Soave does not even know that the 1st Amendment does not protect any assembly, only peaceful assemblies.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Translation: conscious political lie...

  • Hank Phillips||

    I have been struggling to despise Trump since the nomination. Result: lime GOP primary voters I despise Ted, Marco, Bush, Bush, Mitt, Whutzername, Horseface, Televangelist, and Creep WAY more than the loudmouth. I supported the LP because platform and such, not to coerce bakers, but am hard pressed to imagine any other National Socialist Republican doing a better job. The Dems think of nothing except carbon taxes and nationalsocialism to ban energy--what else is new? It's a Groundhog Day nightmare, but one that could be worse.

  • Hank Phillips||

    This was in a Republican-style platform written in 1920: "Point 23. We demand legal measures against the conscious political lie and its propagation through the press. (...) Newspapers which conflict with the common good are to be forbidden." Trump just tweets. Rubio, Lyin' Ted or Mitt would be demanding a Constitutional Amendment forcing papers to clear material through censors to make sure nothing can "endanger the state or violate the ethical and moral feelings of the Germanic race."

  • KAO||

    Will writers for this website ever stop trying to push the idea that Trump is against the 1st Amendment.....? Or every other freedom we "sort of" have? At some point Libertarians, fake and real ones alike, are going to have to accept that our rights and laws are not black and white in principal, or in practice. The Propaganda media are allowed to be as bias and destructive towards American values as they want, Saudi ownership and all. But that same freedom has to be extended to every citizen, including the President. He's allowed to tweet how he's feeling or what's on his mind and just because people here were sure he was going to be a dictator (and were dead wrong) doesn't mean that his tweets are some innuendo into that.

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