Trump threatens freedom of press after feelings hurt

By Shivani Gosai | Opinions Editor

10/19/2017

President Donald Trump seems to have more energy for disliking the press than he does for absolutely anything else. Since he began to run for president, Trump has attacked multiple news organizations and journalists, calling them the “most dishonest people.”

“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” he tweeted in February.

His attacks against the press are as idiotic as when he claimed he created the word “fake.” I’ve written multiple columns on my thoughts of Trump, but this time, I can honestly say his moronic babbling has never filled me with so much rage. Before this, I was merely tolerating his stupidity. Now I absolutely cannot wait until the day this ridiculous walking Cheeto is removed from office.

The statement that pushed me to the edge was a direct attack on the Constitution.

“It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write,” Trump told reporters at a White House conference on Oct. 11.

“With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” he tweeted on the same day.

First of all, journalists cannot publish whatever they please. There are libel laws against defamation, and opinion is not considered defamation in the United States.

Second, journalists have to regulate what they are publishing for the sake of their reputation. You cannot be a successful journalist with no credibility. It just does not make sense. Trump does not need to worry about his reputation the same way journalists do. I’m unsure of Trump’s knowledge on anything besides golfing and Tweeting, especially knowledge of the Constitution or how broadcast licenses work.

What’s more disgusting than freedom of press? The fact that our president, whose lies have been exposed time and time again, wants to punish a news organization for hurting his feelings with an entirely credible report. If Trump is so concerned with the truth, maybe he should start with the lies he himself puts forth.

Lies such as the time he boasted about how he has signed more bills than any president in history, that the Russian investigation does not involve him whatsoever, how the U.S. is the highest taxed country in the world or that he opposes the war in the Middle East. If you’re still in denial about how toxic Trump’s words are, The New York Times compiled a fascinating list of (almost) all of his lies.

Let me remind you one of the signs of the beginning of a fascist regime: the elimination of free press. His ignorance is no longer funny, because to challenge the free press is to challenge democracy. Trump can’t tell journalists, “Cover only the good things about me or I will take away your license!” because, when he took the oath for office, he also took an oath to defend the First Amendment.

“It’s really quite amazing when you think that freedom of the press, not only sort of a cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution but very much something that the United States defended over the years, is now itself under attack from the President,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein said at a conference in August.

Trump’s words are just a threat and will remain a threat, but his rhetoric is dangerous. The fact that he would even threaten something as dramatic as this suggests he doesn’t understand the most basic of democratic concepts.

It’s clear that Trump dislikes the press because it constantly calls him out on his lies and offensive comments. OK, next time you make fun of a disabled reporter, insult a minority group or speak ill of our veterans, we’ll make sure to not report it.

We get it, Trump: You want to end all unflattering critiques against you. You want the media to put a gold star on your forehead and say, “You’re doing great sweetie!” However, if you want to earn that praise, you need to put an end to your hateful rhetoric and make a greater effort as the leader of our country. If this sounds too difficult for you, let me give you a simpler option: Quit.

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