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Trump Threatens NBC, Upping The Ante In His Despicable War On Freedom Of The Press

Trump Burning Constitution

Donald Trump is responding to this morning’s report about his remarks about nuclear weapons during a national security meeting with his top advisers, but threatening the news network that reported the news:

WASHINGTON — President Trump threatened on Wednesday to use the federal government’s power to license television airwaves to target NBC in response to a report by the network’s news division that he contemplated a dramatic increase in the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

In a story aired and posted online Wednesday morning, NBC reported that Mr. Trump said during a meeting last summer that he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, stunning some members of his national security team. It was after this meeting that Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson reportedly said Mr. Trump was a “moron.”

Mr. Trump objected to the report in two messages on Twitter later Wednesday and threatened to use the authority of the federal government to retaliate.

He repeated his complaint later in the day when reporters arrived to cover his meeting with the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau. “It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write,” Mr. Trump said.

The comments immediately drew criticism that the president was using his office to undermine First Amendment guarantees of free speech and free press. And, in fact, the networks themselves — and their news departments — do not hold federal licenses, though individual affiliates do.

“Broadcast licenses are a public trust,” said Tom Wheeler, who until January was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, appointed by President Barack Obama. “They’re not a political toy, which is what he’s trying to do here.”

In suggesting that a broadcast network’s license be targeted because of its coverage, Mr. Trump once again evoked the Watergate era when President Richard M. Nixon told advisers to make it difficult for The Washington Post to renew the F.C.C. license for a Florida television station it owned. A businessman with ties to Mr. Nixon filed paperwork to challenge The Post’s ownership of the station. The Justice Department under Mr. Nixon also filed antitrust charges against the three major television networks.

In Mr. Trump’s case, it may just be an idle threat, the sort of bluster that he has regularly used to keep news organizations and other individuals and institutions he perceives to be rivals off balance. Just a day earlier, he went on Twitter to suggest using federal tax law to punish the National Football League as part of his campaign against players who kneel during the national anthem, only to have a spokeswoman later say he was only making a point.

But Mr. Wheeler said it could also be taken as instruction by his supporters who could act on his behalf. “This sounds to me like another dog whistle for folks to file against the license renewals,” he said. “Clearly it would be a bridge too far for the Trump F.C.C. to move on their own initiative. But if some conservative groups were to take this as their marching orders, it would be an interesting situation to see what the Trump F.C.C. did.”

(…)

The president’s tweets stoked strong pushback from consumer groups that said the threat to NBC was clear.

“This is not just a huge issue from a First Amendment standpoint, it is at best a weird way to go at it and nonetheless very problematic,” said Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press, an advocacy group on communications issues before the F.C.C. “The message is clear, you don’t have to work hard to see how those words are chilling.”

Alexandra Ellerbeck, the North America program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said that authoritarian countries such as Russia, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey license news outlets based on their coverage. “Donald Trump’s assertion that NBC’s license could be challenged not only puts him in unfavorable company but emboldens other governments to embrace authoritarian tendencies,” she said.

Mr. Trump’s threat was hardly the first time a president has sought to stifle the media. “Trump is following in one of our more sordid presidential traditions,” said John A. Farrell, author of “Richard Nixon: The Life.”

Here are the tweets in question:

And here’s video of Trump’s comments during his press availability with Prime Minister Trudeau:

Trump’s latest threat is, of course, as empty as many of his other threats have been. The main reason for that is that, as CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter explain, news networks aren’t licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. That agency only licenses individual television and radio stations, and while there are a limited number of such stations that are owned by Comcast, Inc, the parent company that owns NBC, MSNBC, and NBC News, they are only a relatively small handful of the stations that are affiliated with the NBC network and broadcast both its entertainment and news products. The fact that the threat is empty, though, doesn’t make it any less dangerous, or that these latest threats should simply be dismissed out of hand. While Trump does come across as something of the crazy old man ranting on Twitter when he says things like this online, the difference between him and any other Twitter troll is that he’s the President of the United States, a position that gives him far more power and influence than someone who holds these opinions deserves.

Aaron Blake at The Washington Post echoes author John Farrell’s comment in the article quoted above and calls the President’s threat “Nixonian”, and he’s absolutely right in that regard. Not since Nixon have we had a President who has demonstrated such utter contempt for one of the nation’s most fundamental freedoms, a right so fundamental that the Founding Fathers made sure to specifically include it in the Bill of Rights to ensure that Congress could not take action against critical reporting, a guarantee that was later extended to the states via the 14th Amendment. As Blake notes, though, there’s one big difference between Nixon and Trump. In Nixon’s case, the railing against the media was, for the most part, limited to private conversations in the Oval Office that didn’t become public knowledge until those tapes were made public. There were, of course, some instances in which concrete action was attempted by Nixon and the men who made up his inner circle, including attacks on Daniel Ellsberg after he leaked the Pentagon Papers to the media and some limited harassment of reporters by Nixon cronies. For the most part, though, Nixon railed against the news media in private in much the same way that his immediate predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, did when it came to the increasingly negative coverage that the Vietnam War was receiving from television and print media as the war dragged on. Additionally, there were only limited efforts on the part of Nixon’s White House to target the reporters who were digging around and uncovering the evidence that eventually led to the Watergate investigation and his resignation in the face of what was his inevitable impeachment and removal from office had he not left office voluntarily.

This threat is consistent with the way Trump has acted toward the news media since he entered the race for President. Throughout the campaign, Trump used his speeches and even media appearances where he was being given free time to address voters to attack reporters covering him and the networks covering his speeches virtually from beginning to end. Almost without fail, for example, he would falsely claim to the crowd that the networks covering the speech had turned off their cameras, or that they were deliberately not showing the size of the crowd on television. More often than not, this occurred at the same time that his speeches were being aired live and without interruption on all three cable news networks. Additionally, he frequently referred to reporters covering him in derogatory terms and encouraged people in the crowd to turn their ire toward the reporters in the press area in the back of the room. In many cases, this resulted in members of the pro-Trump crowd shouting vile epithets and even threats at individual reporters to the point where they would often need to be escorted out of the venue by law enforcement officers or Secret Service agents. During the campaign, the Trump campaign would often respond to negative coverage by banning reporters or even entire news organizations such as The Des Moines Register and The Washington Post, from receiving press passes to cover events and speeches only to them accuse them of trying to censor his message to the voters because they weren’t there to cover it.

This war with the media continued after Trump won the election and entered office in ways that have made it harder for reporters covering the Administration do their jobs and in the process made his Administration far less transparent than its predecessors. The daily White House Briefing, for example, has gone from being something that occurs on an almost daily basis to something that only occurs irregularly. Additionally, when the briefing does occur it’s often been the case that the White House Press Secretary, at first Sean Spicer and now Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has forbidden live television coverage of the event, forbidden live audio coverage, or simply not held the event at all and limited interactions with reporters to handing out press releases and statements that convey the Administration’s version of events without allowing for any follow-up questions. On those rare occasions when there has been a live broadcast press briefing it is typically far shorter than anything that has been held under previous Administrations, and Huckabee Sanders in particular has been very skilled at not answering reporters question or attempting to divert their attention with briefings about entirely irrelevant topics that could easily be handled by the press offices at one of the Cabinet Departments. Trump himself has only held two press conferences since becoming President, a pace that would put him at the bottom of the list of recent Presidents in that category if it continues for four years. And, of course, Trump has continued his war on the media on Twitter and it’s typically his habit to label any piece of negative information, whether it involves economic data, the Russia investigation, or bad poll numbers, as “Fake News.”All of this poses unique challenges to the entire concept of freedom of the press in the Trump Era. As I’ve said before, in Donald Trump’s war on the news media there’s only one right side, and it isn’t on the side of the President:

 

What was a clown show while he was a candidate, though, has turned into something far more serious now that he’s President. A President who calls the news media the “enemy of the American people” is a President who, quite simply, cannot be trusted with power. These are the words of an authoritarian dictator, not the words of the leader of a republic with a Constitution where freedom of speech and of the press are not only enshrined in our Constitution but are also the very lifeblood of American democracy. The fact that it has been reported that the Trump Administration had multiple contacts with Russia during the campaign is most certainly real news, especially in light of what we already know about Russian hacking and apparent efforts to influence the election itself apparently in Trump’s favor. At the very least, these allegations need to be investigated both by law enforcement and by Congress in a fair and efficient manner.  If it weren’t for someone reporting this, we wouldn’t know about it. Just like if it weren’t for reporters we wouldn’t have known about Watergate, or Iran-Contra, or the reports that Hillary Clinton was taking the extraordinary step of using a private email server while Secretary of State. All of these stories were broken first by what the so-called President is calling the “fake” news media.”  This is why I agree with Thomas Jefferson. Given the choice between government without newspapers and newspapers without government, I will choose the latter. In reality, of course, we don’t want to live in either a world where there is no government or one where there are no newspapers (i.e., news media). They are both essential to the survival of a free society, but as long as we have government, we need a free and independent media that isn’t being intimidated by a wannabe dictator in the White House. There are two sides in this war between Trump and the media, but only one of them is the right side.

Read more: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/theres-only-one-right-side-in-trumps-unjustified-war-on-the-news-media/#ixzz4vER1IPcv

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. KM says:

    Where in the hell are all of the conservative who fear governmental oppression and overreach? Where’s all the guys who fear the gubmint is plotting and coming for their liberties? This is what it looks like – say something the King doesn’t like and your Royal Warrant gets revoked.

    This kind of thing is completely unacceptable, to use the Office of the Presidency for enforcing de facto lese majeste. Any Republican who doesn’t immediately and loudly denounce this crap is effective saying the First Amend’s right to freedom of the press is now up for grabs…. and a reminder to all our conservative friends, the right to religious freedom and free speech is also in the First. Be careful what you let them do to it – you’ll sorely regret if after it’s gone and karma’s a bitch. FOX wouldn’t survive a liberal President if Trump get a precedent on this.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  2. Moosebreath says:

    @KM:

    “Where in the hell are all of the conservative who fear governmental oppression and overreach? Where’s all the guys who fear the gubmint is plotting and coming for their liberties? This is what it looks like – say something the King doesn’t like and your Royal Warrant gets revoked.”

    You mean you seriously expected them to be principled and invoke Second Amendment remedies for government overreach when they support the person doing the overreaching? If so, I have a bridge to sell you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  3. James Pearce says:

    The fact that the threat is empty, though, doesn’t make it any less dangerous

    No, it makes it more dangerous.

    NBC is going to roll over just like ESPN and the NFL did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  4. CSK says:

    And, to top it off, Vanity Fair is reporting that Steve Bannon has stated to close associates that Trump is so crazed he won’t last a full term.

    What we have occupying the Oval Office is a white trash hybrid of Captain Ahab and King Lear.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  5. Mikey says:

    @KM:

    Where in the hell are all of the conservative who fear governmental oppression and overreach?

    Nowhere, because they have never actually existed.

    Sure, we have people who make a lot of noise about that stuff, but it’s just pretext to justify keeping their guns when sensible people get upset about rooms full of six-year-olds getting murdered, and to make sure none of their tax money goes to helping any brown people.

    But when it comes down to it, the modern American conservative is an authoritarian who would love nothing more than to have Emperor Trump.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  6. Paul L. says:

    Outrage from same people who want Citizen United overturned because the US Government should be able to ban a documentary.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 33

  7. Franklin says:

    I didn’t live through Nixon’s administration, but I did predict Trump would be like Nixon way before he got elected. (Yay, me.)

    As Blake notes, though, there’s one big difference between Nixon and Trump …(something)

    Mmm, the actual big difference is that Nixon was significantly smarter (and yes I’m the one who was estimating Trump at an IQ of 115 yesterday).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. Franklin says:

    BTW, slap me down if I don’t understand this correctly, but isn’t the FCC under the Executive branch? The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law …”

    So technically, I guess if the FCC somehow revoked NBC’s broadcast license, it wouldn’t violate the 1st Amendment. Yes? No?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. @Franklin:

    Surely you aren’t serious in asking this question, are you?

    In case you are, Courts ruled long ago that the First Amendment applies to all branches of government and, via the 14th Amendment, to all branches of the state governments.

    In any case, the FCC exists pursuant to, and derives its authority from, various acts of Congress that have existed since the agency was first created in 1934. Therefore, the language of the First Amendment clearly applies to its actions and how it exercises the authority granted to it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  10. DrDaveT says:

    @Paul L.:

    Outrage from same people who want Citizen United overturned because the US Government should be able to ban a documentary.

    OK, I’m bored so I’ll bite: what the fnord are you babbling about? Is this another of those talking points that only Breitbart readers have ever heard about?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  11. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    Outrage from same people who want Citizen United overturned because the US Government should be able to ban a documentary.

    You mean like documentaries like the untruths put out there by the Swift Boat Veterans For “Truth” maggots? (I do not intend to disrespect maggots).

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  12. Scott F. says:

    I think this is far more pernicious than an attack on the freedom of the press. Trump’s MO is an all out War on Truth. By undermining the press, he reinforces his claim to being to sole arbiter of truth to the only audience that matters to him.

    The intended audience for Trump’s Twitter feed is his low-information base. He has a direct line to these people and he delivers them a steady stream of “believe nothing but what I tell you” BS. And they believe him, so no amount of investigative reporting or data or analysis has any validity in their eyes.

    And it’s working. They’re staying with him despite abject failure on every conceivable metric on Presidential success in his term to date.

    This dynamic is not going to change until his base starts to see his failures in their every day lives. And it’s likely that revelation will be a long day coming with the fantasy factories of the GOP and Fox News on alert to keep the Trumpkins’ distracted by what might be – “if only” the boogeyman Others weren’t standing in the way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. Sleeping Dog says:

    And in news of the weird…

    When your losing Rush…

    Limbaugh: Trump’s comments on NFL ‘starting to make me nervous’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. Daryl's other brother Daryll says:

    @Paul L.:

    Outrage from same people who want Citizen United overturned because the US Government should be able to ban a documentary

    If your opinion is based on nonsense, then your opinion is nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  15. Tyrell says:

    There was a time when the big 3 news networks were respected and were professional. We were raised on Conkrite, Brinkley, Reasoner, Smith, Murrow, and the amazing Charles Kuralt. Can you imagine Kuralt hollering at people the way they do these days? Sadly those days are long gone. The current news people would not be allowed on the parking lot. CNN was once a real news organization when Turner was in charge. Now it is more of a comedy or a Springer type show. I watched MSNBC until a few years ago. The hollering and berating guests became too much (Matthews, O’Donnell). There is nothing there anymore remotely close to professional journalism that we were used to and expected.
    I also enjoyed the “Capitol Gang” and “Crossfire”. Back then people could sit around and disagree with each other without the ugliness we see on the news now: hollering at each other, interrupting. There was also the calm demeanor of the McNeil – Lehrer news report.
    I have gone on to other sources that give factual news without the sensationalism and propaganda: USA Today, CNBC Popular Science, Scholastic News, Newsela, Smithsonian, Space Weather, PBS, Channel One. I also listen to the local radio for economic news. So there are reliable, trustworthy, and professional news sources.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    “It is the press, above all, which wages a positively fanatical and slanderous struggle, tearing down everything which can be regarded as a support of national independence, cultural elevation, and the economic independence of the nation.”
    ― Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    “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!”
    “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it.”
    REPUBLICAN Fuehrer Trump

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. Scott says:

    @Tyrell:

    We were raised on Conkrite, Brinkley, Reasoner, Smith, Murrow, and the amazing Charles Kuralt.

    I know time has a way of fading memory but I think you remember Nixon and Agnew regularly attacking the press. Remember “nattering nabobs of negativism”? This noise from Trump is from that same discredited well.

    I’m to the point where I want to organize “A Day without Trump”. I guess I will have to just pull the plug myself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  19. Franklin says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I’m gonna take the Fifth on that one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @KM:

    Where in the hell are all of the conservative who fear governmental oppression and overreach?

    It’s neither “oppression” or “overreach” when it is happening to those who you believe to be your “enemies” and “oppressors” and you (foolishly or otherwise) believe you are finally being vindicated and will get what you’ve wished for.

    But it may be Karma, and we know what a beeyotch she is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  21. Guarneri says:

    LOL You can crawl out from under your desks now. This site has become pure comedy.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 19

  22. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Guarneri:

    You contribute so much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I came here to say that the Pres has lost Rush, but I see that the link has already been posted.

    The quote that he said was specific, and surprisingly lucid:

    “There’s a part of this story that’s starting to make me nervous, and it’s this: I am very uncomfortable with the president of the United States being able to dictate the behavior and power of anybody. That’s not where this should be coming from,” Limbaugh said on his show.

    Limbaugh said he believed Trump’s motives were “pure,” but he argued that the president’s actions were unhelpful in the broader debate on players kneeling.

    “Trump is continually tweeting — I know what he’s doing, and I understand why he’s doing it, and his motives are pure; don’t misunderstand. But I don’t think that it is useful or helpful for any employee anywhere to be forced to do something because the government says they must,” he continued.

    “We don’t want the president being able to demand anybody that he’s unhappy with behave in a way he requires,” Limbaugh added.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/354985-limbaugh-trumps-comments-on-nfl-starting-to-make-me-nervous

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    I’m not sure why you think Trump has lost Rush. I see Rush as only hedging his bet, as he has done on Trump in the past. I’m also sure that as the Dittoheads call up Rush over the next few days to explain why they are on Trump’s side on this that he will come back to his full-throated support and explain to his followers that the National Anthem thing was just another failed attempt by The Left [TM] to derail and defeat Trump–who they don’t understand and can’t out think.

    Edit: I left out “Drive-by Media”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  25. MBunge says:

    @James Pearce:

    ESPN and the NFL aren’t doing anything because of Trump. They’re taking action because somebody somewhere in those organizations finally recognized they are in the entertainment business and it is bad for business to antagonize a big chunk of your audience.

    And while I would like to be sympathetic to Mataconis’ argument, it’s hard to ignore the fundamentally disingenuous manner in which he makes it. And I’m crediting him with disingenuousness instead of stupidity when he lionizes the news media that sheltered Harvey Weinstein, utterly failed in the run up to the Iraq War, gave noted birther Donald Trump all the free air time he wanted during his Presidential campaign, consistently defended Fox News as a legitimate journalistic endeavor, and has seen its single most imfluential entity, The New York Times, run several articles about all the wonderful features of Communism that you can see if you just overlook the mass murder, tyranny, and injustice.

    Have you ever heard the phrase “The Constitution is not a suicide pact?” Try this one. “The 1st Anendment is not The Mandate of Heaven.”

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  26. Andre Kenji says:

    @MBunge: As far as I remember when Hugo Chavez did exactly what Trump said he wanted to do everyone complained of authoritarianism. And they were right.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  27. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: And you’re Example Prime of what I said here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. KM says:

    @MBunge:

    Have you ever heard the phrase “The Constitution is not a suicide pact?” Try this one. “The 1st Anendment is not The Mandate of Heaven.”

    Neither is the 2nd but you wouldn’t know that from the people who say we shouldn’t be talking about gun violence after a record-breaking massacre. Talk about pot calling the kettle black…..

    Let me put this in terms you can understand: if Trump tries to dismantle the media solely to please his base, those efforts will be turned right around to take out FOX, Breitbart and any other hole deplorables decide to crawl to the second you loose power. That’s why Rush is hedging: he’s in the media. He knows damn well the second the tide turns it’s his ass on the chopping block via whatever methods Trump uses.

    If you can’t support basic freedom, at least support self-interest. Trump’s doing everything he can to make your lives utterly miserable once things go Dem. The more protections he takes away are the ones you won’t have when it’s your turn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  29. Moosebreath says:

    Somewhat OT, but Matt Yglesias today” should be required reading nonetheless. His conclusion:

    “Long story short, if party leaders say ridiculous things, your party’s rank and file will believe ridiculous things. If they say that news outlets that try to puncture the bubble of ridiculousness are exhibiting “liberal bias,” your party’s rank and file will learn to dismiss credible sources of information.

    And last but by no means least, if they lie about what their policy agenda will do, your rank and file will develop an accurate sense that they are being repeatedly betrayed by their leaders.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. gVOR08 says:

    @Moosebreath: Beat me to it. Worth noting that Yglesias’ column largely revolves around the gubernatorial race in Doug’s home state where Ed Gillespie is running an utterly despicable, and typically Republican, campaign against Ralph Northam. He’s tying Northam to the MS-13 gang based on nothing. The theme is how the establishment Rs created the base that they now claim to not understand.

    Meanwhile, behind me on the TV are a bunch of Republicans and Trump lying about the “disaster” and “nightmare” of Obamacare. If they didn’t lie, would Republicans have anything?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  31. Eric Florack says:
  32. Mikey says:

    @Eric Florack: Two things:

    1. That was literally nothing like what’s going on today with Trump.

    2. “Butwhatabout” isn’t an argument, it’s a stupid dodge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  33. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Apparently you, like Trump. have an IQ in the double digits, as you are clearly unable to grasp concepts and relationships.
    Your link has absolutely nothing to do with Comb-over Donnies threat to the 1st Amendment. Nothing.
    Dunning-Kreuger poster boy….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  34. Paul L. says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Daryll:
    so you are saying that the Citizen United was not because the US Government should be able to ban a documentary?

    What was the case about them? Corporations forming SuperPacs? Was US Government going after Citizen United for their SuperPac?

    @al-Ameda:
    tells the true that progressives what US Government to ban documentaries from those they believe are liars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  35. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    If you believe Corporations are entitled to more free speech because the have more money…then it’s good.
    The big problem with Citizens United is that it kicked open the door to dark money…there is no transparency.
    Again…your opinion is nonsense because it is based on nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  36. gVOR08 says:

    @Paul L.: No. Citizens United was about the validity of certain provisions of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act which prohibited airing corporate or union paid “electioneering communications” within 30 days of a primary.

    And Al simply pointed out that we know, not believe, know these people are liars. But, in fairness, how are Republicans to compete if they can’t lie?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  37. wr says:

    @MBunge: “and has seen its single most imfluential entity, The New York Times, run several articles about all the wonderful features of Communism that you can see if you just overlook the mass murder, tyranny, and injustice.”

    Yes, the editorial decisions of the New York Times eighty years ago are definitely a reason why the president should be able to decide which news outlets are allowed to exist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  38. Paul L. says:

    @gVOR08:
    McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act equals Law/Government
    prohibited airing equals banned
    corporate or union paid “electioneering communications” equals documentary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  39. al-Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    LOL You can crawl out from under your desks now. This site has become pure comedy.

    Don’t your ZeroHedge Russian masters have something to say concerning all of this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    @al-Ameda:
    tells the true that progressives what US Government to ban documentaries from those they believe are liars.

    Paul, can you please show me wherein I advocated that the U.S. Government should “ban documentaries from those they believe are liars.”

    No, I didn’t, because I believe that even those lice-infested Swift Boat Veteran-Maggots For “Truth” should be free to shop their fiction to any media outlet that who will air their digitized maggot waste.

    Donald Trump, our Troll-in-Chief, seems to want to inflict prior restraint on, or censor or deny licences to, those media whom he deems unacceptable, not me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. DrDaveT says:

    @Paul L.:

    prohibited [for 30 days] airing equals banned
    corporate or union paid “electioneering communications” equals documentary

    There you have it, folks. These are the ‘minds’ that elected The Donald. Temporary is the same as permanent, and advertising is the same as documentary. Orwell’s cadaver gapes in awe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  42. MBunge says:

    @wr:

    Go to the internet. Look for “New York Times + Red Century.” We’re discussing articles being published RIGHT NOW.

    I am often guilty of forgetting that other folks online may be half my age and have an entirely different frame of historical reference, but it’s hard to distinguish them from plainly ignorant fools.

    Mike

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  43. al-Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    I am often guilty of forgetting that other folks online may be half my age and have an entirely different frame of historical reference, but it’s hard to distinguish them from plainly ignorant fools.

    I agree, many of the 62 million Trump voters are all of that.

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  44. MBunge says:

    @al-Ameda:

    That doesn’t really have much bite when we’re talking about Trump opponents getting caught not having the slightest idea of what’s being discussed.

    Or in the wake of the single most important media entity in the anti-Trump establishment running an extended series of articles that, while not every single one is straight out of an Orwellian nightmare, have a premise and tone that can only accurately be described as bizarrely deranged…with that almost entirely indefensible decision being completely ignored by everyone else in the anti-Trump establishment.

    Mike

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  45. Mikey says:

    @MBunge:

    Look for “New York Times + Red Century.”

    There are 30-odd pieces contained in that project, going back to February, that address different aspects of the century since the Russian Revolution, and they certainly aren’t remotely touting “all the wonderful features of Communism that you can see if you just overlook the mass murder, tyranny, and injustice.”

    In short, you built yet another strawman, and dressed it in a bullshit jacket.

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  46. wr says:

    @MBunge: If I’m half your age, you’ll be in the record books. Meanwhile, you may be the towering genius among all your friends down at the Elks Lodge, but apparently you’re not smart enough to understand that the Times is running a series of hundred year old articles as a historical artifact, not as a rallying cry for its readers to go to Russia and join the Bolshevik revolution.

    Honestly, did you eat a lot of beef in England in the early 80s? Because I can’t think of another reason why your brain is deteriorating so quickly.

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  47. MBunge says:

    And in a fairly significant development on this subject, the New York Times has apparently issued new social media guidelines that prohibit reporters making partisan posts on Twitter. 11 years after Twitter started, but better late than never. The Times certainly isn’t doing it because *sarcasm on* all those conservative Tweets *sarcasm off* kept antagonizing liberal readers.

    Mike

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  48. MBunge says:

    @wr:

    You ultimately can’t blame people for being stupid. We only have the brains God gave us. You can blame people for being ignorant.

    These are not “hundred year old articles.” They are brand new stories, many if not most of which go out of there way to avoid the most significant aspects of the Russian Revolutuon’s legacy, because those tend to involve mass murder.

    Mike

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  49. MBunge says:

    @Mikey:

    When is the New York Times going to do a series of articles like this on the legacy of Nazi Germany? I’m sure there are a bunch of stories about National Socialism that don’t involve gas chambers or lamp shades made out of human skin. Or how about the Ku Klux Klan? Think we’ll ever see a series on them with a similar tone or intent?

    Communism murdered tens of millions of people and enslaved hundreds of millions more for several generations. They did all the things you’re afraid Trump will do and worse. And, as I stated, while not every article is this series is an all out whitewashing of that legacy, no sane and decent person could look at the series so far and think it is anything but a bizarrely deranged approach to the subject…particularly given the Times rather checkered history in this area.

    I don’t know whether you are crazy or evil but you should probably pick one and go with it to make the rest of your wretched existence easier.

    Mike

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  50. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: I assure you my existence is far from “wretched,” but I’d rather it be than align myself, as you have, with America’s worst-ever President and his band of merry morons, many of whom want to continue the work of Nazi Germany.

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  51. MBunge says:

    @Mikey:

    Congratulations! At least you can look in the mirror and know you are NOT one of those idiots who gets caught being completely, totally, utterly wrong but then keeps arguing. I happily accept your implicit acknowledgement that I am right and you were wrong about the Times’ Red Century nonsense. It is bizarrely deranged to publish this kind of a series about the most murderous source of evil in the 20th century.

    That you have to soothe you ego with lame insults is perfectly understandable. But, and this is just a suggestion, calling Trump the “worst-ever President” may go over big with your fellow mouth-breathers but it makes you look stupid to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of American history. Slave-raping Thomas Jefferson, thumb-twiddling-in-the-face-of-The-Great-Depression Herbert Hoover, and Iraq-War-starting George W. Bush all say “Hi!”

    Mike

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  52. Mikey says:

    @MBunge:

    At least you can look in the mirror and know you are NOT one of those idiots who gets caught being completely, totally, utterly wrong but then keeps arguing.

    If irony were physically harmful, you’d have dropped dead the moment you typed that.

    I happily accept your implicit acknowledgement that I am right and you were wrong about the Times’ Red Century nonsense.

    Declining to further bash your bullshit-attired man of straw is not an acknowledgement, implicit or otherwise, of anything besides my desire not to further waste time on a matter I had already addressed.

    But, and this is just a suggestion, calling Trump the “worst-ever President” may go over big with your fellow mouth-breathers but it makes you look stupid to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of American history. Slave-raping Thomas Jefferson, thumb-twiddling-in-the-face-of-The-Great-Depression Herbert Hoover, and Iraq-War-starting George W. Bush all say “Hi!”

    This is at best a lame and stupid attempt at whataboutism, and at worse an utterly risible attempt at asserting Donald Trump is a better President than the others you named.

    Either way, I call Trump the worst not because of what you imagine is my ignorance of American history, but because of my familiarity with it. He even makes W. look competent.

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