Trump Tweets Credentials of “Corrupt Media” Should Be Taken Away

Trump Tweets Credentials of “Corrupt Media” Should Be Taken Away

President Trump has referred many times to “fake news” as coverage of him or his administration that he believes to be wrong. On May 9, however, he wrote that “Fake News is working overtime” even in the face of “the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else…” Then he wrote that “91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake).” The central role of the First Amendment is to protect the people in their writings about government affairs and government officials—and especially when it is negative, as that is when the government is most likely to try to punish writers. As James Madison wrote in his Virginia Report of 1800, freedom of the press protects the “right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right.” Madison continued:  “Let it be recollected, lastly, that the right of electing the members of the government, constitutes more particularly the essence of a free and responsible government. The value and efficacy of this right, depends on the knowledge of the comparative merits and demerits of the candidates for public trust; and on the equal freedom, consequently, of examining and discussing these merits and demerits of the candidates respectively.”

May 11, 2018 Access, Press, Threats
Gene Policinski, Chief Operating Officer, Newseum Institute and First Amendment Center of Newseum Institute

Gene Policinski Commentary: The White House is Wrong. A Free Press Is ‘The People’

The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Gene Policinski, originally published this commentary on March 8, 2018, in the Austin American-Statesman, and then Newseum blog, and has given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint.   _________________________________________________________________________________ An angry U.S. president feels hounded by the news media and is infuriated and discouraged with the intense and personal criticism of his domestic and international policies. I[Read More…]

March 12, 2018 Access, Below the Fold, Press
Letter from the Federal Farmer, Poughkeepsie Country Journal. Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved.

History Speaks: Federal Farmer Number 16, 1788

Letters from the Federal Farmer was a series of 18 articles published in the Poughkeepsie Country Journal in late 1787 and early 1788. The articles provided a broad articulation of the Anti-Federalist criticism of the proposed Constitution. In Number 16, the Federal Farmer addressed freedom of the press. The Federalists argued that a bill of rights was not needed, in[Read More…]

January 29, 2018 History Speaks, Press