Don’t Expect the First Amendment to Protect the Media

When President Trump declared on Saturday that reporters are “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” it was not the first time he had disparaged the press. Nor was it out of character when, later that same day, his press secretary threatened “to hold the press accountable” for reporting truthful information that was unflattering to Mr. Trump. Episodes like these have become all too common in recent weeks. So it’s comforting to know that the Constitution serves as a reliable stronghold against Mr. Trump’s assault on the press.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Expect the First Amendment to Protect the Media

  • January 25, 2017 at 9:13 am
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    here’s your issue: for whatever (largely false) reason you believe that it is the media that are the carriers of freedom of expression … and here’s the surprise: no, the amendment speaks of citizens, not the media … to view, for example, the potential removal of media offices from the white house as an assault on the first amendment is taking matters too far: nowhere have i found a law, on any books, too, that says some of the media, those that call themselves major, must have offices (funded by taxpayers) in the white house … if you cannot cover the presidency without having offices in the white house, perhaps you ought to change careers …

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    • January 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm
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      Peter, even setting aside the long tradition of providing space in the White House to the press corp, it has historically been for the mutual convenience of both the Executive Branch and those covering it. And, clearly, it will not deter the Fourth Estate from performing its all-important “watchdog” function. However, the symbolism of removing the press from the building should not be lost on any of us.

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