On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump once again threatened to “change libel laws” to pursue The New York Times, an alarming attack on the first amendment and the freedom of the press.
Trump shared an article from the New York Post, one of the New York Time‘s competitors, arguing that the Times‘ “dishonesty” only helps, not hurts, the president.
Along with the article, the POTUS said:
@nytimes has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
Before he became President in late January, Trump had made similar threats, but now as President, his statement is far more serious.
While The New York Times and other outlets have at times appeared biased against the president, this in no way should cause the president to threaten legal action, thereby stifling and stunting the fourth estate.
This is especially alarming and outrageous considering the fact that there is a wealth of legitimate criticisms to be made about the President. With a failed healthcare plan, rejected budget, shut-down executive orders, and a massively low approval rating, Trump is the real one “failing” here.
President Trump has made it clear that when a media source or person praises him, they are simply the best, but when a well-established and well-respected outlet is rightfully critical of the President of the United States, that means they must be SHUT DOWN.
After all, if the New York Times is failing as Trump claims it is, what need is there for legal action against it? Just like Obamacare, Trump can simply wait for NYT to “implode.”
The Presidency is the number one punching bag for everyone in America. President Obama handled baseless accusation after baseless accusation (even from our current President both before and after the election) without once threatened to restrict the freedom of the press.
Whether or not you’re personally a fan of NYT or think they’re crooked and bought, the press is a vital element of our democracy. We must not let our President infringe on those rights in any way.