Conservatives, Get Real with Yourselves and Denounce Trump’s Attacks on the Press

Defense of the First Amendment is something that conservatives have traditionally bragged about.

The president of the United States thinks “it’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write,” and I think what’s “frankly disgusting” is how many conservatives are defending his comments.

As I stated in my column on Sunday — after President Trump said he wanted “equal time” given to his viewpoint on television programs — I do completely agree that the coverage of this president has been incomparably negative, and often unfairly so. There is a bias; there is a vendetta, and the mainstream media would never subject a liberal politician to this kind of scrutiny. I also, however, explained that none of this matters when it comes to the government’s role in the press.

.. Mr. President: The immense freedom that this country grants to its press is not “disgusting”; it’s beautiful. One of the best things about this country is that our leaders have absolutely no say in our criticism of them, because it’s that freedom that keeps us free.

.. I cannot believe I even have to write this, but “conservative” does not equal “agreeing with the president no matter what he says or does because he won as a Republican.” It’s about a certain set of values and principles, and one of those principles is an unwavering commitment to free speech as guaranteed under the United States Constitution, even and especially when that speech is something controversial.

.. Calling for government control of the media is not a conservative view; it’s a fascist one. You’re fine to think that the government should control the media; you’re fine to espouse it — thanks, of course, to the First Amendment that you’re apparently totally fine with jeopardizing — but please understand that this idea is not compatible with conservative, or even traditionally American, values.

.. They’ll say: “But the media lie! Shouldn’t they be punished for their lies?” Okay, a few things about that. First of all, although the mainstream media are biased, and although journalists have incorrectly reported some things surrounding this administration, President Trump has a penchant for flippantly calling any news he does not like (true or not!) “fake.”

.. Second of all, President Trump himself has lied, misreported, or misrepresented information countless times. Do you think he should be punished, too? Oh, and then there’s this question: Have any media outlets that you do like ever made mistakes or shown a bias? Do you really want to risk putting those outlets in jeopardy by allowing the government to create these kinds of policies, knowing full well that future administrations — potentially, administrations you may not align yourself with — will be able to use those tools as well? Think!

.. First of all, what Antifa did in Berkeley is an unacceptable threat to speech, but Antifa did not take an oath on inauguration day vowing to protect our freedoms, so I think that probably we can hold the person who did do so to a little higher standard than those loons.

.. it is totally possible to disagree with Antifa violence and the president’s comments. It’s called being f&*$%+@ ideologically consistent, and I literally cannot believe that that is some kind of radical concept to so many people whom I know know better.

.. Look in the mirror and say: “It’s 2012. President Obama just threatened to revoke the license of Fox News Channel, and I am totally okay with that,” and see how it feels.

.. What good does this kind of base, childish rhetoric do for any single one of us? We’re all better than this; we’re smarter than this, and we had better get it together before it’s too late.