Donald Trump’s Media War ‘Could Weaken’ Free Speech

Donald Trump’s opposition of the media is becoming more and more pronounced as the business tycoon adjusts to being the leader of the free world. The mogul-turned-politician earned a reputation for hating the press during his presidential campaign.

According to the Daily Caller, Trump’s anti-media sentiments were expressed on the campaign trail.

“First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt and the pile on is so amazing,” Trump said in a debate.

His criticism became more aggressive as the months passed, with his Twitter feed becoming filled with posts about “fake news” outlets trying to undermine his agenda.

“Are we living in Nazi Germany?” asked Trump in one such post.

Most recently, Trump took to the social media website to call so-called fake news “the enemy of the American people.”

Yet what, exactly, makes a news outlet “fake”?

Not much, according to the Inquisitr. It appears that “Trump’s primary criteria for determining whether or not a media outlet is ‘fake’ hinges on whether or not the media outlet is supportive of the president and his policies.”

The difference was made clear in a February tweet which lambasted MSNBC and CNN, but lauded the conservative show Fox & Friends.

In a January speech at CIA headquarters, President Trump openly declared war on the media, according to CNN.

“As you know, I have a running war with the media,” said Trump. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.”

His hatred for the media escalated on Saturday at a Florida rally, reported the Inquisitr.

“When the media lies to the people, I will never let them get away with it. I will do whatever I can so they don’t get away with it. They have their own agenda and their agenda is not your agenda,” the president said.

Trump may have won the presidential campaign, but his campaign to control the media is just beginning. Many people are worried that his anti-media stance will lead to the restriction of free speech in America.

Jack M. Balkin, Knight professor of constitutional law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, warned in CNN that Trump “hopes to render the institutional media docile and pliable” and that he “could weaken the American system of free expression.”

“Trump is a master media manipulator,” cautioned Balkin.

“Donald Trump has been compared to a monkey with a machine gun — we don’t really know what he will do or how much damage he will inflict to our system of free expression and our democratic institutions. What we have seen so far, however, suggests that if he really wants to, he could undermine a lot of what it took more than two centuries to build.”

Twitter users have lashed out at President Trump, defending the media with the hashtag “#NotTheEnemy.”

President Trump has also been chastised by his own party. On Saturday, former Republican presidential nominee John McCain gave an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.“When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”

“I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time,” said Senator McCain. “That’s how dictators get started.”

[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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