Friday, February 24, 2017
A THREAT TO US?
Friday speaking at CPAC “They always bring up the First Amendment,” Mr. Trump said of journalists. “Nobody loves it better than me.”
The First Amendment “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The Constitution applies to the Administration branch of our Democracy just as it does to Congress. This has been upheld in the past by the Third Branch, the Judiciary.
Yet at almost the same time Trump was speaking; Press Secretary was holding a “gaggle” an informal press conference which according to the Washington Post “White House press secretary Sean Spicer banned reporters from CNN, the New York Times, Politico, the Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed from attending a “gaggle,” a non-televised briefing, but gave access to a number of other reporters, including those representing conservative outlets.
The White House said the decision was not made to exclude journalists from organizations that have been the most critical of Trump in their reporting in favor of those who are more favorable. Although the invited included Fox News, Breitbart and the Washington Times — all considered sympathetic to the administration — the approved list also included CBS, NBC, ABC, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Time and the Associated Press.
However, reporters from AP and Time decided against attending the briefing in protest of the exclusion of other news outlets.”
There is no secret that relationships between this Administration and the liberal press are strained. It is no secret that Trump will attack anyone who opposes him.
Indeed just Thursday Bannon said before the CPAC: “It's going to get worse every day for the media.”
In December to Politico Spicer said: “We have a respect for the press when it comes to the government that that is something that you can't ban an entity from — conservative, liberal or otherwise. That's what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.” (Washington Post Friday).
Although White House Deputy Comms. Dir. Raj Shah denied reports of a gaggle block against CNN, NYT, Politico and others didn’t what Spicer did Friday February 24 completely contradict that statement.
It is very questionable that Spicer could or would act without the approval or direction of his superior.
I continue to fear that our form of Democracy is under attack from an autocratic self-centered President and his henchmen. Only Nixon in my life time had been a greater threat.
Congress must once again have the guts to confront a rouge President. And not adhere to party loyalty.