Posts Tagged ‘press freedom’

Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

October 19, 2018

Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

“Donald Trump has praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking a Guardian reporter, saying that someone who performs a body slam is ‘my guy.’

Trump described in glowing terms the physical assault that occurred on 24 May 2017 when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, was asking Gianforte a question about health care policy in the course of a special congressional election in Bozeman, Montana. The US president incited cheers and chants from a crowd of about 8,000 supporters on Thursday night when he said: ‘Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand. Never.’

As the cheers rang out across an aircraft hangar in Missoula, Trump went on to say: ‘Any guy that can do a body slam … he’s my guy.’

Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil.”

— “Trump praises Gianforte for assault on Guardian reporter: ‘He’s my guy,'” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

In related news, PEN America is suing Mr.Trump in New York district court, claiming he “violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the Constitution,” a document which doesn’t consider the press to be the Enemy of the People.

More:

“Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.” Suzanne Nossel, Politico

“Suing Trump for endangering the First Amendment,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“Yale Law clinic helps writers group file First Amendment suit against Trump,” Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

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Body-Slamming Congressman Made False Statements to Police

November 29, 2017

Body-Slamming Congressman Made False Statements to Police

Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte of Montana, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for slamming a reporter to the ground and punching him during his election campaign, made false statements to police during the investigation of the attack, newly-released documents show. The reporter, Ben Jacobs of the Guardian, questioned the candidate about the CBO analysis of a House healthcare bill, and got screaming and assault as an answer and, although the attack was witnessed by an astonished Fox News crew, Mr. Gianforte blamed the reporter, an account he gave to police but later contradicted in court.

The day after the attack, Greg Gianforte was elected to the House. After all, Montana voters had already elected a dangerously impulsive rich guy who hates the media and press freedom to the White House, so adding another one to Congress was a reflex.

More:

“Rep. Gianforte’s account to police on assault of reporter appears to contradict his later apology,” Ellie Silverman, Washington Post

“Greg Gianforte misled police after assault of Guardian journalist, incident report shows,” Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

“Montana Congressman Who Assaulted Reporter Lied to Police About It,” Benjamin Hart, New York Magazine

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Montana Wrestles With the First Amendment

May 25, 2017

Montana Wrestles With the First Amendment
In Montana on Wednesday, a reporter attacked Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte with dangerous questions about the deadly House healthcare bill, so the candidate responded by body-slamming the journalist to the ground and punching him. Knowing Montana, that should get the GOP hopeful a victory in today’s special election as well as a Gallatin County misdemeanor conviction.

After all, Montana voters already elected a dangerously impulsive rich guy who hates the media and press freedom to the White House, so adding another one to Congress should be a snap.

More:

“Fox News crew ‘watched in disbelief’ as Montana’s Greg Gianforte ‘slammed’ and ‘began punching’ reporter,” Fred Barbash, Washington Post

“Three Montana newspapers rescind Gianforte endorsements after alleged body-slamming incident,” Louis Nelson, Politico
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Trump Aide’s Biting Defense

March 30, 2016

Trump Aide's Biting Defense

Corey Lewandowski, presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign manager, has been charged with committing battery against reporter Michelle Fields at a Trump campaign event in Florida earlier this month. Never mind the witnesses, video evidence, and police report; Candidate Trump defends his thuggish aide and blames the reporter.

Mr. Trump says he got Mr. Lewandowski a lawyer. What kind of lawyer did he get to defend a guy charged with manhandling a woman? One who quit his federal job when he was accused of biting a stripper.

More:

“Trump’s many reactions to battery charges against his campaign manager,” Rebecca Sinderbrand, Washington Post

Updates:

“Trump campaign shrinks Lewandowski’s role,” Ben Schreckinger and Kenneth P. Vogel, Politico

“Corey Lewandowski Called Co-Worker ‘F*cking B*tch,’ Yelled at Subordinate for Visiting Dying Grandma,” Patricia Murphy, Daily Beast

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Top image: Donald Trump piñata by Dalton Avalos Ramirez.

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Can the Feds Hear Your Phone Calls?

May 14, 2013

Can the Feds Hear Your Phone Calls?

Did the government eavesdrop on Associated Press reporters? No. G-men subpoenaed the records of phone calls, the numbers of calls to and from AP reporters. Unsavory, but entirely legal. 

But is the Federal government capable of recording and listening to all your phone calls, or are we talking through our tinfoil hat? It’s your call:

“Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?” Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian

“Is the U.S. Government Recording and Saving All Domestic Telephone Calls?” Bruce Schneier, Schneier on Security

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Reporters Kicked Out of Romney Event at the Newseum

June 14, 2012

Reporters Kicked Out of Romney Event at the Newseum

In Washington today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hid from the press behind a 74-foot-high marble engraving of the First Amendment at the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. The mission of the Newseum is “educating the public about the value of a free press in a free society ….” Mission accomplished.

More:

“Reporters Kicked Out Of Mitt Romney Event At Newseum,” Huffington Post

“Weirdly, Newseum Isn’t The Friendliest Location for Campaign Reporters,” Adam Martin, Atlantic Wire

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Falwell Teaches Freedom of the Press

April 13, 2011

Falwell Teaches Freedom of the Press

In a bold move to teach the importance of the First Amendment, Virginia’s Liberty University blocked the website of the Lynchburg News & Advance newspaper last week. University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. provided a simple explanation for taking a page from the playbook of Middle Eastern tyrants: “We’re a private organization and we don’t have to give a reason and we’re not.”

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