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.
For your edification, gentle readers, here is what that amendment, in part, means:
*The amendment does not establish qualifications, training, education, or any other parameters for members of the press.
*It does not bestow those that consider themselves to be journalists, by virtue of their employment, education, experience, finances or other consideration, with talent, intellect, morality, honesty, kindness or decency.
*Anyone can be a journalist. While I don’t consider myself, primarily, a journalist, I have occasionally broken stories or otherwise contributed to the public’s knowledge or debate about issues of local and national concern. I don’t get paid for it–mostly–but I work very hard to be accurate and honest, and to be civil.
*It accords the media with its “layers and layers of fact checkers and editors,” no more inherent credibility than a guy in his pajamas sitting in his living room with a computer and an Internet connection.
*The First Amendment does not require Americans to accord any deference or respect to any journalist at any time for any reason. They have to earn it, each and every day. So do we all in our daily dealings with others. Journalists are nothing–nothing–special. IN fact, they’re demonstrating, day after day, just how unworthy of respect they are.
*It does not prevent the American people from criticizing journalists, in the same, or harsher, terms than they use to criticize the American people. That’s the not “abridging the freedom of speech” part.
*It does not require the American people to believe anything journalists write or say, nor does it give journalists any special credibility to criticize the American people when they don’t believe journalists. That’s the earning respect every day part.
*It does not prevent the American people from laughing at journalists that think themselves smarter, more moral, and overall, higher beings than the American people. In fact, one could argue it actually encourages laughter–the whole freedom of speech thing again.
*It allows any American, including the President of the United States, to accuse the media of producing “fake news,” particularly when they are producing fake news.
*It allows every American to accord the POTUS more credibility than the media when he makes that accusation.
*It allows every American, including the POTUS, to call the media “enemies of the American People” when they lie, misinform, and act as agents of the Democrat Party propaganda machine rather than objective producers of fact.
*It allows every American to agree with the POTUS, and to act accordingly.
*It does not comport with the progressive/media view that any criticism of them, particularly by the POTUS, is somehow un-American, or violent.
*It does not accord journalists any credibility–very much the opposite–when they claim the criticism of the POTUS of their work is somehow dangerous for democracy.
*It allows the American people to get their news from scruffy little blogs like this–or even the corner barbershop–rather than the lamestream media.
*It does not prevent the media from being entirely populated by raving, incoherent, dishonest, dishonorable, America-hating Leftists, and they are working hard to complete that work.
*It allows me–or any American–to call them those things.
Thus endeth the lesson in the First Amendment for today, or at least, the formal portion of the lesson. There is, of course, a great deal more to observe about that amendment, but this will do for our purposes at the moment. What’s that? Why this topic? Why now?
Because, as I’m sure you noticed by the screenshot that headed this article, President Trump has been tweeting again. This time, on June 29, 2017, he directed a tweet blast at Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s morning show. Brzezinski and Scarborough–and their guests–have, on their poorly rated morning program, for a very long time, directed a more or less constant stream of calumny and invective at Mr. Trump, calling him a thug and an idiot, which are among the kinder things they’ve said. They even produced an unfunny and nasty faux-music video attacking Mr. Trump, and he apparently finally had enough.
From what I’ve been able to determine, Mr. Trump had been quite kind to both of them in the past when they had gone out of their way to be around Mr. Trump. He is, by all reports, a man that values personal relationships and loyalty. Their betrayal would not sit well with him—obviously.
The usual suspects have been demanding Mr. Trump’s head. Nancy Pelosi demanded he step down, as did Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who wants to impeach him, but observed we can’t wait for that, so he should resign immediately. As a Texan that got here as soon as I could, I apologize to the rest of America for Rep. Lee. She embarrasses most of us.
Predictably, the Republican Senate got into it. Lindsey Graham, of course:
And Lisa Murkowski:
Even Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had to take a shot at Mr. Trump, the leader of his party, illustrating yet again why Republicans have so earned the appellation of “The Stupid Party.” Note, gentle readers, the irony of Republicans accusing Mr. Trump of speaking when he should remain silent, even as they speak when they should remain silent about Mr. Trump’s speaking when he should remain silent. Do Republicans really need to criticize the leader of their party publically? Won’t Democrats do that for them? Every day? For free?
These particular tweets fall into the category of tweets Mr. Trump would probably be better off not making–no one is perfect. However, the idea that foregoing such tweets would in any way gain the respect or forbearance of the Media, the Democrats–I know: one in the same–or many Republicans, is nonsense. Mr. Trump’s mere existence is more than sufficient to incur their wrath and deranged hatred, to say nothing of all of the other reasons–irrational though they may be–they hate him.
Various media talking heads have suggested that by talking around them via tweets, and particularly by criticizing them directly, Mr. Trump is actually endangering democracy. He is threatening freedom. He is actually endangering their lives. This is, of course, the current progressive narrative: speech with which progressives disagree is actual violence, which empowers them to employ censorship and real violence to prevent or stop such speech. Because Brzezinski happens to be female, Mr. Trump obviously hates women. Apparently one can say anything about men without being accused of hating men. By leftist reckoning, they can’t be victims. Brzezinski and Scarborough are both white, but I’m sure they think he’s somehow a racist too.
What, actually, did Mr. Trump do? He called Brzezinski and Scarborough unkind names, and told a brief and unflattering story about them. He did, once, and in a very brief format, not illustrated with film clips or nodding sycophants, precisely what Brzezinski and Scarborough have done to him over and over again. But they’re journalists! He’s only the President of the United States. How dare he!
This is nothing more than today’s edition of the continuing media war against Mr. Trump. They absolutely hate the idea that he can bypass them with tweets. They absolutely hate the fact that tens of millions, perhaps more, Americans like his tweets, even if they don’t always agree with every word. They absolutely hate the fact, and will never acknowledge, so many Americans share Mr. Trump’s opinion of them, and love seeing a President, finally, fighting back against the people they know hate them. And most of all, they hate the reality they haven’t been able to get rid of Mr. Trump with their obvious lies. They seem, no longer, to have the power, which frightens them.
It’s also a way for the media to avoid informing the public of truly important news, such as the implementation of Mr. Trump’s temporary travel ban, and the passage, in the House of Representatives, of Kate’s Law, and a law pulling federal funds from sanctuary cities, all of which happened on the same day of Mr. Trump’s tweets. Rational people not enemies of America would tend to think these events much more important and worthy of news coverage than a tweet taking two minor media figures to task.
Is it too much to ask congressional Republicans to recognize what the media is doing and stop supporting the enemies of the American people?
Unless, of course, some of them are enemies of the American people?
The First Amendment lets me say that too.