White House Actively Looking to Restrict Press Freedom

From ABC News

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the Trump administration has “looked at” changes to libel laws that would curtail press freedoms, but said “whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”

President Trump frequently slams the press for its coverage of him and in March suggested changing libel laws.

Libel is when defamatory statements about someone are published. But the American press enjoys some protection from lawsuits claiming libel because of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech rights.

At least, that’s how it should be…

When Priebus was asked by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl if the president would really want to pursue a change in libel laws, the White House chief of staff said it’s been considered.

“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at,” Priebus told Karl in an exclusive interview on “This Week” Sunday. “How that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”

Priebus said the media needs “to be more responsible with how they report the news.”

He also addressed another First Amendment issue on flag burning. Priebus hinted that the Trump administration may look at punishing flag burners, as Trump suggested in a tweet during the transition.

This is how freedom of speech is under attack, folks. It’s not getting banned from privately-owned blogs, or being dis-invited from speaking at a college, or being forced to follow someone’s commenting guidelines…


It’s the government actively working to curtail the press’s ability to report on the news. It’s the government actively working to silence people.

That is how free speech is violated.


  1. says

    It’s not exactly that free speech is under attack -- it’s rather that they are trying to adjust the cost of free speech. So someone rich can speak freely but can muzzle someone who can’t afford to lawyer up and stand the rich person’s lawsuits.

    They still want free speech: as long as you’re saying nice things about the rich and powerful, you can say all you like.
    They still want free speech: as long as the rich and powerful are calling you nasty names, they can do that all they like.
    It’s just asymmetrical freedom.

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