Trump Body Slams CNN Logo
No doubt you’ve seen the clip where President Trump body slams a CNN logo. Naturally, Trump retweeted it. The NYT has a good video back story to the tweet here.
The tweet was beneath the dignity of the presidency. But what else is new?
Media Condemns Trump Body Slam
I thought the clip was amusing. But others saw it as an incitement to violence against members of the media. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press issued a statement reflecting that view.
As it happens, I’m a member of the steering committee for RCFP. It’s an organization with a proud history defending unpopular speech. This is a case where we should have defended unpopular satire, not condemn it.
Here’s the RCFP statement:
On Sunday, President Donald Trump made a public statement on Twitter that glorified physical violence against members of the press.
Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, made the following statement:
“We condemn the president’s threat of physical violence against journalists. This tweet is beneath the office of the presidency. Sadly, it is not beneath this president.
“No one should be threatened with physical harm for doing their jobs. Journalists are your neighbors, they’re your friends. Journalists perform a critical function in our society, one the Founding Fathers felt was so necessary that they enshrined it first in the Bill of Rights.
“They wrote that ‘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.’
“Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy. The press are the people’s window into the halls of power, and most importantly, they are the people’s check on that power. When the president attacks the press, he attacks the people.”