President Trump on Wednesday threatened NBC over a news report he called “pure fiction,” and he lashed out at the news media, declaring that it is “frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
“People should look into it… The press should speak more honestly,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I’ve seen tremendously dishonest press. It’s not even a question of distortion.”
This comes on the heels of the president suggesting he might want to challenge the broadcasting licenses of outlets that run stories he doesn’t like.
Which came on the heels of Trump calling on Congress to investigate American media outlets that publish news he disapproves of.
Which came on the heels of Trump telling a rally audience that journalists are “really, really dishonest people” and “bad people,” who “don’t like our country.”
Which came on the heels of Trump describing the media as “the enemy of the American people.”
Which came on the heels of Trump asking whether it’s time to “change libel laws,” presumably to allow him to target news organizations he doesn’t like in court.
Which came on the heels of Trump touting the benefits of the British system, where the First Amendment doesn’t exist.
Which came on the heels of a campaign season in which Trump threatened to sue the New York Times, suggested he’d target Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, and pulled the credentials of outlets whose campaign coverage he disapproved of.
In February, the president delivered a speech in which he boasted, “I love the First Amendment. Nobody loves it better than me. Nobody.”
Perhaps this was an ill-considered attempt at humor, and the rest of us weren’t in on the joke.