In a surprising twist, right-wing media founder Matt Drudge called out President Donald Trump for attacking the free press on Wednesday morning, and now conservatives have turned on him for it.
In response to multiple news outlets confirming some claims made by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti about Michael Cohen taking money from a company linked to a Russian oligarch with connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump threatened to revoke press credentials.
The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
Drudge, who founded the right-wing Drudge Report in the 1990s and is a key figure in right-wing media, replied by warning that Trump’s threat could lead to licensing journalists, an action that would destroy the First Amendment guarantee of a free press.
I fear the future result of Trump’s crusade on ‘fake news’ will be licensing of all reporters. [Dems already floated this in the senate pre-Trump.] The mop up on this issue is going to be excruciating…
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) May 9, 2018
And it could happen. After all, Trump has threatened licenses before.
Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
Broadcast licenses are issued to local television stations by the FCC. The commission does not grant licenses to national networks, like NBC, ABC or CBS.
If the federal government were to require the press to obtain licenses to report the news in any way, Trump could easily stack the FCC with partisans who would deny licenses to reporters and outlets he considers his “enemies.”
In other words, any outlet or reporter who asks a question and says or writes something he doesn’t like would be denied.
But many conservatives did not like that Drudge called Trump out, and promptly attacked him on Twitter.
That’s on the Media not Trump. You guys need to start policing each other instead of being complicit by silence
— Airborne Heel 🇺🇸 (@abnheel) May 9, 2018
All other professions are licensed…..except prostitution ……I guess there are some parallels there😉
— cccp3-o (@cccp3o) May 9, 2018
Not Trumps fault. If propagandists had better ethics and values perhaps your “profession” wouldn’t be in this mess. Don’t blame the patient for malpractice, blame the DOCTOR.
— Kevin Walsh (@KevinWalsh1956) May 9, 2018
Yes, much better to have us believe everything that the liars say. 🙄
— RomeGamer (@GamerRome26) May 9, 2018
Why the quotes around fake news?
— John Schwartz (@john_schwartz) May 9, 2018
Then they should start by kicking bad Reporters out of the press corps.
— Ollie Mathews (@OllieMathews14) May 9, 2018
Your “Never-Trump” is showing, Matt.
— Elizabeth Mays (@Elizabe02023897) May 9, 2018
What happened to you WTH is this
— Brian Husted (@bhusted124) May 9, 2018
I don’t even bother with @DRUDGE_REPORT They are way behind and are leaning to the establishment. Not interested.
— #JustTheTweets (@Texastrue11) May 9, 2018
If that’s what it takes to force reporters to be honest then so be it. Mainstream media has been a disgrace to news reporting since election night 2016.
— Elaine Whiteside (@D_ElaineW) May 9, 2018
Conservatives are so blinded by Trump and his hatred of the media that they are literally attacking one of their own just for speaking out against him. But seeing as Drudge is one of the founders of the right-wing propaganda machine that spouts pro-Trump messages today, he’s now reaping what he sowed.
But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong about Trump’s attack on the media. Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous and is putting us on the path to authoritarianism. We need to heed his warning and do something to make sure Trump doesn’t destroy the free press that serves as a check on our government.
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