What does the 1st Amendment say about the press?


 "The amendment as adopted in 1791 reads as follows:

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."   Wiki


For those who may not have noticed, the federal government has three co-equal and mutually independent branches:  Executive, Legislative and Judicial.  President Trump is not a member of the Congress, nor is he the Congress.  He clearly has no control over anything the Congress does.

Therefore the 1st Amendment's restriction does not apply to the president and he has made no effort to restrict the operations of the press.

Yes, he is a buffoon, but his utterances concerning the press are not a violation of the 1st Amedment.  pl  



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46 Responses to What does the 1st Amendment say about the press?

  1. And doesn’t the president have the same First Amendment right of free speech as the rest of us? Isn’t he allowed to express his opinions? Or does he give away his First Amendment rights when he’s sworn in?

  2. Morongobill says:

    And no where do the words “politically correct” appear. If the people feel that he is too crude, they can always go to the polls and take out their displeasure.
    Or go to Twitter 😉

  3. a says:

    I agree with your wife
    he is unfit to lead this great country
    now what?

  4. turcopolier says:

    You seem to think that because I insist on the exact meaning of the constitution that I am his follower. I am not. My wife and I share the opinion that he is unfit for office. We also very much wish to see him dealt with on a constitutional basis. pl

  5. dilbert dogbert says:

    As the media are private businesses, the administration has ways to make them take notice of the displeasure of the president.

  6. turcopolier says:

    dilbert Dogbert
    So long as Trump does not take legal actin to suppress the press, you and others who want a piece of him on that basis have nothing to work with. I know a lot about the press and media businesses. I have been excluded from the media run public square by these “businesses” and their political allies. This was long before the emergence of DJT. pl

  7. divadab says:

    Democratic and Republican Parties are also private entities. Private entities not contemplated in the Constitution. How is it that two private corporations control the Presidential debates, excluding views other than those they agree are acceptable to their sponsors and controllers? In this the media is complicit, controlled by the same entities that control the political parties.
    The systematic corruption of the federal political machine has reached a point where it’s even apparent to the rubes. People are so desperate for relief that they reject the bs messaging and SO now we have President Trump as a result, who actually tells the truth occasionally. (“of course the Clintons came to my daughter’s wedding – I gave a million dollars to their foundation”).
    It’s sickening that we are ruled by the most corrupt and venal, who lie as a matter of habit and sell their sacred oaths to the highest bidder.

  8. Castellio says:

    Complicit is far too gentle a description of the role of the media. I would suggest: “In this the media is active and aggressive, controlled by the same entities that control the political parties.”
    However, the issues they support are not simply about profit, very much about foreign policy (Israel) and domestic legislation (corporate special privileges). They got everything they wanted from the Clinton 1, Obama, and Clinton 2 had promised them everything forward.
    Trump had not promised them everything they wanted going forward, which is a major reason why so many decided he’d be a better choice.

  9. LondonBob says:

    A lot of folks still don’t see the method in Trump’s ‘madness’. Misdirection.

  10. dilbert dogbert says:

    The above was a simple statement that the regulatory powers of the administration can be used as a weapon. Administrations have constitutional powers as well as those given by congress and the courts.

  11. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang,
    For what my opinion is worth, I fully concur with you and your wife.
    I don’t understand the ins an outs of a constitutional approach to dealing with his removal.
    How about a posting on just how that could be accomplished.
    I am not being facetious. I would really love to read your thoughts on the topic.

  12. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    Not facetious? the 25ty Amendment or impeachment. Work it out for yourself. I didn’t say it would be possible short of the 2020 election.. pl

  13. turcopolier says:

    dilbert Dogbert
    of course administrations have illegal powers hat can be used. And of course you are a gutless bastard if you don’t resist them pl

  14. Bill Herschel says:

    I think Trump himself is wrestling with the idea of how to deal with a free press. It’s when it comes to war that a “free” press tends to disappear. How can this guy possibly not want to start a war? He’s painted himself in a corner on legislation, because the 50 vote rule only goes for budget reconciliation. War has got to be the only way out. North Korea? Problem is, Israel and Saudi Arabia could care less about NK. Iran? A very, very tough nut to crack and one that may not fly in Congress, although with the right false flag, you can do anything. Does he have something left besides war? I don’t think so.

  15. turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    The senate can change to a 50 vote rule for everything. pl

  16. a” – You state that Trump is “unfit to lead this great country.” Probably. You’ve had no one fit for that since Kennedy. Even on Kennedy there were many Americans who thought him unsound but he certainly had the presence and the weight for the job. You were never going to get anything like that from what was on offer in your last presidential election.
    I should explain that Trump lost this distant outsider after Khan Shaykun. I’ve been looking at the old posts here and had I paid closer attention to them at the time he might well have lost me earlier. So I’m prejudiced. But:-
    – Juncker makes statements that are more oafish than any I’ve heard quoted from Trump.
    – If you want to see boorish vulgarity past anything I’ve seen from the States then look at some of the videos of the Bundestag in full flow.
    – Cameron, with his exceptionally good academic credentials, was often accused of not thinking things through, last minuting, and wasting time on games on his phone instead of getting on with his work. He didn’t have ADHD or similar but for all the good he did he might as well have had.
    But over here we’ve got so used to seeing our lot comporting themselves with all the seemliness and attention to duty of apes in a zoo that we’re perhaps less conscious of such failings.
    The American politicians do as a rule have better manners and more gravitas than the European so I imagine you’re expecting more from Trump than we might expect here from our top politicians. Fair enough. Moving away from that consideration there’s another.
    The programme Trump was elected on was the only programme that offered a way out of the blind alley in which all Western countries now find themselves. With the exception of one or two central European politicians, Trump’s recognition of and approach to those problems was unique – just about the first time any of us have heard common sense from a politician for a long time. My personal opinion, an opinion that the Colonel was kind enough to let me obtrude on his site although he himself was always, I think, very dubious indeed about Trump, was that Trump was a long shot but the only one. Maybe, in the short time there is to turn things round, the only one who might pull it off.
    Disillusioned though we all for our various reasons might now be, I think that’s still the case. He’s there, even were he to be got rid off there’s no one else with that programme around, you either work with what you’ve got or you get nothing.

  17. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang,
    Well I don’t think much of the man, but as long as he doesn’t start a nuclear war. I can live with him until the next election cycle. Of course, I will still find myself in a bad place. I could never support another Democrat in the Clinton, Obama mold.
    This past election I voted for Jill Stein, knowing full well that she had no chance.
    Before election day, I supported and contributed to Bernie Sanders campaign, but now I feel he was not much better than the other Democratic choices.
    The potential candidate that I thought had the most chance of actually doing the job well was Jim Webb, and I contributed to his campaign until the bitter end.
    Ultimately, I guess he just did not have the stomach for it.
    If you ran, I would definitely back you.
    Unfortunately, I have the feeling that you would not be any more able to tolerate the bull than Jim Webb would have been.
    Am I correct in thinking that to be true?

  18. VietnamVet says:

    Donald Trump is one of the oligarchs. He acts like one. I think the President wants to wear down corporate media with continuous school yard bullying. The trouble is the five media moguls are wealthier, smarter and more powerful. Government is subservient to the Davos Elite. He can’t sic the Justice Department on his tormentors without a civil war breaking out. Eric Holder told DOJ and FBI Employees; “Be Strong”. I was in denial until the Ukraine mess restarted the Cold War. If history is any guide, the little people will be crushed by the elephants stomping around.

  19. TonyL says:

    Thank you. I am happy that finally you have come to this conclusion publicly. I think I understood that you might have had this judgment all a long (that’s my impression from reading your writing about the election). But being a stateman you are, you were patiently waiting for DJT himself to prove that he is unfit for office.

  20. Tyler says:

    The media still hasn’t realised that he is suckering them and the Dems into his house of mirrors. People can see the hypocrisy of the Left crying crocodile tears, and it just pushes them to Trump.
    Media: Kathy Griffin beheading Trump and him being murdered in Julius Caesar are aok. Scalise’s shooter had nothing to do with violence.
    Trump: *tweets gif*
    Media: omg violence against journalists.
    None of this comes as a surprise to anyone who voted for Trump. All I see is a lot of slave mentality along the lines of “You won but do what I say”, because all the Left has done the last fifty years is “me such a victim” narratives.

  21. turcopolier says:

    That is correct. pl

  22. Gene O says:

    Not a million, only 100K. And the money came from the Trump Foundation, not from Trump himself.

  23. Jack says:

    Considering that our highly concentrated media, owned by a few corporations, now routinely publish known falsity and claim 1st amendment protections for outright propaganda, it is the height of hypocrisy when they complain and agitate against Trump’s use of social media to counter them.
    Maybe it is time to re-examine the appropriateness of the Fairness Doctrine, and remove the concentration in media power by breaking up the media oligarchy.

  24. Fred says:

    Like Obama did with the IRS? Sauce for the goose it may be but that’s a damn poor principle to use to run a Republic.

  25. steve says:

    Just for the record, many other contemporary figures have been put in the Caesar role. It is a pretty common thing to do. Plus, if you are familiar with the play, Caesar is definitely not the villain.

  26. Tyler says:

    Just for the record, when it was with Obama, he was cast as a noble saint king.
    Lets not play pretend and call a spade a spade, eh.

  27. Tyler says:

    Dance puppets dance.
    But yeah, let’s keep on assuming how dumb the billionaire who put to bed the Clintons and Bushes to bed during his first serious run might be. Or keep on trying to shove our 2004 paradigms into the 2017 hole.

  28. ISL says:

    Ummm, perhaps reading up on the Fairness Doctrine at Wikipedia* might be in order.
    Nowhere are media required to tell the truth. Just when was the major media narrative not propaganda? Just when smug John Oliver spins a story? Why would you ever expect the media story to deviate from supporting the status quo – i.e., the borg? I expect sharks to bite at the smell of blood. Its what sharks do.
    Nowhere are politicians required to tell the truth. If they lie too much, vote them out. Personally, I couldnt care less what they say, I care what they do.
    The best politicians fine tune their lying to progress their agenda. Presumably they were elected to implement their agenda. That’s also called diplomacy. Socrates didn’t do well with truth telling. Do you tell your wife her hindside is large or are you diplomatic?
    Meanwhile, thanks to the internet, alternative opinions (like SST) are readily accessible – and readily ignored by the lame stream media.
    IMO, the media companies should be broken up based on the Sherman anti-trust act(as should Apple, Google, etc.). Monopolies (of any sort) distort the political system to preserving monopoly – not to finding the best solutions to social problems.
    **The fairness doctrine that was eliminated in 1987 (30 years ago!).

  29. divadab says:

    @Gene – I guess invites were cheaper than I thought….

  30. divadab says:

    @Castello – “Complicit is far too gentle” – yes well the propaganda apparatus maintains plausible deniability…. ;>}

  31. Fred says:

    Perhaps the right should do a production of The Taming of the Shrew. It would at least be a more accurate reflection of our circumstances. Of course no one on Broadway would have the courage to do so since the left would force them into bankruptcy as quickly as possible. So we are left with plays featuring assassination.

  32. jld says:

    Nowhere are media required to tell the truth
    Nowhere are politicians required to tell the truth

    Of course NOBODY is “required” to do anything honest but if too many indulge in this freedom and only a handfull stubbornly keep with ancient (outdated…) virtues the whole society turn to shit.
    Haven’t you noticed?
    This is not specific to the US but (almost) worldwide.

  33. Eric Newhill says:

    I think Trump is doing the best he can to do exactly what we elected him do. I agree with you and the article you link to and do not buy into the idea that he is too stupid, crazy or otherwise mentally or emotionally impaired to do the job effectively; even if our esteemed host has come out with an assessment that he is.
    My main complaint with Trump is one of style over substance; which means it’s more of a nitpick along the lines of personal bias and, therefore not entirely consequential. His MENA foreign policy concerns me, but I am still on the fence (e.g. IMO, tossing a few missiles at some backwater air station after giving the Russians a heads-up was probably a smart political move at the time given all the Russia collusion nonsense).
    Now, “too stupid, crazy or otherwise mentally or emotionally impaired to do the job effectively” does definitely describe the media establishment and has for a long time. Add to the list of attributes, “craven” , “dishonest”, “irresponsible to the point of being sinister”; attributes that became blaringly apparent in the build up to the Iraq War.
    That the media can be thrown completely off course by the tweeting of “covfefe” say it all. The media has peddled the lies it has been ordered to peddle for so long that it has lost its critical faculties; lost all substance. This works as long as leftists are in charge because the left is based and sold to others on lies and uncritical thinking (e.g. we need single payer because Medicare can administer for less than private insurance, men and women are all the same, a man in a dress is woman, police are genociding blacks….). As soon as their false reality is challenged they have nothing to fall back on except childish distractions. And Trump gives them plenty to suck on in that regard; IMO, and per the link, deliberately.
    Trump is not impeding the media at all. They are doing it to themselves.

  34. ISL says:

    I agree, re: the shit hitting the fan; however, I think it is NOT because our media suddenly lost its way, but because the 99% always lose – and the 99% know this – even if the media tells a different story every day – “who ya gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?” – from another age.
    Either one believes in democracy – or one doesnt (despot or philosopher king are not democracy). The key is ensuring voices are heard – consider an empty Trump podium or an uncovered Bernie in a full ampitheater). Facts (not alternate facts) are the antidote.
    In many situations, you are compelled to tell the truth. In court, when talking to a border agent, police, filing job applications, and on and on and on.
    The founders were very aware of the need to not prescribe “truth” by the press.

  35. Croesus says:

    “The programme Trump was elected on was the only programme that offered a way out of the blind alley in which all Western countries now find themselves. “
    What programme was that? Cut US $20 trillion debt by shoveling $800 billion to the military on the slogan (refuted by Einstein) that “the best way to maintain the peace is by preparing for war?” Frame a foreign policy that comports with the wise advise of George Washington by granting special favors, billions of dollars in weaponry, and access to all of US secrets to an ethnically exclusive enclave of 7 million, in preference to honest commerce and respect for the other 100 million +- people in that region?
    Regarding that debt: I’ve heard no plan from the Trump admin. to rehabilitate the US financial system; I don’t think it can be done; I base that assessment on comments Alan Greenspan made to a Senate committee Oct 23 2008: “There’s a flaw in the system that I was not aware of.”
    But 8 1/2 years on and the US Congress has not taken Greenspan’s fractious concession to heart.
    US financial system is systemically corrupt; US military is deployed to impose and defend that essentially corrupt. Trump is no messiah; it’s not clear he even has the insight or courage to suggest that the entire scheme must be overhauled, much like Obamacare: TITTGASO: Tear it to the ground and start over.

  36. turcopolier says:

    I have consistently pressed for a 50% reduction in US ground forces. pl

  37. steve says:

    Tyler- How did you get tickets to attend that? We couldn’t get tickets to the recent Caesar play, but friends who did said that the actor played Trump pretty positively with a lot of charisma and warmth. Again, if you are not familiar with Shakespeare, and Julius Caesar in particular, killing off royalty was done carefully in those plays. Assassination was not looked upon fondly by royalty. After Caesar is killed everything falls apart. In general, I think most critics would rate Caesar as the good guy, or certainly not as a real villain. Too many speeches praising him. (The list of politicians portrayed is actually much longer than cited in the Atlantic article.)

  38. steve says:

    Probably not going to work. There is a lot of sexual tension and humor in Taming of the Shrew. What normal, healthy man could begin to see Hillary that way? Ugh! Also, still having trouble seeing Julius Caesar as an “assassination” play. Brutus has 4 or 5 times the number of lines that Caesar does. The assassination is really a tool that allows Shakespeare to explore ideas of honor, friendship and love of country. (I am very much in the Brutus as protagonist camp. Should acknowledge that others disagree.)

  39. You are of course right on all points and if there were another few hundred million who agreed with us then the way to a more sensible way of running our affairs in the West would be clear.
    Or would it? Why should the other few hundred million automatically agree with our diagnoses and our prescriptions? They might have better ones and for sure they will have different ones. All one can hope for is that out of the whole mix something more viable will emerge.
    There are blocks on that mechanism at present. The block on information. The block on the political process resulting from the arm-lock the cronies currently have on that process. Trump seemed to offer at least some route round those blocks.
    As ever, you work with what you’ve got rather than what you would like to have. As far as Trump is concerned no one much seems keen on working with what they’ve got. If they don’t, we get nothing in the way of reform or reconstruction.
    It’s not a good time to get nothing in those respects. As you indicate above, there are some urgent problems to be addressed that aren’t going to wait around for ever.

  40. Fred says:

    Perhaps nobody in NYC would “see Hilary that way”. Those crowds, night after night, could sure see themselves as one of Brutus’ conspirators stabbing Trump again and again. Because then the Republic is restored, with them in charge fo course. Which is just what the actual Brutus and company thought a couple thousand years ago. Not you of course, nothing “assassination” about the thing at all, except the assassination of course.

  41. Fred says:

    “What programme was that?”
    In a word: Immigration. Or didn’t you year about Trump’s idea to “Build the Wall”?

  42. optimax says:

    Trump is an emotionally retarded narcissist expressing in 140 characters affectations for a civilization in decline. A master of tactics mostly used to inflate his image or deflate those he perceives as challenging his carefully crafted persona. Threatened by the most obscure and insignificant slights, he responds as if it’s an existential threat, sounding shallow waters.
    He’s a leader made for the me generation, e-zombies and a perfect foil for the propaganda-entertainment machine.
    Wether he damages or improves the country depends on who he delegates authority to because he’s a big idea man and not a tinkerer. He’s already improved illegal immigration enforcement and actually followed through, or tried, on many of his campaign promises, which is unusual for a modern president.
    What worries me is the Zioconism of his foreign policy. Maybe Putin will straighten Trump out and maybe an A-hole can be the best darn leader of the free world.

  43. Greco says:

    I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but it certainly has had that effect, for both better and worse.

  44. Fred – + reversing off-shoring.
    You’re never going to get agreement on those two points. “You’ve either got a country or you haven’t”, though I forget the exact wording. Most of the middle class or the intelligentsia haven’t got a country. They’ve got a comfortable enclave and to hell with the rest of ’em. Or they’ve got what you have termed their utopian dream. But never a country.

  45. Stumpy says:

    I would propose Macbeth. The three sisters are easily cast from HRCs inner circle.

  46. Fred says:

    Now he’s pointing out the hypocrisy of the Socialized Medicine Death Panel:

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