Trump throws a tantrum because the First Amendment exists


More than 300 newspapers united to condemn Trump’s attacks on the free press. So he attacked the free press some more — by accusing them of ‘COLLUSION.’

Trump is truly the projecter in chief: Most of his smears against his opponents are really insults that could best describe himself.

So it's no wonder that when Trump got mad at the media on Thursday morning, he decided to accuse them of "COLLUSION."

More than 300 newspaper editorial boards — including one of the few newspapers that endorsed Trump during the 2016 election — agreed to write independent op-eds on Thursday condemning Trump's war on the free press.

This rare show of solidarity among American journalists, which was organized by the Boston Globe editorial staff and endorsed by the American Society of News Editors, was the embodiment of the First Amendment.

By writing independent, original editorials, these newspapers were exercising freedom of the press.

And by collectively organizing to fight for their press freedom against overt oppression by the U.S. president, they were invoking their right "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

And Trump didn't like that one bit.

On Thursday morning, Trump went on an epic, caps-locked rage bender against the hundreds of newspapers who exercised their First Amendment rights and defended democratic principles.

First, he repeated his favorite authoritarian smear of the media by calling them "THE OPPOSITION PARTY" — a line he once had the shamelessness to use right after five Maryland newspaper employees were murdered by a mass shooter.

Then he really got going with an incoherent rant accusing the Boston Globe of being "in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!"

To back up this harebrained idea, Trump claimed that the Globe had been sold to the New York Times for "1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS," but was then "sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR."

Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale pointed out that among the many other problems with Trump's tweet, his numbers are inaccurate; the New York Times bought the Globe for $1.1 billion, and sold it for $70 million.

The biggest problem, of course, is that Trump is attacking the free press ... for exercising their First Amendment rights to call him out for his attacks on the free press.

Trump seems to have belatedly realized that this might look bad, and fired off yet another tweet that didn't make things any better:

"There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS," Trump wrote. "The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people. HONESTY WINS!"

When Trump says he wants "true" freedom of the press, he suggests that he doesn't really think we have it now, because it's all "FAKE NEWS."

Does Trump think we won't have true freedom of the press until the media is printing nice things about him? It sure seems like it.

Trump can throw all the tantrums he wants, but it won't stop America's courageous reporters and columnists from exposing the truth about him every day.

Trump is right about one thing: Honesty does win. He just doesn't realize that he's the loser.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.