California Rep. Wants to Make Attacking Reporters a Federal Crime, Blames Trump

Brittany M. Hughes | February 8, 2018
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California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell introduced a bill in the U.S. House this week making it a federal crime to attack or “intimidate” journalists, blaming President Donald Trump for spurring violence against the press.

Swalwell’s Journalist Protection Act would make it a federal crime to “intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist affecting interstate or foreign commerce in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from newsgathering for a media organization.”

“During his campaign and since taking office, President Trump has created a climate of extreme hostility to the press by describing mainstream media outlets as 'a stain on America,' 'trying to take away our history and our heritage,' and 'the enemy of the American People.' He tweeted a GIF video of himself body-slamming a person with the CNN logo superimposed on that person’s face, and retweeted a cartoon of a “Trump Train” running over a person with a CNN logo as its head," Swalwell complained in a statement.

““President Donald Trump’s campaign and administration have created a toxic atmosphere,” he droned on. “It’s not just about labelling reports of his constant falsehoods as #FakeNews – it’s his casting of media personalities and outlets as anti-American targets, and encouraging people to engage in violence.”

According to Swalwell, Trump’s rhetoric (i.e., his attempt to defend himself against the liberal media's all-out war on his administration) is to blame for several attacks on reporters at right-wing rallies and events.

Conveniently, Swalwell omits cases like this one, in which a reporter filming an anti-Confederate monument rally was assaulted and hospitalized by Antifa protestors in Richmond, Virginia. Or this one, where Antifa rioters beat a reporter bloody with clubs in Berkeley, California. Or when a reporter was punched in the face by a left-wing protestor while trying to film the chaos in Charlottesville last year. Or when they attacked this journalist in Washington, D.C. Or when they stole this journalist’s phone as he was trying to film in San Francisco.

Swalwell's bill was co-sponsored by a dozen other Democratic members of the House, including Rep. Maxine Waters, which tells you just about all you need to know.

But yes. It’s all Trump’s fault.

(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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