Remember October of 2016, when then-President Barack Obama ham-handedly called for a government “Truthiness Test” for online content we might post? Remember how he did it at the same time a little-known bill was working through DC called the “Portman-Murphy Countering Foreign Propaganda Act”, and his statement conveniently added to the spurious argument that such conservative, libertarian, and anti-war websites as RonPaul.com and AntiWar.com were “Russian propaganda”? And remember when, in December of that year, Mr. “Truthiness” signed the bill into law as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, establishing a slush fund many Democrats and RINOS had expected Hillary Clinton would use to prop-up dinosaur news outlets, but which Donald Trump allowed to expire after one year?
The Dems seemed to have no problem with President Obama questioning the veracity of not just news outlets, but plebian posts by any old person when he was in charge and they expected Hillary would take over. But once Donald Trump won, the idea of a President criticizing the clearly left-wing old guard news is “un-American” and smacks of an Imperial Presidency.
Just don’t mention to them that they helped built that Imperial Presidency, and that Trump’s words of criticism have not, in any way, been offered to promote legislation, as Obama’s were.
Now that the Democrats are in charge of the House, they’re not only horrifically concerned with the Executive Branch criticism the pop news media, according to Bloomberg, they’re preparing hearings on whether Trump’s verbal barbs are even “constitutional”.
Billy House reports that an anonymous source within the Dem hierarchy tipped his or her hand:
Topics for the inquiry will include Trump’s public humiliation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his attacks on actions by the liberal Ninth Circuit Court and his abuse of reporters as “dishonest” and “enemies of the people,” said the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive matters… The Judiciary Committee led by Democrat Jerrold Nadler of New York will announce the probe in days, the official said.
Let’s figure this out. Jerry Nadler voted in favor of the Portman-Murphy Countering Foreign Propaganda Act within the NDAA, literally giving the Executive Branch the power to create an office to hand money to compliant news media and label anti-authoritarian news sources as “foreign propaganda”, and charging the Executive Branch to “act” on the “problem” of those dissenting voices. In 2012, Jerry Nadler co-sponsored H.R. 5736, the bill that legalized official federal government propaganda to be disseminated domestically.
Yet, according to this “unnamed official”, Nadler is worried that the new President could breach the Constitution by merely criticizing reporters.
Trump’s attacks on the news media, singling them out for abuse and ridicule, potentially threatens freedom of the press, and also could serve to intimidate other journalists, the official said. The president regularly denounces "fake news" as “the enemy of the people” in tweets and at campaign-style rallies.
So, a President pointing out some real instances of media bias and unfair reporting, or even a President offering a possibly incorrect opinion on members of the media is akin to intimidation, whereas Nadler’s actual participation in the passage of legislation to let the federal government literally influence the news and pay members of the “Third Estate” is completely fine…
That’s a rich mix to swallow.
Of course, Bloomberg’s Billy House never mentions that in his piece, never bothers to let readers know what Nadler has done, it’s all about portraying Trump as anti-free speech. Yet Trump has not engaged in state attacks on free speech, while Obama, Nadler’s old hero, saw his IRS engage in intentional targeting of conservative journalism organizations.
Where was Mr. Nadler?
Where were his expressions of shock and dismay?
There’s not much of a positive one can gain from watching such fatuous and indefatigable grandstanding, except, perhaps, knowing one has the opportunity to recall recent history and recognize towering hypocrisy. By doing so, one can learn a lesson about the value of being skeptical of most politicians.
-- Skeptical, at least, of Jerry Nadler and his comrades in the House.