And as Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told media on April 30, that’s exactly what the White House hopes to do.
But it’s real, actual media that Trump is after, according Priebus’ interview with ABC News’ Jon Karl. Not the fake media that’s rampant across the internet – not the silly satire sites – not the “news” that favored Trump in the last election cycle, and which is credited with boosting his campaign’s support from gullible voters.
But any such change would require a constitutional amendment, Karl noted, referring to one that would override the First Amendment.
“Is he really going to pursue that?” Karl asked. “Is that something he wants to pursue?”
And Priebus admitted “that’s something we’ve looked at.”
He diverted a bit from there, referring to a surge in fake news in the last election cycle (and even though that fake news was in Trump’s favor), but Karl redirected.
“Do you think the president should be able to sue The New York Times for stories he doesn’t like?”
And when Priebus again attempted to wander from the topic, Karl had to pin him to the subject. And Priebus again had to admit that the White House wants to restrict and even sue media that report unfavorable news about Trump.
Priebus: “I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired-”
Karl: “I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. It’s about whether or not the president should have the right to sue them.”
Priebus: “And I already answered the question. I said this is some something being looked at.”
According to a study by members of the National Bureau of Economic Research:
“(O)f the known false news stories that appeared in the three months before the election, those favoring Trump were shared a total of 30 million times on Facebook, while those favoring Clinton were shared 8 million times(.)”
And according to one of those actual fake-news creators, he and his cohorts “tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait.”
So it’s bad enough that Priebus admits the current White House wants to restrict media – but it’s only mainstream media that they’re after? That takes the cake.