February 2, 2023

Trump just compared the NY Times to InfoWars in ridiculous and offensive attack on the media

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Some people believe that you can evaluate the mental health of President Trump by counting the number of tweets and retweets he makes in any given day — with an increase in the number and frequency of his social media posts indicating increased levels of anxiety, defensiveness, and paranoia swirling through the brain of a president whose misdeeds are finally beginning to be exposed for all the world to see.


If that is indeed true, then Trump has truly gone off the deep end in recent days.

In the last 24 hours, the president has posted 28 tweets on a range of topics that span from his usual denials of collusion and obstruction that run counter to the actual findings of the Mueller report:

to his call yesterday with Russian President Vladimir Putin which he tries to paint as less obviously sinister than it actually is :

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to the latest North Korean missile test, which he downplays in favor of his personal chemistry with the man he fell in love with:

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Trump even had the audacity to publicly showcase the enormous conflict of interest he has created by refusing to divest himself of his private business upon assuming office when he retweeted a post from his son Eric promoting his family’s Philadelphia area golf course.

There was one topic that dominated Trump’s latest social media avalanche, however, and it was a subject that threatens to stymie his re-election efforts more effectively than anything the Democrats can throw his way — Facebook’s efforts to eliminate hate speech from its platform by banning posts from a number of extremist right-wing celebrities who also happen to be rabid Trump supporters. (What a coincidence!)

The use of social media like Facebook and Twitter by the Trump campaign and the Russian bots working on his behalf —as the Mueller report clearly exposed — was attributed by many political analysts as the secret sauce that handed Trump the win in the electoral college despite the loss of the popular vote.

With the loss of the voices of his minions spreading hate, fear, and destructively divisive conspiracy theories on Facebook, Trump’s re-election campaign will be hampered by the elimination of one of the most destructive and effective weapons in its arsenal.

Naturally, Trump falsely positioned Facebook’s attempts to remove the kind of hate speech that has resulted in double-digit increases in the level of hate crimes in the United States since the president took office as a First Amendment issue despite the fact that Facebook’s terms of service clearly ban this type of post and that, as a private company, they are not subject to the free speech protections that the Amendment prevents the government from restricting.

The president demonstrated his ignorance of the meaning and application of the Constitution’s protections with this tweet that injected a threat of “Big Brother” monitoring into the discussion.

He then proceeded to parrot Fox News talking points about the suppression of specific conservative voices on social media even though the suspension of these Trump supporters’ accounts were due to their violations of the platforms’ terms of service.

Trump then retweeted a number of right-wing pundits who agree with his views that it is perfectly fine to allow on social media the type of divisive hate speech that has created the environment that inspired anti-Semitic synagogue shootings and anti-Muslim hate crimes in record numbers.

It was this tweet that was the most chilling of all, however.

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In a unique blend of Trump’s usual collusion-denying defensive tweets with an attack on “FAKE NEWS’ media, the president questions why such august journalistic institutions like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and cable news channels other than Fox News should be allowed on social media when the purveyors of his own favored lies — like the mentally-ill conspiracy-theory proselytizer Alex Jones — are being banned.

The implication Trump is making not only ignores the important distinction between government suppression of free speech and that of a private media platform, but it also ventures into an actual call for exactly the type of suppression of speech that he has been decrying in his previous tweets, except that, coming from the president of the United States rather than a private company, it actually would cross the line into a clear First Amendment violation.

The danger that Trump’s rhetoric poses as the Democrats in Congress come closer to fully uncovering the truth behind his obstructive actions and holding him accountable for them is hard to overstate.

We can only expect it to get worse from here as the investigations continue and more information about the redacted portions of the Mueller report are revealed.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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