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This is something other than condemning violence against journalists

On 22 February 2019, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that POTUS #45 hasn't "at any point has done anything but condemn violence, against journalists or anyone else." (ABC news clip)

What the Press Secretary says is not true. Every day, I remember this tweet by POTUS on 2 July 2017. It shows POTUS at a wrestling match. He throws his arm around the neck of a faceless man who represents a CNN journalist (the man's face is obscured by a CNN logo in the video). He tackles the CNN journalist and punches him repeatedly in the head.

On the day Trump posted this, the immediate reaction of then-Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert was to say that he felt "pretty proud" of the president for being so "genuine," and, after all, he assured us, "no one would perceive that [video] as a threat." That interpretation is not obvious. Since the time of this tweet, Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr. has been charged with mailing pipe bombs to CNN in three separate packages in October 2018, along with 15 other targets that included Democratic politicians. U.S. Coast Guard Lt. In February 2019, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson was arrested on firearm possession and may be charged with attempted terrorism, based on his alleged plan to launch a major attack against CNN reporters, other journalists, and Democratic politicians.

POTUS has still not deleted this tweet, and, even if he does someday delete it, it will forever remain an official record of the United States by virtue of the office of the person who tweeted it. You can try reporting the tweet, but it is a fruitless effort; Twitter will not remove it.

We all have to think of other things we can do to #ProtectTheTruth.

You can donate to the Committee to Protect Journalists.


Lawrence Douglas writes in Will He Go? (2020):

A study released in August 2018 reported that a plurality of Republicans (43 percent) agreed with the statement that 'the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.' The report concluded on what it described as a 'somewhat reassuring' note — that 'less than a quarter of Republicans [23 percent]' agree that 'President Trump should close down mainstream news outlets, like CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times.' Somewhat reassuring? We are to feel reassured that only one in four Republicans support essentially gutting the First Amendment?

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