You know it’s bad when entertainment industry trade publications start getting serious.
TheWrap, the digital trade pub known for its gossipy inside take on the movie and TV business, is breaking out the law books and expanding its editorial coverage to include First Amendment matters, according to founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman.
Waxman announced The Wrap is adding a reporting position focused on the First Amendment beat. That's in response to the alleged threats to free speech posed by the administration of President Donald Trump, as well as the proliferation of “fake news” distributed by social media platforms like Facebook.
Per Waxman: “The reporter will cover challenges to freedom of the press, expression, assembly and religion in an era when those freedoms are under new and severe pressures.”
Trump’s rhetorical attacks on the mainstream news media, which he accused of bias and dishonesty, became a central element of his presidential election campaign. Since taking office, he and his advisors have not moderated their tone.
In one widely cited example, in an interview with The New York Times, Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, remarked: “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”On the campaign trail, Trump also vowed to “loosen up” libel laws, seeming to foreshadow legal battles with the news media.