Trump Rules Out Media Sources, Promises To 'Do Something' About Press

The President Trump says journalists shouldn’t be allowed to use anonymous sources in stories -- that, in essence, every story needs to have actual names attached.

“They shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name,” he said speaking recently at a conservative political convention.

Does Trump speak from experience here?  Is he is a journalist?  In 2012, Trump quoted anonymous sources about President Obama’s birthplace that his “birth certificate is a fraud.” But at the recent political event, he didn’t mention his own use of “sources” when pushing fake news. 

I wonder why.

And while our new president now hates these kind of reports, we know stories about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn included anonymous sourcing -- something that lead to his resignation/firing.



But if those stories weren’t credible, why did Flynn have to go?  So what if Flynn didn’t tell the truth to Vice President Mike Pence. Since when does Trump make staffing changes in response to anything the media reports?

We know Trump is a provocateur. But telling the media how it should work is absurd, ridiculous, insulting, and wrong. There are no laws in this regard. Is he familiar with the First Amendment?

Years ago, I worked for an owner of a TV business publication who insisted we should name all people in our stories -- no matter what. Nobody would be on-background, off-the-record, or anything in between.

I’m told him no; that isn’t going to happen. Information doesn’t always flow that way -- not for journalists, and, I’m guessing, not for the intelligence community.

How about for the business community? CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger said as a businessman, Trump is used to signing nondisclosure agreements with business associates or former employees -- all to keep information private.

Running the U.S., as the leader of the executive branch, isn’t nearly the same. The Constitution supports freedom of the press. That means lots of the press can write different stories -- and can compete with each other. And with that comes responsibility; there are libel laws if published reports are untrue and are shown to cause the subject harm.

Which brings us to Trump and his lawyers, a pairing we are going to see a lot of in this administration. President Trump is threatening to “do something about” the press.  No doubt authoritarian Russian President Vladimir Putin would agree.

4 comments about "Trump Rules Out Media Sources, Promises To 'Do Something' About Press".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, February 28, 2017 at 9:57 a.m.

    Journalism 101; anonymous sources are key to open and free news coverage, and the first amendment protects their right to be so. Presidents don't get to make rules on sources. All we can do is continue being vigilant. 

  2. charles bachrach from BCCLTD, February 28, 2017 at 11:19 a.m.

    The only thing that will save this country is to IMPEACH TRUMP and Pence and change the entire cabinet.  We are doomed!!!  The media will never give up, nor should they.

  3. charles bachrach from BCCLTD replied, February 28, 2017 at 12:18 p.m.

    Johnathan, just look what your "crazy" Governor is doing to the folks of Maine.  I lived in
    Casco and Naples for many years and it's just not the same anymore...nor is it anywhere.
    Watch out for the snow!  LOL    Chuck Bachrach of Las Vagas

  4. Linda Moskal from WNPV Radio, February 28, 2017 at 4:22 p.m.

    Perhaps he wants names in every news story about him so that he knows who to go after to punish and shut them up.  He's not stupid but he is dangerous.

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