The Trump campaign has accelerated their war on the First Amendment by putting forward the idea that reporters should never at any time fact check Trump.
Here is Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway declaring war on fact-checkers:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 25, 2016
On ABC’s This Week, Conway said:
So Hillary Clinton’s casual relationship with the truth is well known to Americans. I’m sure we’ll see it on full display tomorrow night. And I really don’t appreciate campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers and that these debate moderators should somehow do their bidding.
They picked on Matt Lauer after the commander in chief debate forum. We thought he did a great job but they didn’t like the fact that Hillary Clinton was asked about her e-mail server and her route in Iraq. That’s not Matt Lauer’s fault. And Lester Holt’s — he’s a — he’s a respected, brilliant newsman. He’ll do a good job tomorrow night as a moderator. It’s not his job —
Conway said something that escalated the Trump view that moderators should fact check to a belief that no media should fact check.
The belief that fact checking is wrong is the foundation of Trump’s media criticism. When Trump claims that a reporter or network is “unfair” to him, his basis for the claim is that they fact-checked him. Trump views the role of the free press as to cover everything his says and praise him. His belief that the media should be a megaphone instead of a reality check is why Trump has been camping out exclusively on Fox News for weeks.
The one thing that is never seen on Trump’s Fox News programs of choice is a fact check of his statements.
Donald Trump is an opponent of press freedom. It would be easy to see a Trump White House intimidate fact checks out of existence by targeting reporters and outlets who fact check the president for retribution. A press that can’t criticize or fact check a president is not free, which is exactly what Donald Trump wants.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association