Is Matt Drudge Right? Will Trump’s “Crusade” Lead to Licensing Journalists?

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

According to Matt Drudge, the President’s war on “Fake News” endangers the First Amendment.

I’m a bit surprised that Matt Drudge seemed to take a similar position to CNN regarding Donald Trump’s use of the term “Fake News.”

Personally, I think Trump has shown repeatedly that he makes comments to “troll” people. Trying to construct an action plan from his tweets won’t give you an accurate result. There is no way Donald Trump (in my opinion) would actually try to implement media licensure. On the other hand, the legacy media gets certain government privileges, like press passes to the White House. If the president is rethinking who should get those passes, that is not an attack on the Fist Amendment.

The Daily Mail reports, “Trump says he might ‘take away credentials’ from TV reporters because ‘91% of the network news about me is negative (Fake)’ in latest attack on free press.

Trump has long been a critic of the White House press corps’ coverage of him, branding some ‘fake news’ outlets ‘the enemy of the American people’ and saving his harshest criticism for The New York Times and CNN.

Matt Drudge, the Internet publisher behind the influential Drudge Report website, posted a rare personal tweet on Wednesday morning to warn about what might follow from the White House.  

‘I fear the future result of Trump’s crusade on “fake news” will be licensing of all reporters,’ Drudge wrote, noting that Democrats ‘already floated this in the senate pre-Trump.’

‘The mop up on this issue is going to be excruciating,’ he predicted.

In 2013, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein proposed amending a media ‘shield’ law considered by Congress in order to declare that only ‘paid’ journalists should be protected.

[…]

Feinstein said at the time that she wouldn’t ‘support it if everyone who has a blog has a special privilege.’

[…]

Trump’s longstanding habit of sniping at journalists he loves to hate reached a fever pitch last fall when he floated a wide range of remedies for what he sees as a mass media that’s stacked against him.

‘Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!’ he tweeted on October 5.

[..]

Trump was still at is six days later, tweeting that ‘[n]etwork news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked.’

Read the full story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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