Boston Globe Fake Victim of Yucky Trump

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“Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country.”

—  The Boston Globe

Turns out a core part of The Boston Globe’s reinvention of itself is victimhood.

We’re not talking about standing up for victims of oppression or sad circumstances. We’re talking about The Boston Globe itself.

The Globe organized scores of newspapers to run editorials today criticizing President Donald Trump’s characterization of the press as “the enemy of the people.” From the injured tone of the Globe’s editorial, you’d think that federal agents were surrounding the Globe’s printing presses in Taunton.

Essential to the Globe’s argument is that President Trump’s words threaten the ability of a free press to operate.

Yet the opening statement of the Globe’s editorial quoted above is absurd. Trump has shown no interest in creating a state-run media. Nor has he done anything to restrict the ability of media outlets to publish.

(And why would he? Who would he fight with every day? Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi?)

Now, Trump’s description of the press as “the enemy of the people” is over the top. But overstatement is the way he operates. If you haven’t figured that out by now from the tenor of his public statements as president, he said it explicitly, long ago. (See his description of “truthful hyperbole” in The Art of the Deal, 1987.)

The question is:  What actions has Trump taken to keep critics in the press from publishing? What actions has he taken to keep lying members of the press from lying?


Indeed, what rights of any kind has President Trump run roughshod over?

Has he arrested any members of the press?

Like the way, say, John Adams and Abraham Lincoln did?

Has he used the power of the federal government to put publications out of business?

Like the way, say, Woodrow Wilson did?

Indeed, let’s look at another portion of the First Amendment. Religious citizens of the United States had far more to fear from President Barack Obama than members of the press have to fear from President Donald Trump. Obama’s version of freedom of religion included the government forcing people to violate their conscience when it came to providing health benefits for employees.

But this isn’t the sort of freedom that interests The Boston Globe, which worried at the time that such concerns would lead to “legal gridlock.”

A president criticizing the press isn’t worrisome. Activist government is. Trump doesn’t threaten freedom of speech. But activist government can.

Trump’s attack on the mainstream media has a lot in common with Vice President Spiro Agnew’s attack on television news networks in 1969. Agnew hammered the networks for being inaccurate and unfair. He highlighted their selection of what qualifies as news and who gets air time.

“I want to make myself perfectly clear. I’m not asking for government censorship or any other kind of censorship,” Agnew said. “I’m asking whether a form of censorship already exists.”

Agnew and President Richard Nixon didn’t censor the press. They criticized it. They countered the press’s speech with speech of their own. That’s what President Trump is doing.

Indeed, although Agnew continued his attacks (at Nixon’s behest), no censorship followed.

Then, as now, people who could dish it out but not take it howled in protest at the audacity of a sitting politician fighting back at his critics.

But the howlers weren’t victims, or plausible objects of sympathy. And neither is the Boston Globe.