January 14, 2017

If Donald Trump’s attempts to squelch reporting he doesn’t like is an attempt to “get us back to a free press,” as Rudy Giuliani argued with a straight face on Hannity last night, you have to wonder what Giuliani thinks is a muzzled press.

The entire discussion between Giuliani and Sean Hannity last night could not have been more Orwellian. In it, Hannity once again celebrated Trump's "beatdown" of American journalists who have had the audacity to probe Trump's ties to Russia. Only now, the two attempted to pass off such disgraceful behavior as some kind of respect for the First Amendment.

No less than Fox's own Shepard Smith called out Trump's behavior at his presser this week with language that suggested Smith was speaking for Fox News. But Giuliani both praised Trump and held himself up as a fan of the First Amendment. At the same time, Giuliani extolled the honesty of compulsive liar Trump! From the FoxNews.com transcript:

GIULIANI: This was a great thing that he did.

[…] I know what they do. I know the games that they play. It is—it is refreshing and it is very good for our democracy that we have a president that is trying to get us back to a free press.


He cannot be intimidated. He’s an honest man, so they’re not going to catch him in some kind of lie or something like that. And he’s got the courage to fight them back! And the American people have caught onto it.


GIULIANI: The American people have now caught onto it. So I think that this is going to be very helpful. I think maybe—maybe—He may actually reestablish journalistic ethics.

Then there was this exchange:

HANNITY: It was a beatdown.

GIULIANI: That was a commander-in-chief.

HANNITY: It was a beatdown.

GIULIANI: That was a commander-in-chief.

HANNITY: It was fun to watch. All right, let me move on.

What this is really about is Fox's Trump Team efforts to counter the growing evidence “that Donald Trump and his administration-in-formation are partially, perhaps wholly, beholden to the Kremlin and/or those Russian oligarchs in its thrall,” as Frank Rich put it.

I’m all for presenting opposing opinions. If Hannity wants to argue there’s no evidence connecting Trump to Russia, fine. But the Trumpsters are acting like they have something to hide with their attempts to distract from and squelch such evidence via attacks on democracy. That cannot be tolerated in America.

Watch the guilty behavior above, from the January 12, 2017 Hannity show.

Crossposted at Newshounds.us

Editor's Note: See also Newt Gingrich's claim that Trump should break the press to "close down the elite press." Translate the word "elite" as fact-based reporting.

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