Trump has free speech rights to blast press

By HUBERT D. OSTEEN
Posted 1/21/18

Two U.S. senators recently weighed in with grandstanding shots at President Trump.

The first was Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who slammed Trump before a nearly empty U.S. Senate chamber on Wednesday, comparing him to Russian dictator Joseph …

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Trump has free speech rights to blast press

Posted

Two U.S. senators recently weighed in with grandstanding shots at President Trump.

The first was Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who slammed Trump before a nearly empty U.S. Senate chamber on Wednesday, comparing him to Russian dictator Joseph Stalin, who was responsible for the deaths of some 100 million countrymen during one of his purges.

Flake, a Republican who is retiring next year, tore into Trump for being ugly to the upstream media for calling it "fake news."

Gosh, what a profile in courage. Flake, whose name is appropriate, should be nominated for another of Trump's awards: "Gutless Wonder."

Classy, caterwauling before a nearly empty chamber.

How inspiring.

In the same vein, another Arizona Republican senator, John McCain, piled on, this time berating Trump for attacking "free press" in an op-ed commentary that was reprinted in last week's Item.

McCain piled on with turgid praise of the "free press" in the U.S. and how important the news media is to America. Thanks to the First Amendment that guarantees free speech.

Very touching.

But can't Trump blast the press for its "fake news," in his opinion? Doesn't he have free speech rights as well?

He even gave out "fake news" awards this week.

So what? Is the "free press" in this country so sensitive that it can't take the same sort of criticism it doles out every day on its papers and on the TV news and cable networks?

Flake, the lame duck senator, and McCain, in his sanctimonious way, are joining the mob of Trump critics in their holier-than-thou lectures and should take a breather and spare us from the bromides and bilge they are shelling out.

Senators, as well as the press, shouldn't be regarded as snowflakes. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.