President Donald Trump has previously — and unwisely — called for changing libel laws to combat what he calls “fake news.” I have previously criticized Trump for his calls for greater liability of the media for its coverage of the controversies surrounding his Administration, including his desire to sue Saturday Night Live. Now, due to the publication of a false quote from Trump by New York University Professor Ian Bremmer, Trump is again calling for a change in the law and ignoring that our defamation standard is anchored in the first amendment. Ironically, Trump himself was recently accused of posting a doctored clip of Nancy Pelosi and has repeatedly retweeted false or defamatory statements.
Bremmer peached “professional studies” at NYU and is the founder of the Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm. For some reason, Bremmer decided to post a false quote from Trump: “Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better President than Sleepy Joe Biden.”
Bremmer succeed in not only embarrassing himself and his organization but played right into the narrative for Trump who was able to move beyond his own Pelosi tweet controversy. He denounced the quote as fake news and called again for changes in the law: “People think they can say anything and get away with it. Really, the libel laws should be changed to hold Fake News Media accountable!”
Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump
.@ianbremmer now admits that he MADE UP “a completely ludicrous quote,” attributing it to me. This is what’s going on in the age of Fake News. People think they can say anything and get away with it. Really, the libel laws should be changed to hold Fake News Media accountable!33.3K4:57 AM – May 27, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy15.9K people are talking about this
Bremmer’s response was lame and unapologetic: “This is objectively a completely ludicrous quote. And yet kinda plausible. Especially on twitter, where people automatically support whatever political position they have. That’s the point.”
Really? That’s the point? I thought the point was to show that adults can engage in juvenile trolling operations designed to spread false stories about those you disliked. Apparently, this is what passes for constructive political analysis by the Eurasia Group.
The standard for defamation for public figures and officials in the United States is the product of a decision decades ago in New York Times v. Sullivan. Ironically, this is precisely the environment in which the opinion was written and Trump is precisely the type of plaintiff that the opinion was meant to deter. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. In order to prevail, someone like Trump must show either actual knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth.
However, Bremmer has succeeded in undermining critics of Trump and showing that liberals engage in the same false narratives that they denounce from the other side. He is a foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large at Time which normally demands conduct slightly above that of a middle school student with a Twitter account without parental controls.
Update: Bremmer belatedly apologized: “My tweet yesterday about Trump preferring Kim Jong Un to Biden as President was meant in jest,” he wrote. “The President correctly quoted me as saying it was a ‘completely ludicrous’ statement. I should have been clearer. My apologies.”
17 thoughts on “Trump Again Calls For Changing Libel Laws After NYU Professor’s Faked Quote [Updated]”
Criticizing Trump for tweets about libel law reform misses the point of this weekend. In record setting turnout, the EU elections brought abut a resurgence of nationalist sentiment in Europe as a whole but most notably Britain (rise of the new Brexit Party of Farage), France (resurrecton of the National Rally Party with Marine LaPen smashing Macron) and Italy (La Liga with Salvini). Major populist gains were also made in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Estonia and Croatia. Couple this with stunning populist wins in Israel, Philippines, Australia, Austria, India and the Brazil and you have more than a trend; you have a tidal wave against both globalism and liberalism.
And what’s the reason for this according to left-winger Brett Stephens who called this shot based only on the results in India, Australia and the Philippines? According to the liberal Stephens, the real winner in all these elections wasn’t the native working class but really Donald Trump!
“𝘔𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 600 𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘹 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥. 𝘋𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘥 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘮𝘱 𝘸𝘰𝘯, ” lamented Stephens.
𝐼𝑛 2016, 𝑎𝑡 𝑎 𝑐𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑔𝑛 𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑖𝑛 𝐴𝑙𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑦, 𝑇𝑟𝑢𝑚𝑝 𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑛𝑒𝑑: “𝑊𝑒’𝑟𝑒 𝑔𝑜𝑛𝑛𝑎 𝑤𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑜 𝑚𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑚𝑎𝑦 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑡𝑖𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔. 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑦𝑜𝑢’𝑙𝑙 𝑠𝑎𝑦, 𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒, 𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒, 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑡𝑜𝑜 𝑚𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑤𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒.”
𝑇𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑢𝑠 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑡.
𝑇𝑟𝑢𝑚𝑝’𝑠 𝑛𝑎𝑚𝑒, 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒, 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑜𝑛 𝑛𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑡𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠. 𝐻𝑖𝑠 𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑠 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑛𝑜 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑡.”
And now putting a bow on it are the European Union elections which categorically reject the politics of liberal globalists and embrace the populism of Trump.
There’s a political earthquake going on out there and its spelled T-R-U-M-P. 2020’s election will be Trump’s to lose. Judging by the results of late, he won’t.
Here’s the piece by Stephens in the NYT.
Stephens is NeverTrump trash. I don’t think he has ever had any association with the Democratic Party.
NYT, LOL:), that’s Fake News by the Globalist.
The UK has the same globalist deep state scum trying to rig the their/EU’s elections just like here in the USA, but the people have figured out who those Commie/Nazi types are & they/voters are overwhelming the globalist at the ballot box.
Next up will likely be some more violent false flag events like OKC/911/77 etc., by the Deep State again.
P Turley has been making some good points in recent articles, but I seen he still used the known lying propagandist (Evil) BBC.
Maybe Turley is unaware of the BBC/media Islamist/EU/UKgovts/UK police/ non-violent accompanied by violent Attacks against Tommy Robinson, his family, supporters & voter because Tommy has been exposing the BBC/UK/EU govts/media/police/Islamofascist cover up of Islamic rape gangs.
I’ll see soon if the globalist were able to keep him from being elected.
My own assessment is more qualified than yours. It is true that nationalist parties and the conventional starboard parties with the strongest Eurosceptic strands made gains. Together, they’ll have about 22% of the seats. After the first elections in 1979, the Eurosceptic element had about 6%. In the first election after the Maastricht Treaty (1994), they won 8%. In the first after the Euro was instituted (2004) they won about 12%. Things are moving in the right direction, but not quickly enough.
Eurosceptics one a majority in Italy. If it goes well, a British departure will be succeeded by an Italian departure. That will require more preparation, because Italy will have to introduce a new currency first. If Italy can leave without severe repercussions, the path is clear for Poland and Hungary to leave. The leavers can then form a co-operative which includes a customs union and a joint border and coastal patrol supplementing national borders – ie what supranational co-operation should look like, in contrast to what it is now.
Globalism cares naught for the problems facing local areas.
I don’t understand what Prof Turley has been up to the past few years, I like him, I don’t hate him, I pray he’s pro USC,.
I don’t have time to care as there are many other problems that need tending here at home.
But Joe diGenova. Mark Levin, Lionel & others have a firm handle around the necks of these Traitorous B*stards.
Why wouldn’t libel and slander laws be equal for everyone? Why shouldn’t all citizens enjoy equal protection under the law? Asking questions or stating opinion isn’t slander. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but if you deliberately lie about anyone, you should be called out for it.
I agree with pbinca on this one.
I don’t think there should be special classes of citizens who enjoy either more or less lawful protections as anyone else.
The media is trying to change voter behavior, which is wrong.
But he isn’t a Judge. he is however the victim of being harassed by those who are guilty of far more than an appearance of impropriety. Where was all the concern whenever Feinstein opens her mouth?
I totally disagree with the logic of NYT v. Sullivan. The law applies the same to all citizens. There is no magic category of “public persons”, no defined threshold for joining it,
and no authority with the power to classify a person as “public”. The laws regarding libel and slander must be symmetrical and uniform, both in theory and application.
What kind of judge could set up public office-seekers as some lesser species of American — open season for intentioned, professional character assassination? I agree with Pres. Trump that leaders must be able to enjoy the same reputational protections under law as all other citizens.
I would support Nancy Pelosi if she were to sue the person(s) who created the intentionally-deceptive video of her slurring her speech. I would support her to appeal all the way to the SC. The notion that libel and slander protections be neutralized for leaders is the worst judicial brain-fog. Those are the individuals for whom reputational law is the most important.
Again, the salient features of defamation law were pulled out of the a** of a collection of Supreme Court justices in 1967. They have no legitimacy. The press gives creatures like Earl Warren and Wm. Brennan good press, said creatures give the press immunity from any accountability. It’s all godawful.
If President Trump really wants to earn the title of tyrant, he should cease with calling for laws to be changed and just enforce his desires.
And where was Trump really born? Germany? East Side? Or was he born in East St. Louis and is he related to the Buster Wortman family?
President Barf is absolutely right. Obama should sue him for all the years of fake-news birtherism. Total presidential harassment.
Obama started the birther thing by permitting in 1991 a bio by his publisher to include that he was born in Kenya which was repeated in the 1991 Harvard Law Review yearbook. The bio included:
“Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”
The publisher subsequently claimed after the birtherism became frontpage news that “Kenya” was not fact checked and was not provided by Obama. However, for decades Obama chose not to correct the record.
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