“Does This Sound Like A Good, Or Even Great Lawsuit?”: No, Mr. President, It Does Not.

President Donald Trump responded to the release of tapes from CNN this weekend showing a strong anti-Trump bias and agenda at CNN. The tapes were no surprise to many of us who have criticized CNN for its open advocacy against Trump and slanted coverage of political and legal issues. However, Trump again returned to his continuing call for lawsuits against the media over the issue: “Does this sound like a good, or even great, lawsuit?” The answer is no, Mr. President, it does not.

Project Veritas, a conservative activist group, published undercover recordings from a former CNN employee who revealed conversations where President Jeff Zucker called for a focus on impeaching Trump as well as CNN employees discussing Zucker’s personal agenda against Trump. I previously wrote about the strange symbiosis of Zucker and Trump as they used each other as foils for their own agendas.

I will not repeat my criticism of CNN’s coverage, which has often highlighted legal analysis that misinformed viewers of “conclusive” evidence for criminal charges or impeachment over the last three years. It is distressing to watch CNN hosts and reporters shed any objectivity in offering counter arguments to every move of the White House or downplaying countervailing stories. For example, I recently published a column highlight to concerted effort to downplay any problems with the suspicious business dealings of Hunter Biden. There is much to legitimately criticize in this President without having to run continual and open advocacy pieces against the Administration.

The Project Veritas “whistleblower” says that many CNN employees are upset over the anti-Trump agenda and the loss of virtually any coverage of other news beyond Trump. I have a lot of friends at CNN and I have heard from some of them about the concern over focus and slanting of the coverage.

For his part, Trump relished the tapes and tweeted

“Project Veritas-Obtained Undercover Videos Highlight Jeff Zucker’s (@CNN) Campaign To Destroy Trump. Videos Reveal @CNN’s BIAS!’ @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews Does this sound like a good, or even great, lawsuit?”

President 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.  For example, due to the publication of a false quote from Trump by New York University Professor Ian Bremmer, Trump demanded 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.

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.

I am not even sure what the lawsuit would look like in this controversy. You cannot sue a newspaper or network for bias without triggering a host of constitutional protections — starting with the protection of a free press. It would not be a defamation case, even if such a case could withstand the actual malice standard. You cannot even bring some form of shareholder action because you think the coverage is slanted.

Trump has long treated litigation as an extension of business strategy (when he was in real estate in New York) or political strategy (after he entered politics). Indeed, he has lost a number of court cases where his counsel have made extreme arguments, including the recent loss in New York to withhold his tax records on the basis of the untenable claim that a sitting president cannot be subject to criminal process of any kind.

Whatever truth is found in this expose by Project Veritas, it will remain a political and journalistic issue — not a judicial issue.

111 thoughts on ““Does This Sound Like A Good, Or Even Great Lawsuit?”: No, Mr. President, It Does Not.”

  1. Big night for Amy in the debate tonight. If she gets to the general election she’ll win in walk.

    1. The unattributed attacks on Klobuchar were countered by a signed letter from 60 previous staff members who love her – see below.

      More importantly, Amy is the most effective Senator based on passed bills with bi-partisan support who is on third term from Minnesota where she wins every congressional district including Michelle Bachman’s old base. Previously she was the Twin Cities DA for 12 years where she ran an office with 250 employees.

      She’s pragmatic, centrist, smart, warm, and has a sense of humor. She can ignore Trump, Pence, or whoever the GOP runs and win in walk. The contrast will speak for itself.

      “On February 24, 61 people who previously worked for Klobuchar co-signed an open letter published on Medium, insisting that the senator was a caring “mentor and friend” to them.

      ….the co-signers of this letter specifically address the editors at the Times, who they claim omitted the “positive anecdotes and stories” they shared in interviews.

      “We previously worked for Senator Klobuchar, and some of us were among the former staffers contacted by the New York Times and other media outlets to share our experiences about working in her office,” the letter reads. “We do not believe these reports adequately describe our thoughts on Amy Klobuchar, many of which we shared with the authors.”

      The letter also characterizes Klobuchar as a boss who was “there for [staffers] after a loss in the family,” and someone who “pushed [them] to be better professionals and public servants”…”


      1. “the unattributed attacks on “

        Oh look, how precious!! Darling, that is so cuuutteee! So glad you finally, Finally, FINALLY agree that secretive, anonymous (Anon1), cowardly WHISTLEBLOWERS have no place in our public discourse. Justice Kavanaugh had over 100 signers supporting him even if anonymous recollections and lying shrews were paraded by moral cripples Democrats

        But more to your point…

        Gloria Steinhem is that you?


        Nude Yorky Thymes:

        Feminists and the Clinton Question

        By Gloria Steinem

        March 22, 1998

        See the article in its original context from March 22, 1998, Section 4, Page 15Buy Reprints
        New York Times subscribers* enjoy full access to TimesMachine—view over 150 years of New York Times journalism, as it originally appeared.

        *Does not include Crossword-only or Cooking-only subscribers.

        If all the sexual allegations now swirling around the White House turn out to be true, President Clinton may be a candidate for sex addiction therapy. But feminists will still have been right to resist pressure by the right wing and the media to call for his resignation or impeachment. The pressure came from another case of the double standard.

        For one thing, if the President had behaved with comparable insensitivity toward environmentalists, and at the same time remained their most crucial champion and bulwark against an anti-environmental Congress, would they be expected to desert him? I don’t think so. If President Clinton were as vital to preserving freedom of speech as he is to preserving reproductive freedom, would journalists be condemned as ”inconsistent” for refusing to suggest he resign? Forget it.

        For another, there was and is a difference between the accusations against Mr. Clinton and those against Bob Packwood and Clarence Thomas, between the experiences reported by Kathleen Willey and Anita Hill. Commentators might stop puzzling over the President’s favorable poll ratings, especially among women, if they understood the common-sense guideline to sexual behavior that came out of the women’s movement 30 years ago: no means no; yes means yes.

        It’s the basis of sexual harassment law. It also explains why the media’s obsession with sex qua sex is offensive to some, titillating to many and beside the point to almost everybody. Like most feminists, most Americans become concerned about sexual behavior when someone’s will has been violated; that is, when ”no” hasn’t been accepted as an answer.

        Sign Up for Debatable

        Agree to disagree, or disagree better? We’ll help you understand the sharpest arguments on the most pressing issues of the week, from new and familiar voices.

        Let’s look at what seem to be the most damaging allegations, those made by Kathleen Willey. Not only was she Mr. Clinton’s political supporter, but she is also old enough to be Monica Lewinsky’s mother, a better media spokeswoman for herself than Paula Jones, and a survivor of family tragedy, struggling to pay her dead husband’s debts.

        If any of the other women had tried to sell their stories to a celebrity tell-all book publisher, as Ms. Willey did, you might be even more skeptical about their motives. But with her, you think, ”Well, she needs the money.”

        For the sake of argument here, I’m also believing all the women, at least until we know more. I noticed that CNN polls taken right after Ms. Willey’s interview on ”60 Minutes” showed that more Americans believed her than President Clinton.

        Nonetheless, the President’s approval ratings have remained high. Why? The truth is that even if the allegations are true, the President is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is accused of having made a gross, dumb and reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life. She pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again. In other words, President Clinton took ”no” for an answer.

        In her original story, Paula Jones essentially said the same thing. She went to then-Governor Clinton’s hotel room, where she said he asked her to perform oral sex and even dropped his trousers. She refused, and even she claims that he said something like, ”Well, I don’t want to make you do anything you don’t want to do.”

        Her lawyers now allege that as a result of the incident Ms. Jones described, she was slighted in her job as a state clerical employee and even suffered long-lasting psychological damage. But there appears to be little evidence to support those accusations. As with the allegations in Ms. Willey’s case, Mr. Clinton seems to have made a clumsy sexual pass, then accepted rejection.

        This is very different from the cases of Clarence Thomas and Bob Packwood. According to Anita Hill and a number of Mr. Packwood’s former employees, the offensive behavior was repeated for years, despite constant ”no’s.” It also occurred in the regular workplace of these women, where it could not be avoided.

        The women who worked for Mr. Packwood described a man who groped and lunged at them. Ms. Hill accused Clarence Thomas of regularly and graphically describing sexual practices and pornography. In both cases, the women said they had to go to work every day, never knowing what sexual humiliation would await them — just the kind of ”hostile environment” that sexual harassment law was intended to reduce.

        As reported, Monica Lewinsky’s case illustrates the rest of the equation: ”Yes means yes.” Whatever it was, her relationship with President Clinton has never been called unwelcome, coerced or other than something she sought. The power imbalance between them increased the index of suspicion, but there is no evidence to suggest that Ms. Lewinsky’s will was violated; quite the contrary. In fact, her subpoena in the Paula Jones case should have been quashed. Welcome sexual behavior is about as relevant to sexual harassment as borrowing a car is to stealing one.

        The real violators of Ms. Lewinsky’s will were Linda Tripp, who taped their talks, the F.B.I. agents who questioned her without a lawyer and Kenneth Starr, the independent prosecutor who seems intent on tailoring the former intern’s testimony.

        What if President Clinton lied under oath about some or all of the above? According to polls, many Americans assume he did. There seems to be sympathy for keeping private sexual behavior private. Perhaps we have a responsibility to make it O.K. for politicians to tell the truth — providing they are respectful of ”no means no; yes means yes” — and still be able to enter high office, including the Presidency.

        Until then, we will disqualify energy and talent the country needs — as we are doing right now.

        1. The WB is known to the Trump appointed IC IG and he found his complaint credible and urgent.

          1. They scammed around with the reporting standards in order to allow the complaint to be filed.

            1. The WB is known to the Trump appointed IC IG and he found his complaint credible and urgent.

          1. RB – Gloria Steinhem defending Bill Clinton was the death of feminists If only.

          2. I was a feminist in college until I had children.
            Feminists are liberals who are selfish, think only about themselves and will be violent towards anyone who contadicts their ideology….

            Rush Limbaugh called them Femi-Nazis for a reason.
            Christine Ford….definitely a feminazi

            1. You mean Brett in drag, or Brett’s long lost fraternal twin…maybe a cousin.

      2. TULSI GABBARD Sends Democrats Off A Cliff:

        “Impeachment Began Shortly After Trump Won His Election…As Unhappy As That Makes Us As Democrats, He Won That Election”

        Tonight during the CNN and New York Times Democratic Party presidential debate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI), shared her thoughts on the impeachment of Trump with CNN debate host Anderson Cooper.

        “If impeachment is driven by these hyper-partisan interests, it will only further divide an already terribly divided country.

        Unfortunately, this is what we’ve already seen play out as calls for impeachment really began shortly after Trump won his election.

        And as unhappy as that may make us as Democrats, he won that election in 2016.


      3. Is it possible that the New York Times actually reported “fake news” about Klobuchar?😲

    1. Squeeky – the way the Democrats are going we may never know what he is guilty of if he is impeached. Judicial Watch will have to sue for the documents.

  2. It looks like Peter Shill has been snorting something to keep up his energy in the face of the news that CNN is an authoritarian outfit that just does what Zucker tells it to do. Which, is to be the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.

    Meanwhile, FOXNews does not have anybody setting its agenda for it.


    But what you want to bet that after 3 years of Russiagate by MSNBC (a now debunked conspiracy theory) and this revelation about CNN – what do you want to bet that our resident shills will keep right on slamming FOXNews???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Peter Shill might be having these adverse events due to transitioning

      Just saying….


      Here are the most commonly seen estrogen therapy side effects to be mindful of when beginning treatment:

      Abdominal Cramps
      Breast Tenderness
      Loss of Appetite
      Nausea and/or Vomiting
      Edema – Swelling of the Legs and Ankles
      Water Retention
      Weight Changes
      Some less common side effects of estrogen replacement therapy include:

      Bleeding Gums
      Dry Eyes that Can Effect Contact Lens Wearers
      Hair Loss
      Menstrual Flow Changes
      Menstrual Pain
      Mild Diarrhea
      Sex Drive Changes
      Uterine Fibroids
      Vaginal Bleeding
      Vaginal Infection – Candida

    2. Squeeky, you’re saying the Zuckers are snorting with Russians at Fox News..?? What the hell does that mean??!

  3. Strong words by K. Strassel on the liberal media….Democracy dies in bias


    Inside the media’s relentless crusade to destroy President Trump

    By Kimberley Strassel

    Last week The Washington Post revealed the alarming news that House Democrats were considering having their anonymous “whistleblower” testify from a remote location, and in disguise. Just as shocking as the details of this plan was the justification the Post ladled on this Democratic effort to hide impeachment information from the public.

    It explained, high up in the story, that the cloak-and-dagger approach was merely Democrats expressing “distrust of their GOP colleagues, whom they see as fully invested in defending a president who has attacked the whistleblower’s credibility and demanded absolute loyalty from Republicans.”

    This, from a newspaper with a tagline of “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

    Maybe the better journalistic epitaph is: :Democracy dies in bias. How did journalism get here?

    The press has embraced its bias, joined the Resistance and declared its allegiance to one side of a partisan war. It now openly declares those who offer any fair defense of this administration as Trump “enablers.” It writes off those who question the FBI or Department of Justice actions in 2016 as “conspiracy” theorists. It acts as willing scribes for Democrats and former Obama officials; peddles evidence-free accusations; sources stories from people with clear political axes to grind; and closes its eyes to clear evidence of government abuse.

    This media war is extraordinary, overt and increasingly damaging to the country.


    1. agreed., to some degree. not entirely

      this is a consequence of globalization, financialization, and commoditization; which are emergent trends in late industrial capitalism, facilitated and accelerated by technological change and comparative international stability in the post cold war period between major powers, which has facilitated “free trade”

      free trade has been a crushing blow to industrial workers, and financialization and commoditization in delivery of services is now dealing a blow to service workers.

      robotics accelarates the effects on industrial workers ,and AI on service sectors.

      Trump has addressed the concerns of industrial workers, but Yang is addressing the subject for a wider group including service sector workers — including skilled and professional sector workers who are being squeezed by ever stronger AI agents and commoditization

      mostly the other candidates don’t seem to notice or talk much about how these underlying trends have a huge impact on regular people!

      benson, not sure what that has to do with much but thanks for an interesting question!

    2. Freedom and free enterprise allow individuals to “pursue happiness” as endeavor and industry in the free markets of the private sector. Any and all aspects of the success and/or failure of individuals are distinctly not the purview of Congress or, otherwise, government.

  4. here Catalan protesters burn stuff like they do in Hong Kong


    media obligingly covers it and gives sympathy to the arsonists

    I wonder if i see a pattern here. Hmmmmm

    strong leader = strong national government = enemy of the global plutocracy = object of hate by mass media

    why do i get the feeling this will all keep “heating up” as we head into 2020 election cycle?



    USDA Under Trump Withholding Crucial Information From Farmers

    American farmers are reeling after extreme rains followed by a “bomb cyclone”— an explosive storm that brought high winds and severe blizzard conditions — ravaged the heartland, turning once productive fields into lakes, killing livestock and destroying grain stores. The barrage of wet weather across the country this spring left a record-shattering 20 million acres unable to be planted — an area nearly the size of South Carolina. Other weather-related disasters, from fires in the West to hurricanes in the Southeast, have converged to make the past year one of the worst for agriculture in decades.

    But the Agriculture Department is doing little to help farmers adapt to what experts predict is the new norm: increasingly extreme weather across much of the U.S. The department, which has a hand in just about every aspect of the industry, from doling out loans to subsidizing crop insurance, spends just 0.3 percent of its $144 billion budget helping farmers adapt to climate change, whether it’s identifying the unique risks each region faces or helping producers rethink their practices so they’re better able to withstand extreme rain and periods of drought.

    Even these limited efforts, however, have been severely hampered by the Trump administration’s hostility to even discussing climate change, according to interviews with dozens of current and former officials, farmers and scientists.

    Top officials rarely, if ever, address the issue directly. That message translates into a conspiracy of silence at lower levels of the department, and a lingering fear among many who work on climate-related issues that their jobs could be in jeopardy if they say the wrong thing. When new tools to help farmers adapt to climate change are created, they typically are not promoted and usually do not appear on the USDA’s main resource pages for farmers or social-media postings for the public.

    The result is parallel universes of information. On the climate hubs’ under-the-radar Twitter account, farmers, ranchers and the public receive frank reports about monsoon rain storms becoming more intense across the Southwest, fire seasons getting longer across the West and how rising temperatures are already affecting pollinators.

    The Agriculture Department is not one of those government agencies that believes it does best by doing least.

    In fact, a recent investigation by POLITICO found that USDA routinely buries its own scientists’ findings about the potential dangers posed by a warming world. The department also failed to publicly release a sweeping, interagency plan for studying and responding to climate change.

    Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, for his part, has publicly suggested that he doesn’t believe the science coming out of his own department.

    Edited from: “I’m Standing Here In The Middle Of Climate Change: How USDA Is Failing Farmers”

    Today’s Politico

    1. thanks for regurgitating more anti trump content from the headlines.

      do you have any original thoughts today?

      1. Drudgereport is hammering CNN on the eve of the DNC elections with Project Veritas links. Good for Matt


        Part 2: CNN Leadership and Staffers Reveal True Sentiments; Network Picks Favorites Among Democratic Candidates on Eve of Debate

        CNN Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez Says, ‘Joe Biden Has a Problem’ Because of his Son’s Foreign Business Dealings; “It Looks Bad. It Smells Bad.”

        CNN President Jeff Zucker Pushes Kamala Harris’ Demand to Take Down Trump’s Twitter Account; “I Think it’s a Good Segment…Not Going to Happen, But it’s a Good Talking – it’s a Good Segment.”

        Zucker on Harris: “She is Also Retooling Her Struggling Campaign.”

        CNN Media Coordinator Christian Sierra Says Network is Less Fair to Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar, “They’re Pro-Top Contenders.”

        Sierra: “I Think They Like Warren a Lot” “…They Don’t Like Tulsi Gabbard”

        CNN Media Coordinator Nick Neville Says “People Would Change the Channel” if Network Broadcasted a Biden Rally.

        CNN VP and Political Director David Chalian Believes That Andrew Yang Will Not Become the Democratic Nominee for President.

  6. Strange reaction while running Trump Videos

    I caught a large Praying Mantis & is now in captivity. Did a scientific experiment.

    Put the Praying Mantis on computer keyboard & played the latest Trump videos. Mantis showed no interest. Then I played Praying Mantis videos. The Mantis started waving it’s front paws & moving it’s head back & forth 180 degrees.

  7. CNN is operated under the guise of “free press” as a communist propaganda machine, indoctrination center and re-education camp.
    Patriotism, composure, coherence, logic and rationality do not bear regarding the antithetical, counter-indicated and non- “original intent,” one man, one vote democrat voters. The ends justify the means. Communists (i.e. liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats) will do absolutely anything, including voting for communists, to retain and perpetuate:

    – Abortion

    – Perversion

    – “Free Stuff”

    – Persecution of Success

    – Subsumption of America by Global Communism

  8. Looks exactly like one of the usual variants on a booby trap set for the booby’s of the Stupid Party.So why should I worry or waste time of their gullibility. Just shows they are unfit for any leadership role much less citizenship status.

  9. Viewers should notice, and wonder, the fake glasses worn by the news casters and guests on CNN. They are black framed and square or rounded and yet you can see clear lenses which means no eye change. The guests think they look more intelligent with them on. Don Lemon wears them. It goes to the heart of the lame news and fake news. Be real! Don’t conceal! We are turning off your channel!

  10. Turley criticizes CNN’s anti-Trump bias and open advocacy against Trump and his Administration, decrying the alleged lack of objectivity, but what does this mean? I really don’t know how any media could objectively report anything about the chaos and problems have ensued since he started occupying the White House. How are media supposed to objectively report on his advocacy for Putin, his narcissistic personality disorder, manifested by a nauseating degree of arrogance, his lack of leadership, lack of personal integrity, lack of accomplishments, his pettiness, vindictiveness, knee-jerk decision-making, deference to murderous dictators, cheating to get into the White House, trying to leverage military aid for political purposes….the list goes on and on.

    There has never before been a POTUS so unfit to serve and who presented such a clear and present danger to American values and relationships with allies. Why should media pretend that Trump is like other Presidents and treat him with the respect commensurate with the office earned by his predecessors? He doesn’t deserve it because he wasn’t elected fairly, most Americans voted against him, have consistently, by historic margins, disapproved of him, and most want him removed. Media would need to overlook massive amounts of consistent everyday failures, crises of his own making, repudiation of American values (i.e.–disrespect for Congress, refusal to cooperate with subpoenas for documents and witnesses. name-calling of Members of Congress just for starters) and destruction of alliances developed over decades and other proof of his unfitness to avoid criticizing him, which is being “objective”, according to Turley’s standards.

    As to Hunter Biden: what does he have to do with the Trump impeachment? Is he running for office? Why, 3 years after his father left office is this suddenly some imminent crisis and lead story? Where is the proof he did anything wrong, and why is this pivot of attention away from Trump being allowed? That is not objectivity.

    1. well here we go finally an honest remark

      ” I really don’t know how any media could objectively report anything about the chaos and problems have ensued since he started occupying the White House.”


      this also relates back to why i keep recommending Carl Schmitt’s Theory of the Political. conservatives & republicans need to fundamentally understand that THEY DO NOT THINK LIKE YOU.

      they have totally eschewed the very notion of “objectivity.” it is all propaganda to them so quit trying to play by a set of outdated rules. they will always punch below the belt so you better throw off the marquess of queensbury and go by something more like MMA rules if you get my drift

      1. Objective about what, exactly? Trump is the biggest failure as POTUS in American history and we have another year to go. Are media supposed to ignore the lack of accomplishments, lack of respect for Congress, eschewing of alliances, the multiple scandals, attempts to leverage military aid for political purposes, and the court jester Giuliani? Media would have to be biased to fail to report these things.

        1. Natacha, Trump supporters have never been able to connect Trump’s lack of experience in public office with his chaotic presidency. They apparently expected a rank amateur to just ‘hit the ground running’ once he took office. So all the chaos is blamed on mainstream media.

          1. Trump supporters have never been able to connect Trump’s lack of experience in public office with his chaotic presidency.

            Peter fancies Barack Obama’s 30 month ticket-punch in Congress (after 8 years in the Illinois legislature) to be ‘experience’ while Trump’s 40 year history as an executive is nada. Peter also fancies that news reports about ‘chaos’ reflect actual daily reality in the Administration. Peter’s not the sharpest tack in the box.

            1. Tabby, explain how Trump’s experience in real estate helped him sell-out the Kurds. Russia is now the dominant player in the Middle East while the U.S. has been marginalized.

              1. Russia has a domestic product 1/5 th of ours. They’re not the dominant player anywhere but right on their borders.

            2. Executive of what? A non publicly traded company in which there has never been any independent board of directors to answer to and shareholders who are family? If Trump had been in a non-family owned company, he’d have been on the carpet to answer for the first bankruptcy and fired on the spot. Then there are the 5 or more after the first one.

              Tabby 14: you assume that Trump has been a success in business, which is the public persona he has carefully crafted all of these years. The truth is, he’s been an abject failure. His father bailed out his company for years. Before his casinos went under, Daddy Trump would send people with hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy chips that were never cashed in. This was done to hide the fact that Daddy was bailing him out. He was financially dependent on his father well into his forties. Eventually, because he doesn’t pay his bills, contractors refuse to do business with him, and US banks wouldn’t loan him any money, so he took on partners, but after they bailed on him, he turned to Russia and Saudi Arabia for cash. And his properties lose money consistently. That’s why he started “The Apprentice” after the recent round of bankruptcies. Then there’s Trump Steaks, Trump University, Trump Golf accessories, and so forth: selling the image of a yuge, successful name. All smoke and mirrors. Trump University was out and out fraud, and they paid $25 million to settle the lawsuit. Why do you think he’s fighting to hide his tax returns and financial statements? Time will tell.

              1. Natch,

                You’re doubling down on a losing proposition.

                I’m sorry that you haven’t had the chance to represent executives and business organizations and learn the ropes of board meetings and executive management and compensation and so forth. apparently not even modestly complicated ones let alone the big ones. . but it shows. I’m certainly no big shot lawyer myself. just a humble small fry. but enough to understand yes he had considerable executive experience.

              2. Natacha, in the run up to his presidential campaign, Trump’s two biggest income sources were the franchising of his name and “The Apprentice”. That show, by the way, was full time job. Productions commonly work 12 hour days. Anyone who thinks Trump was just doing “The Apprentice” as a sideline has no knowledge of TV production.

                1. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/05/trump-reported-2-3-billion-in-income/

                  It appears that Trump’s income has been roughly $450 million a year since he became president.
                  The bulk of that c.$450 million is from Trump’s real estate holdings; resorts, golf courses, hotels.
                  Assuming that income from those sources was similar in the years before his presidency, was he making more in licensing and from The Apprentice than the $400 million or so from her s real estate?
                  If “the bulk” of his income was actually from those two sources, and his real estate holdings were producing something similar to the c.S450 million in his years as president, that would seem to mean that The Apprentice and the licensing were making a half $Billion or more annually for Trump.

                  1. “from THE real estate” ….”the”came out as “her” for some reason.

          2. Trump’s got tons of experience in managing massive organizations and assets as an executive.

            That’s plenty

        2. How is the press suppose to stay objective…? Well, with Trump it wouldn’t be that hard. The man doesn’t need help looking ridiculous; between his continuous tweets, inarticulate blustering and babbling all the press has to do is simply ‘hit record’.

          Do you really want a group of influential people with an elevated platform skewing the facts and misinforming the public for their own agenda? If its onerous for the president to do it then it is equally so for the press. Possibly more so simply because we rely on the press to…BE. OBJECTIVE.

          It may not seem that objectionable to you since you do not support this president but a precedent is being set and the next time it may be that the skewed stories and slanted reporting will be about someone you do support.

          In the end; CNN has, by their own admission, just given validity to all of the people – including the president – that have been denying facts and screaming about ‘fake news’.

          Now, all press will be suspect. They are our eyes and ears in the places we aren’t allowed; we need them to keep their personal opinions (unless they are op-ed) to themselves. Report the happenings and facts as they happen and let the public come to their own conclusions. Anything more and – with the current 24/7 news cycle – it turns into indoctrination. Not a road any truth-pursuing person should want to go down.

          For the record; it isn’t CNN’s reporting the ‘going’s on’ of the president that is objectionable it is the fact that they are reporting the happenings with heavy-handiness on a negative spin. In other words, they are making the judgments for us because, apparently CNN believes they need to form our opinions for us. I guess we’re just to dumb to figure it out on our own.

        3. you demonstrate your ignorance again with such hyperbole. brush up on US history some.



    Background: Maria Ressa, an American-raised Filipina, was CNN’s Southeast Asia Bureau Chief before she founded an online news site called ‘Rappler’ based in Manilla. That site has become a major irritant to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte has been praised by Donald Trump for his war on drugs. But according to Rappler, Duterte’s war on drugs has been murderous vigilante campaign; a charge Duterte labels ‘fake news’.

    A couple of months before Duterte won the presidency, Ressa started to notice that his campaign was putting out disinformation about rivals — “a cascade of lies,” she calls it — that bounced around the online echo chamber. Rappler had done an intensive analysis about how Facebook worked in the country. Roughly 47 million people were on Facebook, nearly half the country. Getting content to go viral required creating what Ressa called an “information cascade,” generated by “niche accounts” linked to “boundary spanners” whose social media connections crossed social groups, classes and geographical areas.

    When it came to news about the president and his policies, Duterte and his aides appeared to have studied the same data. “The weaponization of information happened just after he took office in July,” Ressa told me. “Then it ramped up in October 2016, at the height of the drug killings.” Ressa and her team compiled a database that she called the Shark Tank, tracking the insulting terms and disinformation campaigns that cascaded on Facebook against Duterte’s critics: Rappler was derided as “Crabbler,” political rivals were all bayaran, Tagalog for “corrupt.” It seemed, Ressa says, a “concerted, systematic campaign.”

    Ressa says she was stunned by the speed with which Duterte’s drug offensive began. Days after taking office, he replaced top security officials with loyalists from his home island, and they dispatched police squads into poor neighborhoods of Manila and into barangays, or villages, throughout the country, ostensibly to make arrests. More than 300 people were reported killed in the first month of Duterte’s administration. “I was surprised at the level of impunity,” Ressa says. “I had assumed that there were people in government who would say, ‘Stop.’ ”

    In the summer of 2016, with roughly a dozen corpses turning up in Manila each week, Rappler began dispatching its reporters into the barrios to investigate the killings. The government line, says Rambo Talabong, then a university student and Rappler intern who covered the drug war, was that “everybody fought back. A lot of reporters repeated that narrative, and that’s what arrived in the morning news.” But Rappler reporters found that the police versions of the murders often didn’t match witness accounts. “Some of the victims seemed to be innocent men whom the police had set up,” Talabong says, “planting drugs and guns to make it look like these were suspects who resisted.”

    At Malacañang Palace, Duterte seethed about Rappler’s reporting. Panelo, his spokesman, told me: “I told Ressa: ‘You know why the president is pissed off with you? Because you are the one who started the false narrative of drug-related people being killed’ ” deliberately. He added: “I don’t know if you know, 164 policemen were killed, 747 seriously injured. Are you telling me that there was no resistance coming from these people?”

    Rappler’s series about disinformation, which ran in late 2016 and 2017 and was consolidated on a microsite called Media, Society and Digital Transformation, had significant impact. This year, Facebook identified and took down hundreds of pages, accounts and groups, mostly in the Philippines, for “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” all of them linked to a group started by Nic Gabunada, Duterte’s social media strategist at the time. After the first articles in Rappler’s series appeared, thousands of anti-Ressa messages spread across Facebook and Twitter — at the rate of 90 an hour, by her count. Many urged that she be called before the Senate and contained the hashtag #ArrestMariaRessa.

    Edited from: “Reporting From The Philippines When The President Wants To Kill Journalism”.

    Today’s New York Times

    1. between communist insurgents, Muslim insurgents, and narcos, the Phillipines is and has been a long time in a state of quasi-civil-war. It’s not surprising the President has resorted to extrajudicial measures to try and keep order. here’s from 2011


      thats befoe Duterte …. heres from 2019


      see, facts matter. you guys are just about mouthing empty platitudes

      the bottom line of all this: kick every strong executive head of state in the ankles and keep them all kneeling before the global mass media and it’s owners!

  12. Something tells me that the American Founders did not originally intend to provide the freedom of lies, fraud and disinformation to sew the seeds of hysteria, incoherence, chaos, anarchy, insurrection and destruction.

    I could be wrong.

    1st Amendment

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    1. that’s for us. for foreign nations the founders said

      “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world”:
      — George Washington’s Farewell Address

      “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none

      –The inaugural pledge of Thomas Jefferson

      They were not very concerned with whatever was happening with China…..
      but not long after the British wanted to make the place a market for their opium from their colony in afghanistan. . Chinese Emperors did not like that for obvious reasons.
      they had a war and UK stomped the Chinese and got Hong Kong as a reparation


      the Chinese have long memories. We are unwise to try and step into English shoes.

    2. Deliberate lies are never protected, nor should they be. I believe there are other legal routes as well as noted by Mespo. It’s a high hurdle, but Trump can definitely sue. Which then leads to discovery and depositions, as noted in earlier comments. As usual, Turley fails to help us understand the law by taking a one-sided view.

      1. “Deliberate lies are never protected,…”

        – Ivan

        Allow me to introduce to you the Mueller Special Council, Christine Ballsey Ford and A-Damn Schiff fraudulent conspiracies.

  13. I am not even sure what the lawsuit would look like in this controversy. You cannot sue a newspaper or network for bias without triggering a host of constitutional protections — starting with the protection of a free press. It would not be a defamation case, even if such a case could withstand the actual malice standard. You cannot even bring some form of shareholder action because you think the coverage is slanted.”
    You’re looking too hard at the First Amendment angle. A conspiracy to injure trade or business comes to mind as a possibility. Malicious intent seems proven given Zucker’s vendetta and the damages are to the Trumps agenda and his public work for the American people. Malice takes you out of the NYT v. Sullivan protection.
    Maybe I’ve got a Qui Tam case!!

    1. yes that sounds like a good faith case that will pass by a 12b6 motion and rule 11 to me

      then on to discovery

      sauce for the goose and the gander too

      1. MK:
        Can you imagine that round of discovery deps? Zucker v. Giuliani. DonLemon v. Trey Gowdy. Cuomo v. DeGenova. My personal favorite: Cohen v Avenatti. I know the last one is a pipe dream!

          1. Mr Kurtz……love it.
            Joe Jamail is the one asking the witness about his title at Monsanto.
            If you don’t know Jamail’s reputation, google him…….an icon to say the least.
            And Jamail’s Grocers on S. Shepherd was the finest grocery store, ever, in Houston……nay, the world!

            1. If you don’t know Jamail’s reputation, google him…….an icon to say the least.
              Pennzoil v. Texaco

              Joe Jamail: Can you explain the oil sales contract you voided with Pennzoil, Mr. Texaco CEO?

              Texaco CEO: Well it’s very complex and beyond the understanding of the average person.

              Joe Jamail: You mean like the six average people here on the jury?

              The jury deliberated for just a day and a half before awarding Pennzoil $7.53 billion in actual damages and $3 billion in punitive damages — at the time, the largest jury verdict in history.

              Nobody better on his feet than Joe.

              1. But mespo, with your remarkable creative command of the language, you could have rivaled Jamail. I’m serious…….
                and remember in Texas, it’s “sum bitch” not “son of a bitch” LOL
                other Texas legal legends were Percy Foreman, former AG John Hill, Leon Jaworski, of course (Baylor grad!), and my favorite, Racehorse Haynes.

                  1. mespo…..and, this will make Anon’s little noggin explode, but, for me, personally, I love the passion of the Lebanese families we’ve been fortunate enough to meet and know!

                    (can’t wait to see spin-a-tron anon twist that into a racist chant)

                  2. mespo……..my bridegroom wanted me to tell you that when he published his Texas consumer litigation books, Jamail bought the books and subscribed to the annual supplements. And each time he was billed, hubby was sent a check signed personally by Joe Jamail..not an office manager.
                    That was impressive, and more than likely a discipline learned at the family grocery!

                    1. Cindy:

                      Like Joe I grew up in the grocery business. We also had a restaurant and a construction company in the family. Dad’s side were coal miners from Western Pa. It’s an eclectic group!

                      Doesn’t surprise me in the least that Joe sent the check! In a small business, you do everything that isn’t illegal, immoral or that loses money.

                    1. True dat. You don’t get the latter without the former. My great uncle testified to Congress about the Black Lung scourge among coal miners; my grandfather’s viewing/funeral was attended by 3000 people including mayors, congressmen and judges and all he had was a 8th grade education but a doctorate in personality. My great grandmother got a personal immigration recommendation from none other than Edith Bolling Galt Wilson who was President-in-fact after her husband’s stroke. She was the femme maitre d at Mrs. Wilson’s hotel in Italy and we still have the FLOUS’ letter. It was a bold bunch which makes me the “black sheep” of the family.

                    2. Cindy,

                      I became friends with an Italian guy who had some family 1st immigrated to the US, to McAllister, that worked the mines there.

                      1880’s ?

                      Anyway I have seen those but assumed those mines were also open pit, strip mining like the one all over South Eastern tip of Kansas.

                      Yes it left a bit of a mess but they be cleaning it up over the decades.

                      “Fossati’s, the oldest Italian deli in Texas, is in Victoria. We ate there Monday.”


                      I haven’t seen any Italian in my sides linage, but I can’t help but think I’m part Italian as much as I like Italian to food. 🙂

                  3. I can attest to at least one side effect of black lung, I have had a breathing issue, not black lung, it progresses a bit more as time goes by.

                    When troubled with breathing it robs one of energy & hope like hell one can get through an event.

                    I wasn’t going to post tonight, but I seen your family had some coal miners in it as did some of mine.

                    I guess the govt/Corporate need some tough guys to secure the FREE Native American lands (LOL), & to work in the mines so they brought Italians, Irish, Scots, Germans etc.

                    A couple of the coal fields I know of around here are McAllister Ok, Southern Ok & Pittsburgh KS, SE Ks, areas.

                    1. Oky1 – I have breathing problems as well, but I am not on O2 yet. Hope you are doing well.

                    2. Oky1…. SO sorry about the breathing problems.
                      You too, Paul C!
                      Can’t believe I’ve never heard about the mines in McAlester……..are they near the prison??

                      Irish were brought to Victoria Texas to build railroad to Houston. They called it the Macaroni Line.
                      Fossati’s, the oldest Italian deli in Texas, is in Victoria. We ate there Monday.

                    3. Thanks for your positive thoughts. I better get my butt to a doc for something before that icy air blows in for winter.

                      I was glad to hear Cindy husband recently seems to have made it out of their health scare.

                      I noticed a few years back as we all age the name of the game seems to be shifting from getting more money, etc., to figuring out how to keep ticking for a few mores years.

                      We here did get some great news here today I want share.

                      We went again today for my wife’s cancer scans.

                      Everything came back Clean!

                      Stage 4 Brain & Lung Cancer, knock on wood, it’s still in full remission.

                      As I my have mentioned before, I’m so glad the Tulsa rep for MD Anderson was a complete nut job that was proposing to give her the same old treatment that killed here brother 3-4 years earlier.

                      So we left & went to Cancer Treatment Center of America. There’s 5 or 6 of them around the US & one right here in Tulsa.

                      There, they got her the latest new treatment.

                      It’s working so far, she’s survived over 2 years & the odds were horrible. It used to be 60% don’t make it past 5 months.

                      One other thing, to those Trump haters, one thing Trump has done that thousands of people are thankful to him is that he’s the one that passed “The Right To Try” new drugs for terminally ill patients.

                      Thank God!

                    4. Oky1……Happy news about your wife! Bless your hearts.
                      An old college friend of mine ( a former fiance’, actually) is a doctor/ researcher in Tulsa
                      Very smart and plays a mean banjo…LOL.
                      Tulsa has some great doctors and resources.
                      Best to you and your wife!

                    1. Cindy:
                      We didn’t even get to my uncle who went up Pork Chop Hill with 7 other guys and returned carrying the only other platoon survivor. He got a star for that one.

                  4. mespo! Pork Chop Hill?! Ok now you’re just making up stuff….LOL Kidding!
                    Let’s see, we could either visit the American History section of the city library or we could sit and listen to mespo tell family stories!
                    I hope you have a publisher and/or filmmaker in your family.. You need to share these treasures!

  14. Actually, your defamation law was a gift by Earl Warren and Co. to the media which give arrogant swine in the appellate judiciary such good press. It deserves to be eliminated. Trump’s position is sensible. Yours is just another defense of our rotten establishment.

  15. CNN Showcased Ronan Farrow’s New Book

    Book Reports On Trump’s Link To National Enquirer..

    And Incriminating Documents Regarding Trump And Women

    American Media and the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper shredded sensitive documents about Donald Trump shortly before the 2016 election, the reporter Ronan Farrow alleges in a book published on Tuesday.

    In Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Farrow writes that the shredding happened in the first week of November 2016, on the day the Wall Street Journal reported a Playboy model’s claim to have had an affair with Trump and American Media’s role in keeping the story quiet. That process is referred to in the title of Farrow’s book.

    According to Farrow, Dylan Howard, then editor of the Enquirer, ordered a staffer to “get everything out of the safe” and said “we need to get a shredder down there”.

    Farrow writes: “The staffer opened the safe, removed a set of documents, and tried to wrest it shut. Later, reporters would discuss the safe like it was the warehouse where they stored the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones, but it was small and cheap and old.”

    Farrow quotes an employee of the Enquirer as saying “a larger than customary volume of refuse” was collected from the Enquirer offices later the same day.

    He also quotes a “senior AMI employee” as saying: “We are always at the edge of what’s legally permissible. It’s very exciting.”

    On CNN on Monday morning, Farrow said the safe contained details of alleged consensual affairs and payoffs and also allegations of assault by Jill Harth, who in a 1997 complaint accused Trump of “attempted ‘rape’”. In October 2016, amid a flood of allegations of sexual misconduct by Trump, she stood by that allegation in an interview with the Guardian.

    The Enquirer endorsed Trump and published negative stories about his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

    Farrow’s claims were reported before the book’s publication by outlets including Politico, CNN and the Daily Beast.

    An attorney for Howard said in a statement the former editor would not comment, “while all legal options and jurisdictions are being considered”.

    A spokesman for American Media said in a statement: “Mr Farrow’s narrative is driven by unsubstantiated allegations from questionable sources and while these stories may be dramatic, they are completely untrue.”

    Farrow writes that the safe which held the Trump material belonged to Barry Levine, then executive editor of the Enquirer. Levine is now co-author, with Monique el-Faizy, of the forthcoming book All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator.

    An excerpt of that book published in Esquire last week said 43 women were making new allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Trump.

    Edited from: “National Enquirer Shredded Trump Documents, Ronan Farrow Book Claims”

    Today’s The Guardian

    1. Regarding Above:

      Trump supporters might be quick to dismiss Ronan Farrow’s account as ‘unsubstantiated’. But the issues he reveals concerning Trump, The National Enquirer and pay-offs to various women have been widely reported in mainstream media. Too bad Project Varitas didn’t get hidden cameras into National Enquirer’s offices. That might have been a more salacious video!

      Below is a link to a Wall Street Journal story from November of 2016 that alludes to the issues Ronan Farrow has written about.

        1. so what? if they bought a story and didn’t run it, that’s a big nothing. that’s like the bear defecating in the woods. nobody heard it and nobody had a duty to stand there and listen and smell for it.

      1. no, it’s just a big so what. NI has no duty to use whatever “materials” they think they can make a story out of just because you wanted them to do so. They can shred their own paper. Do I need your permission to shred my papers? No i didnt’ think so.

      2. Snore. Ronan discredited himself when he drummed up ridiculous, bogus accusations against Kavanaugh. These accusations were unsubstantiated, but he went forward anyway. The rest is history.

    2. so what? who cares. their files and they shredded them. snooze. it’s a tabloid, they can shred their scurrilous materials and not use them if they want.

    3. yet another unreliable non source coupled to a second unreliable non source. The Guardian is the British version of Pravda and the National Enquirer is the American main outlet for porn. Perfect for the Stupid Party and other anti Cpnstitutionalists who have rejected their citizenship – if they had ait to begin with. And now they have a book? BFD. by tghe editor of the Enquirer? Like I’m going to waste money on PCR-ap.

  16. I think Justice Thomas wants a second look at Sullivan and Kavanaugh probably the same. I think the standard it too high and this might be the right case.

    1. Christine Ballsey Ford and her accomplices should be in prison for fraud, incitement to insurrection and treason. No aspect of Ballsey’s attack has ever been substantiated by facts or, otherwise, evidence. Her accusations have been proven false. Ballsey’s false attack on Candidate Kavanaugh was similar to and almost as “high” as an attack on the authority of the President who nominated him which, until 1870, was serious enough to earn the penalty of Drawing and Quartering in the Great Britain.

      “…an attack on the monarch’s authority, high treason was considered a deplorable act demanding the most extreme form of punishment.”

      – Wiki

    2. Yep it was a bend over backwards valentine to the Warren Court’s buds on the NYT.

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