President Trump Calls For Lawyers To Strip Reporters Of Their Pulitzer Prizes

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedPresident Donald Trump turned to Twitter this weekend in a rage against a less than flattering Times story  about his work habits and schedule.  The Twitter tirade turned into a demand that New York Times reporters give back the “Nobles” for their coverage of the Russian investigation. That will be difficult for a number of reasons, including the fact that they never received Nobel prizes but Pulitzer Prize.  More importantly, the courts have no role in such awards and the suggestion of litigation to force their return is completely meritless and frankly bizarre.  Update: President Trump is now claiming that, like the disinfectant remarks, he was just being sacrastic.

I have previously criticized the President for these attacks on the media.  I have also criticized many in the media for highly biased and inaccurate coverage.  However, that is no excuse for the ongoing attacks, particularly (as was the case recently with the disinfectant story) when the media was correctly reporting on a controversy.

The President has previously demanded that Times Reporter Maggie Haberman return her Pulitzer Prize for the Russian coverage in light of recent disclosures that the investigation was based on flawed evidence and improper procedures. However, Haberman was correctly reporting that such an investigation was ongoing within the FBI. Many reporters understated the evidentiary foundation for the investigation and Trump is correct that the media never fully addressed the misrepresentations of sources that riddled these reports. The media was too eager to accept that Russian collusion allegations of such highly flawed and biased reports as the Steele dossier.

Initially President Trump was addressing what he said were false aspects in the reporting on his work and eating habits, declaring:

“I work from early in the morning until late at night, haven’t left the White House in many months (except to launch Hospital Ship Comfort) in order to take care of Trade Deals, Military Rebuilding etc., and then I read a phony story in the failing @nytimes about my work … schedule and eating habits, written by a third rate reporter who knows nothing about me. … I will often be in the Oval Office late into the night & see that I am angrily eating a hamberger & Diet Coke in my bedroom. People with me are always stunned. Anything to demean!”

“I can give the Committee a very comprehensive list. When will the Noble Committee DEMAND the Prizes back, especially since they were gotten under fraud? The reporters and Lamestream Media knew the truth all along … Lawsuits should be brought against all, including the Fake News Organizations, to rectify this terrible injustice. For all of the great lawyers out there, do we have any takers? When will the Noble Committee Act? Better be fast!”

I would hope that there would be no “takers” for such a case.  Rule 11(b) states:

“REPRESENTATIONS TO THE COURT. By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper — whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it — an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:

  1. it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;

  2. the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a non-frivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;

  3. the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and

  4. the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a lack of information.”

Such a filing would arguable violation all four criteria.

The President has every right to raise the accuracy of coverage of the Russian collusion stories, though during a pandemic would seem a poor time for such diversions.  However, this attack show more rage than reason in calling for a lawsuit to strip Haberman and others of their Pulitzer Prizes.

Update:  President Trump is now offering a defense that he was being sarcastic, again: “Does anybody get the meaning of what a so-called Noble (not Nobel) Prize is, especially as it pertains to Reporters and Journalists? Noble is defined as, ‘having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.’ Does sarcasm ever work?”

81 thoughts on “President Trump Calls For Lawyers To Strip Reporters Of Their Pulitzer Prizes”

  1. The silliness of demanding these reporters return their ill-gotten awards is beyond ridiculous; it’s almost boring.

    He would do better if he would point out that Joseph Pulitzer was one of the two “Fake News” kings of the day, along with William Randolph Hearst.

    He could point out that these reporters are carrying on the tradition of fake news by their poor coverage of his administration, and reiterate his fake news claim against them, stating that they only accepted these awards because they represent the pinnacle of fake news.

    But I don’t think he’ll do that.

  2. The media was too eager to accept that Russian collusion allegations of such highly flawed and biased reports as the Steele dossier.

    This can be attributed to the fact that the media – rather than act as journalists and investigate/source the hokum foisted forth by FBI – decided to act as stenographers and transcribe the rumors/innuendo/gossip verbatim as if it were manna from heaven.

    Trump is his own worst enemy. He seems to forget that this is not a made for television special starring his over sized ego.

    There are real people with families out of work/food/money and desperate and all these overpaid under worked losers can provide are sound bites and tweets.

    Both republicans and democrats are too busy scoring petty partisan political points to lead the nation with the media swimming in the sewer splashing crap everywhere with glee.

    Disgraces one and all.

  3. “Forget about the Presidency for a moment. Trump’s behavior would get him fired from Applebee’s” Andy Borowitz

    1. Forget about the Presidency for a moment.

      Congratulations Chicken Little. After nearly four years of not being able to do just that, nothing any of you have to say regarding this President has any meaning. What’s even worse, you’ve completed ignored actual facts/evidence pointing directly to the criminal behavior of the IC/FBI and MSM. You’re beyond rehabilitation. Pathetic.

      1. “Adam Schiff is thwarting the will of the House Intelligence Committee as expressed in the bipartisan vote in September 2018 to make these transcripts public,” one senior intelligence official told the Washington Examiner. “He has appointed himself arbiter of what the public should see and has refused to allow the White House to review its own equities, making declassification of 10 of the transcripts impossible. It’s difficult to imagine any motive other than Schiff is still trying to control the narrative on Russia collusion.”
        https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/exclusive-adam-schiff-blocking-release-of-key-russia-investigation-witness-transcripts-officials-say

      2. The IG found the investigation of Trump’s campaign was non-criminal, non-political and involved no “spying”. The only instance of ,malfeasance was a lower level attorney not at an administrative level who is being prosecuted.

        How’s the McCabe investigation going Olly?

        1. The only instance of ,malfeasance was a lower level attorney not at an administrative level who is being prosecuted.

          How embarrassing for you to believe that should be the extent of it. You don’t even realize how buffoonish you have become, especially when you whine about the rule of law.

            1. those are the IG’s conclusions that confirm my bias.

              The only time you’re ever satisfied with a report is when it supports what you already believe. Conversely, you instantly reject reports that contradict your beliefs. Time and again over the last 4 years, the reporting you’ve relied on has been proven false by facts and evidence. I believe you’re in the construction business. That would be similar to you using licensed subcontractors that ignore the specs, make the project a failure and then telling the client the plans were wrong. And then wash, rinse and repeat. I doubt you would accept that in your professional world, why do you accept that in your political world?

              1. Olly, all reputable reports have confirmed the facts I have stated. None support your accusations. You primed us for the supposed pain and disaster that was going to hit Trump’s enemies when the IG’s report was issued. What happened?

                1. You haven’t read the unredacted footnotes in the IG report then. Additionally, it was always known the IG report was going to be limited in it’s investigation, but the Durham investigation would be far more extensive. Your supposed facts have not been confirmed by the evidence available. The actual facts and evidence available support President Trump. It took the Mueller team 2.5 years investigating only Trump to come up with a nothingburger. Durham is investigating everyone and I’m confident the evidence will prove the conspiracy against this President. Whether that translates into indictments and convictions will be a reflection on our justice system.

          1. TIA, those are the IG’s conclusions. If they had been political the public would have known about it with Comey’s Hillary announcement 2 weeks before the election and we’d have a competent president.

            1. TIA, those are the IG’s conclusions

              No, those are not his conclusions. The IG merely makes referrals and makes judgments on professional misconduct in investigations which have a limited scope. The ultimate penalty would be dismissal. Just where does Andrew McCabe work? In the case of the investigations in question one was a judgment on the predicate, and the IG’s judgment was that just about anything was permitted. That should trouble you. It doesn’t because, well, you’re kind of a head case.

  4. “260,000 Words, Full of Self-Praise, From Trump on the Virus”

    By Jeremy W. Peters, Elaina Plott and Maggie Haberman

    April 26, 2020

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/26/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-briefings-analyzed.html

    Excerpt:

    The coronavirus briefings have often contained the same phrases and themes that he used in his 2016 race.

    “It’s consistent with the way he campaigned when he said, ‘I alone can fix it,’” said John Murphy, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who studies the rhetoric of American presidents and politicians.

    Dr. Murphy said that most presidents avoid taking personal credit because they appreciate the fact that Americans can draw the connection themselves between presidential leadership and the country’s successes.

    With Mr. Trump, there is no such subtlety. “The level of self-congratulations that occurs every day at these press conferences is unprecedented,” Dr. Murphy added. -NY Times

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