Author Topic: Trump v. Media  (Read 5988 times)

TheDrake

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Trump v. Media
« on: February 26, 2016, 08:55:05 PM »
Once again, it seems poor Trump is confused. At a recent rally, he says,

"One of the things I'm going to do if I win... I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money"

Of course, that's precisely what you can do now.

"Since 1964, when the Supreme Court ruled on "New York Times vs. Sullivan," public individuals who wish to sue media companies for libel are required to prove that the news organization knowingly published false information with malicious intent."

So if something written is negative and horrible and false, it is knowingly published with malicious intent. And you can sue.

Just like Trump has in the past, but failing. What was he hot about? A NYT reporter that suggested he was only worth $250 million. As usual with Trump, he's quite vague about exactly how he would "loosen up" the libel laws that would have helped him win his $5 billion dollar demand. Presumably, it is the "maliciousness" component. You can't get sued just for getting the story wrong, you have to have intended to cause harm through printing something you know to be false or being indifferent to whether it is false.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2016, 09:01:18 PM »
I think what he means is that he'll get rid of the first amendment so people can sue here as easily as they can in England or somewhere else that free speech is a joke.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2016, 08:23:51 AM »
It's the Emperor phenomenon.  What offends him enough to sue can shift from day to day but he would use it to exercise his authority as the right of kings.  You really don't want him anywhere near the Oval office except on a tour.

JoshCrow

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2016, 09:03:48 AM »
I'm so annoyed at the lack of accountability in media sources that I might be convinced to support this... whatever this is. Publishing misinformation about someone knowingly should have severe consequences.

Mynnion

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2016, 09:17:53 AM »
I wonder how many lawsuits Trump will have against the media if he wins?  It seems he already threatens anyone who challenges him with them.  Scary thought.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2016, 09:26:50 AM »
I'm so annoyed at the lack of accountability in media sources that I might be convinced to support this... whatever this is. Publishing misinformation about someone knowingly should have severe consequences.
If you assume perfection and complete honesty is somehow the norm, then maybe.  The Founders never thought that of the press, but felt the strong need to protect its ability to operate freely as the best way to disseminate information and inform the general population about events elsewhere.  They had a particular interest in people being informed about what politicians and government said, did or planned to do.  I can live with those imperfections as long as they don't rise to the level of libel or slander.  But if they do have to be perfect, FOX would disappear.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2016, 09:48:26 AM »
I'm so annoyed at the lack of accountability in media sources that I might be convinced to support this... whatever this is. Publishing misinformation about someone knowingly should have severe consequences.

Agreed, provided that there's actual intent to mislead, or reasonable likelihood that any significant number of persons will be misled.  I don't see the point in using the courts to punish a newspaper that claims that Mrs. Clinton is pregnant with Elvis' love child.  See, e.g. Fallwell vs. Flynt, where SCOTUS unanimously held that Larry Flynt had [and by extension all of us have] a fundamental constitutional right to Bad Taste.

Speaking of which, here's a wonderful article by Flynt himself:
http://www.latimes.com/la-op-flynt20may20-story.html

Gaoics79

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2016, 11:43:46 AM »
I'm with Josh in that I sympathize with Trump's position about the toxic effect that the media has on our democracy. Although in my view, actual misinformation i.e. lies are not the chief villain here. Rather, it's the 24/7 news cycle itself, which manufactures controversy over nothing, creates news where none exists, and contributes to the dumbing down of our political discourse by punishing any candidate that dares say what they actually think about anything.

Obviously what Trump proposes is impossible. What you'd really need is an EMP or some kind of anti satellite missile. Unfortunately, blowing up CNN would have other legal implications...

TheDrake

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2016, 02:12:36 PM »
...punishing any candidate that dares say what they actually think about anything.

I'm wondering how it is "punishment" to simply state your disagreement with a candidate's positions, particularly in OpEd form. If the candidates don't like the negative reactions to saying what they actually think, maybe the right answer is that they need to think different things.

It seems to me that Trump engages actually the same way. If someone says something he disagrees with, he certainly doesn't mind punishing them - whether its by openly mocking them, questioning their honesty, calling them stupid, or filing a lawsuit.

Gaoics79

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2016, 08:48:03 AM »
Quote
I'm wondering how it is "punishment" to simply state your disagreement with a candidate's positions, particularly in OpEd form. If the candidates don't like the negative reactions to saying what they actually think, maybe the right answer is that they need to think different things.

Drake, what I'm talking about isn't one specific example of a politician saying something controversial and being derided in a single column. I'm talking about the suffocating present of the 24/7 news cycle that applies a microscope and a megaphone to every single politician all the time.

Someone like Bernie Sanders says, in response to a "Black Lives Matters" event that "all lives matter" and suddenly there's days of coverage, roundtable discussions, op eds, protests, and a narrative forms that somehow Sanders doesn't support the Black Lives Matter movement. I for one wouldn't be surprised at all if that one comment has dented his support in African American circles.

A single exuberant "YEAH!" at a campaign event by Howard Dean, repeated thousands of times for weeks by the media brought down Dean's campaign. To that last example, the funny thing was most people who attended that particular event who were there in person barely even registered it. For them it was a non event, for the rest of the country (exposed to the media's toxic signal) it was a death knell of a politician.

And let's not even get started on any issue affecting senior citizens, or Israel, or abortion, where the slightest deviation of opinion outside of a narrow pre-established path (even if the opinion includes beliefs that would be uncontroversial to the vast majority of the public) can bring down a candidate overnight as "narrative" in the media spins the politician into a firestorm.

It is not about one person being "punished" for a single viewpoint, but rather an atmosphere that selectively "breeds" politicians that will never reveal their personal beliefs on any issue that is slightly controversial. You have politicians who will not answer questions that are obvious for fear of damaging the delicate "narrative" they are trying to spin for the media.

What I find refreshing about Donald Trump is that he's like some kind of electrical storm, figuratively shorting out the media fog. Every time they try to "Howard Dean" him, he just goes ape *censored* and ZAP gets even stronger. The irony with Trump is he's the biggest liar of them all. I don't for a second think he believes half the things he says. But in his case, it's like some kind of reverse psychology, where he manages to capitalize on a certain segment of the public's frustration with the media and every time the media tries to suffocate him or squelch him his followers violently backlash. He's the Hulk of the political world. Attacking him only makes his followers angrier, which makes him stronger.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2016, 09:21:35 AM »
Quote
A single exuberant "YEAH!" at a campaign event by Howard Dean, repeated thousands of times for weeks by the media brought down Dean's campaign. To that last example, the funny thing was most people who attended that particular event who were there in person barely even registered it. For them it was a non event, for the rest of the country (exposed to the media's toxic signal) it was a death knell of a politician.
Yeah, funny how that happened.  Supposedly, he was leaning into a cheap mic that distorted his yell.  If he had been standing 6 inches further away or had a better mic, he might have become President.  Mondale shed a tear at a campaign stop that killed his mojo on the spot.  Gary Hart had a picture taken on a sailboat with Donna Rice on his lap.  I wonder if Cruz's ad agency hiring an ex-soft core porn actress was the mistake or him repudiating her was even bigger.  Carson not hearing his entrance announcement seemed to take about a foot off of his height, so in the next debate he had to beg for time, "Will somebody please attack me [so I get a chance to speak]?"  Nobody obliged because he's toast.  Trump diminishes his opponents with gratuitous insults that ruin them in the public perception.  Seeing a challenge from Rubio, Trump is now attacking Rubio's big ears and how his makeup was applied last Thursday, and Rubio attacks Trump's hair and "spray on tan", both hoping that the insults will sink the other's ship. 

Not a one of those things has anything at all to do with politics or fitness to serve as President, but the ones in the past all reshaped the election cycle where they occurred, and the current crop of candidates are hoping the insults they sling like spitballs will be heard more loudly than any discussion of policy or platform.  Did anyone hear anything but insults in Thursday's debate?  I couldn't watch it because I was trimming my nails, but I'm curious to know...
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 09:31:21 AM by AI Wessex »

Gaoics79

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2016, 10:01:51 AM »
The other analogy I could think of with Trump is Godzilla. Godzilla, you will recall, was a radioactive beast created by the unrestricted testing of nuclear bombs in the Pacific. He was a monster born to wreak vengeance on the society that created him with their toxic emanations. Although, it should be pointed out, he eventually evolved into a hero (or at least an anti hero) protecting the Earth from either more savage invaders. Not sure how that applies to Trump. Maybe that analogy can only go so far...  ;D

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2016, 10:28:04 AM »
Choose your Godzilla's carefully.  In the original movie (Raymond Burr's first big role), Godzilla was fire-breathing, born of radioactivity but not radioactive.  It was no surprise that those first gigantuan monster movies all came out of Japan right after WWII while the country and culture we still trying to make sense of the immense scale of destruction the A-bombs and their own Emperor, who was a direct descendent of the sun-god, had wrought.  OTOH, Trump might as well be radioactive.  Having him in office will wreak havoc on the fabric of our society and have hugely destructive consequences for US standing in the world.  Not to be apocalyptic, but he would be a massive threat to global stability.  I'm starting to have fantasies that after he's nominated at the convention, in his speech he declines and says he just wanted to see if he could do it, and please visit my casinos and golf courses.  They're truly, truly wonderful!

Gaoics79

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2016, 11:03:56 AM »
Interesting Al. So I take it implicitly from your comment that you believe every word Trump says? You think he actually plans to try to deport 14,000,000 illegal immigrants or ban Muslims from travel within the USA? You believe him when he says he's pro life  ;D

I honestly don't know what Trump would do if elected. I don't know what he *could* do, honestly, within the system that now exists. Really, the only thing the President has the power to do is start wars it seems. Since Trump has declared himself non interventionist (notwithstanding the "carpetbombing" rhetoric) I might like him as president :)

Then again, here I go again thinking the guy is actually telling the truth about anything he says. The radioactive haze emanating from him (borne of decades of exposure to the media's toxic sludge) pretty well shorts out all conventional means of analysis.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2016, 11:40:26 AM »
Quote
Interesting Al. So I take it implicitly from your comment that you believe every word Trump says? You think he actually plans to try to deport 14,000,000 illegal immigrants or ban Muslims from travel within the USA? You believe him when he says he's pro life  ;D
You have it exactly backwards.  He's a con-man, so I don't believe anything he says.  What won't change is that he would be the nation's first Grifter in Chief.  That's worked so well for him that he might even try to set up a Cabinet position as Secretary of Grift and give it to Christie.  He could even try to outsource the federal workforce to illegal Polish immigrant workers or to Poland, itself, in exchange for a percentage of the action.  He said in an interview a few weeks ago (that I won't bother to look u)p that he isn't sure he really means it when he says he'll build a wall, but every time he brings it up at a campaign stop the crowd goes wild, so he'll keep it in his repertoire of promises.

But I still think Cruz would be worse.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2016, 11:45:30 AM »
A few thoughts. One is the fallacy that somehow there was once a golden age when American politicians were honorable and debated the issues, and the 24/7 cycle ruined all that. That was something I thought also, then learned about the dirty tricks that Patrick Henry played on James Madison - the first instance of gerrymandering. Madison was also accused of being French, whilst John Adams was referred to as a hermaphrodite in the press. Adams in return called Jefferson the son of a half-breed Indian squaw.

Howard Dean could have died a thousand different deaths. Yes, his wild eyed scream accelerated his demise, but the odds are slim that he would really have done any better had he not done that, or had it never been broadcast. Remember, he gave his crazy yell in the aftermath of being destroyed by Kerry and Edwards while getting 18 percent of the vote. Had he won, and given a crazy yell, it would have been different. He simply looked like a fool promising to take back the White House (Yaarrgh!) in that context. Also, maybe if you're going to be president you need to understand that you have to be Presidential 24/7 in public. Like when Reagan joked around about bombing the USSR during a sound check that resulted in some damage to the Soviet relationship, but also caused his approval rating to drop.

Normal people can joke about certain inappropriate things, and act the fool. Presidents, and presidential hopefuls, should not. It is a sign they aren't ready.



Gaoics79

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2016, 12:33:37 PM »
Quote
A few thoughts. One is the fallacy that somehow there was once a golden age when American politicians were honorable and debated the issues, and the 24/7 cycle ruined all that. 

It seems Drake that you've fallen prey to the myth of the myth - in this case believing that just because people played dirty politics 100 years ago, that means that all politics have been equally dirty forever.

Politicians have always lied; no one is disputing that. But we have here the modern genetically enhanced super politician who doesn't just lie because it gives him an advantage, but lies all the time 24/7 because if he doesn't, he will be destroyed, instantly. It's the difference between living in a police state where you can't speak certain things in public because the dictator has spies in the streets, versus living in a police state where you can't say something in your home because the dictator has microphones in your living room. Think of it like the difference between a modern cigarette and the ones they made 100 years ago. Similar in many respects, but quite refined and probably alot more insidious for a number of reasons.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2016, 04:00:11 PM »
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A single exuberant "YEAH!" at a campaign event by Howard Dean, repeated thousands of times for weeks by the media brought down Dean's campaign. To that last example, the funny thing was most people who attended that particular event who were there in person barely even registered it. For them it was a non event, for the rest of the country (exposed to the media's toxic signal) it was a death knell of a politician.
Yeah, funny how that happened.  Supposedly, he was leaning into a cheap mic that distorted his yell.  If he had been standing 6 inches further away or had a better mic, he might have become President.  Mondale shed a tear at a campaign stop that killed his mojo on the spot.  Gary Hart had a picture taken on a sailboat with Donna Rice on his lap.  I wonder if Cruz's ad agency hiring an ex-soft core porn actress was the mistake or him repudiating her was even bigger.  Carson not hearing his entrance announcement seemed to take about a foot off of his height, so in the next debate he had to beg for time, "Will somebody please attack me [so I get a chance to speak]?"  Nobody obliged because he's toast.  Trump diminishes his opponents with gratuitous insults that ruin them in the public perception.  Seeing a challenge from Rubio, Trump is now attacking Rubio's big ears and how his makeup was applied last Thursday, and Rubio attacks Trump's hair and "spray on tan", both hoping that the insults will sink the other's ship. 

Not a one of those things has anything at all to do with politics or fitness to serve as President

Not sure how Hillary's claim to have a vagina is relevant to politics or fitness, either.  And yet Mad Albright runs around threatening women with special hellfire if they don't support her.  Identity politics has a much more dangerous history in this country than big ear politics.  Neither Perot nor Obama seem to have been helped or hurt by their big ears.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2016, 05:22:59 PM »
Not surprising: Ann Coulter supports Trump.   What might surprise you is that she says she supports him as a third party candidate as well...

Another Trump celebrity whom we don't like when he's angry ...

TheDrake

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2016, 10:23:14 AM »
Politicians have always lied; no one is disputing that. But we have here the modern genetically enhanced super politician who doesn't just lie because it gives him an advantage, but lies all the time 24/7 because if he doesn't, he will be destroyed, instantly. It's the difference between living in a police state where you can't speak certain things in public because the dictator has spies in the streets, versus living in a police state where you can't say something in your home because the dictator has microphones in your living room.

Isn't transparency to what a politician really thinks a good thing? Maybe the modern press would have caught Nixon saying some really inappropriate bigoted comment, and he wouldn't have been president.

This is what is so fascinating about Trump, that he's been caught on tape and looped on so much stuff that I would have said, well that's it then. Whether he's referring to "the blacks", mocking disabled journalists, calling Mexicans rapists, stating that he wants to commit a war crime by killing the families of terrorists, implying that a the only reason a female journalist would give him a hard time is because she's menstruating.... These are all things that would traditionally have ended a campaign, or at least damaged it.

I personally don't live in fear of somebody reporting that I said these things, or that I contradicted myself on multiple occasions, because I don't say those things and I'm generally principled. If politicians are forced to lie, it is because they are genuinely bad people and need to cover it up. Maybe Trump will redefine that - by winning he'll get rid of all that PC crap that holds you accountable when you act like a jackass.

Skipping back to Dean for a minute, part of his problem was having the exactly wrong tone for the occasion. He just had his ass handed to him. Then he went out in front of his team, and also some reporters because when you're running for President you get that kind of scrutiny. He was just being himself - for me personally when I experienced it, the problem is that he was like the coach of a losing team that goes into the locker room at the end of the game and shouts about how they're going to the playoffs. The thing most people feel after a loss is humility, solemnity, resolution. I believe this is part of what made it so funny that morning show DJs had the sample on a button. Mind you, he had been the front runner for quite some time before he blew Iowa, which happened before the scream. If anyone is interested in trying to understand what really killed his campaign, there's a great article from Esquire, The Dean Scream: An Oral History. One of the interesting quotes was "Dean refused to get media training" in regard to the microphone.

He would have faded away more quietly had the scream not happened, but make no mistake, their campaign was in shambles already, and if it wasn't they would have recovered.

In Dean's own words:

Quote
Running for president is running for the most powerful office in the world. And politics is just war. 400 years, 500 years ago we used to murder each other in large numbers over succession and asset allocation, which is what politics is really about. And my attitude is, yeah, of course it's unfair. It's awful, and there are a lot of jerks in the business. But if you don't like it, don't run for president. Because if it's too hard, if you can't get over the Scream speech and push that away, what are you going to do when Putin wants Alaska back? So was it an injustice? Sure it was an injustice. So what?

So if Trump can't get over somebody in the press saying he's not a billionaire, and needs to sue them...

rightleft22

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Re: Trump v. Media
« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2016, 11:11:28 AM »
I read in an article that Americans want to hear it like it is and told the blunt truth as if anything spoken bluntly must be the truth.

I suspect that if Trump manage to change the libel laws he would be one of the persons being sewed a lot.

Everyone, including the media and politicians should be held accountable when distorting facts or outright making them up. I note that Trumps main source to verify information is social media. If someone tweeted it, it must be true. 
Why is it about Trump that he is able to say and do things that would not be tolerated by anyone else, politician or not.
Why is it so difficult for honest critical journalism to respond to Trump? This is scary. 
Why is his bulling of the media, bulling in general, working? His communication/business style is based on the verbal attack intended to throw the opponent off balance – anyone Trump communicates with is an opponent. He learned this technique at a very early age.  It’s about winning not about how he wins. 


If it looks like *censored* and smells like *censored* there is no need to taste it and if you step in it, well you have no one else to blame.