Following the release of the four-page alleged summary of the report Mueller handed in to U.S. Attorney General William Barr over the weekend, Republicans, including Donald Trump himself, have widely declared the report to be a total exoneration of Trump in spite of the fact that even the summary clearly states that it’s not an exoneration of Trump. Now, Trump and his communications director Tim Murtaugh have issued a memo to “Television Producers” with a list of demands.
The Trump campaign is sending this memo to TV producers: pic.twitter.com/yhr03LAI7N— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) March 25, 2019
In short, Trump is very upset that various news media have interviewed and/or employed people who believe that Trump has committed crimes and is now demanding that if they must have these individuals back on the air, they must grill them about how wrong they allegedly were.
“Moving forward, we ask that you employ basic journalistic standards when booking such guests to appear anywhere in your universe of productions,” the memo reads. “You should begin by asking the basic question:
‘Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past?’
At a minimum, if these guests do reappear, you should replay the prior statements and challenge them to provide the evidence which prompted them to make the wild claims in the first place.”
Nothing gets the media on your side like telling them all that they’re incompetent journalists and then telling them how to do journalism, especially when your suggestions are the kind of incredibly biased approaches that even Fox News “journalists” would balk at. Some of them, at least.
The memo includes a list of individuals who, according to Trump, have been particularly mean to him. It includes Senator Richard Blumenthal, Representatives Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, and Eric Swalwell, DNC Chairman Tom Perez, and former CIA Director John Brennan. With this list is a quote from each either using the word “collusion” or, in the case of Mr. Brennan, “treason.”
Apparently, because Donald Trump isn’t in prison right now, these people were all total liars and Bad for America.
To be clear, nothing in this memo is binding because the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights says that the President can’t force the media to do his bidding. How inconvenient for Trump. However, the memo is being widely condemned for being an unprecedented attack on journalistic freedom. Not to mention how much it makes Trump look like a giant baby.
This is what Republicans have been aiming for since Nixon and the media follows along with them.— Steven (@beaconspring) March 25, 2019
I notice there's no request to make the same choices for Trump and his spokespersons, who lie on a daily basis.— Chris Peterson (@chriswpete) March 25, 2019
I want the name of every producer, TV host, et al who had Trump on for 8+ years talking about Obama being born in Kenya not Hawaii, never attending US schools and nobody knew him, etc.— Is this presidency over yet? (@thecitizeNY) March 25, 2019
...I'm sorry this isn't even funny. This isn't normal. It should never be. A President should never act this way - it isn't his fucking job to set up TV lineups, and if they have the time may I suggest dealing with the opioid crisis?— Lanaaaaa (@LAnatra_) March 25, 2019
Just as @sarahkendzior and @AndreaChalupa have been warning us.— Adam Rifkin ? (@ifindkarma) March 25, 2019
The authoritarian #WordOfTheDay is "temniki" (little themes) — “political instructions on how to cover particular topics, or whether to cover them at all”:https://t.co/Hsc8VKzx7b
All of those mentioned in this memo should be booked as a panel for multi-hour segments, immediately.— NiteOfTheLivingDave (@OleThickHawk) March 25, 2019
I think the memo reads better in the original German.— Toby Veach (@tobyveach) March 25, 2019
What a fucking load of garbage that was. 1. He wasn't exonerated. 2. It only found no concrete evidence of a conspiracy. Lack of evidence does not mean a conspiracy did not happen. 3. The Trump Administration does not get to dictate what guests news organizations have on.— ?♀️??♀️?♀️Astartiel™ ✪ (@Astartiel) March 25, 2019
Trump wants state media. In his own words: https://t.co/TSfZhr8Aja— Atlas Mugged ? (@Pamacious) March 25, 2019
ETA til I’m getting shipped out on a boat to Africa, or Cuba?— ?Tommy J?️#GoPupMe (@ResistMonsters) March 25, 2019
I’m biracial so I’m not sure they’d easily pick a location.
I’m betting Fox drafted that memo for them...— Tracy Frary (@tracyfrary) March 25, 2019
I’m gonna say that not one of the names listed has more lies than the current occupant of the Oval Office— JonBenoit ????? (@jonben65) March 25, 2019
Waiting for that apology they owe Hillary like pic.twitter.com/q4Ll5dZ5Dd— shauna (@goldengateblond) March 25, 2019
This Trump campaign memo seeking to de-platform Democrats constitutionally duty-bound to check executive abuses of power, on the basis of claims consistent with Barr's gloss on Mueller's report, gives away the aim of the game: no rule of law, no oversight. https://t.co/jKtPg1isB9— Will Wilkinson ? (@willwilkinson) March 25, 2019
As I'm sure you know, this is not normal. Not in a democracy. https://t.co/DFUJpYRpIg— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 25, 2019
DIGUSTING! Trump attempts to control the media like Putin did in 2000 after the Kursk incident. Demanding media loyalty & blacklists do his bidding?! That’s tyranny as our founding fathers saw it. Media should double down hold him accountable. Libel laws change next? #PettyTyrant https://t.co/EqCzvus4go— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) March 25, 2019
Now the Trump regime is sending lists to TV producers to silence their critics. The authoritarianism is ramping up. Time to get energized for 2020 at all levels folks! https://t.co/aRpGsxosKb— Amy Siskind ?️? (@Amy_Siskind) March 25, 2019
I figure we're about 14 months from loyalty tests to validate citizenship. Just in time for the election. https://t.co/t71w8u5Ogn— Berzerker Builds Bridges not Walls (@BerzerkerBuilds) March 25, 2019
Completely normal, Democratic and sane to blacklist people you perceive as your enemies. https://t.co/1eouuQgDnz— Elizabeth Thorp (@ElizabethEThorp) March 25, 2019
The Trump campaign thinks that people who have made "outrageous and unsupported claims" in the past should not appear on TV -- which seems like it might cripple their campaign strategy. https://t.co/GVup1iFo71— Philip Bump (@pbump) March 25, 2019
Rep. Eric Swalwell himself is having none of this blacklisting crap.
The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump. If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court. https://t.co/x9UvPnTqkO— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) March 25, 2019
Donald Trump is a liar and a traitor who almost certainly colluded with Russia, obstructed justice, and committed numerous additional crimes during and before his campaign and presidency.