Sen. Richard Blumenthal proposes criminalizing criticism of fake news

Sen. Richard Blumenthal proposes criminalizing criticism of fake news
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Image: YouTube screen grab via MSNBC)

First came the year-old but newly revived parody video of Donald Trump murdering members of the press and his political opponents in a church. Never mind that the president had nothing to do with the creation of the video or that he condemned it. The video had been made, and that’s all that mattered. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman appeared on CNN where she accused Trump of “inciting” violent imagery.

CNN’s own Brian Stelter took it a step further, attempting to link the video to an actual shooting in a New Hampshire church. Never mind that the massacre in question occurred a day before the New York Times broke the story on the Trump parody video.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, which if you’re a Democrat means more governmental regulation. Enter Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Dem-Conn.) to propose a bill that makes threatening or attacking anyone doing fact gathering or news operations a federal crime.

In the video, which appears below, Blumenthal makes the claim that some attacks on journalists have been fatal, which is true. In 2008, for example, a gunman named Jarrod Ramos shot and killed five employees at an Anapolis, Md., newspaper with a shotgun. But the massacre had nothing to do with the politics of either the paper or the gunman but was over an article the paper had published about his being placed on probation, which enraged him.

Trending: Signs of things to come: Barely into Day 1 of hearings, Schiff caught lying

Needless to say, Blumenthal’s law would be designed to protect “establishment” journalists who are critical of Trump, not people like Andy Ngo, who was beaten and seriously injured by an Antifa mob in Portland, Ore. But in any case, the law would be superfluous since journalists, like all other citizens, are already protected against physical attack by provisions in the U.S. Penal Code.

In the end, what Blumenthal is proposing is criminalizing criticism of the news, regardless of how biased it might be.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."