Here’s another case of The Donald trumping satire. In the midst of one of his Twitter tirades, Trump lashed out at his arch enemy (well, one of them), the New York Times.
Something got stuck in Trump’s craw. As usual, he never mentions what it is he’s upset about, nor offers a substantive rebuttal. He just launches blind rhetorical missiles. This time he began by attacking columnist Maureen Dowd, who he called “crazy,” “wacky,” and “a neurotic dope.” He piled on by calling the Times “failing,” “disgusting,” and “a laughingstock rag.” But the piece de resistance was a legal threat that made no sense at all:
My lawyers want to sue the failing @nytimes so badly for irresponsible intent. I said no (for now), but they are watching. Really disgusting
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2016
If the prospect of this idiot becoming president wasn’t so scary, it would be the funniest bit of performance art ever conceived. Donald Trump is now inventing legal doctrine and giving it nonsense names. There is no such thing as “irresponsible intent” in tort law. And Trump should be damn glad there isn’t. Because it sounds like something that millions of Americans could sue him for.
What’s more, it would be hard to define what constitutes irresponsibility on the part of a news enterprise. If deliberately dispensing false propaganda were a component of the doctrine, then Fox News could be sued into bankruptcy many times over. For my money, I would sue all of the news outlets that let Trump get away with lying about virtually every subject he has addressed. And what could be more irresponsible than broadcasting Trump’s overt racism and hate speech?
Trump’s litigation threat, despite its dissociation from reality, would violate an actual law. A constitutional one at that. His cavalier approach to the First Amendment should frighten all Americans. This is a candidate for the highest office in the land who has proposed “strengthening” libel laws so he could more easily sue the media he so viscerally hates. To hell with freedom of the press. And when he doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, he just makes up stuff to shake at his foes. His knowledge of the Constitution is as non-existent as its Article XII, which he actually thinks exists. Maybe that’s where he found “irresponsible intent.”
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
What a pathetic, ignorant, small, and potentially dangerous man. He continues to prove that he is utterly unqualified to be a stamp-licker, much less president. The outer limits of his stupidity have still not been reached. And God help us all if he reaches it as Commander-in-Chief.