With dictatorship looming, now we have a Bi-partisan attack on free speech

The right to boycott has a long history in the United States, from the American Revolution to Martin Luther King Jr.’s Montgomery bus boycott to the campaign for divestment from businesses serving apartheid South Africa. Nowadays we celebrate those efforts. But precisely because boycotts are such a powerful form of expression, governments have long sought to interfere with them — from King George III to the police in Alabama, and now to the U.S. Congress.

In NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., the Supreme Court in 1982 upheld the right of NAACP activists to hold a mass economic boycott of segregated businesses in Mississippi. The court stated that the boycotters’ exercise of their rights to “speech, assembly, and petition . . . to change a social order that had consistently treated them as second-class citizens” rested “on the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.”

Legislation introduced in the Senate by Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and in the House by Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.), would make it a crime to support or even furnish information about a boycott directed at Israel or its businesses called by the United Nations, the European Union or any other “international governmental organization.” The Israel Anti-Boycott Act says Violations would be punishable by civil and criminal penalties of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. The American Civil Liberties Union, where we both work, takes no position for or against campaigns to boycott Israel or any other foreign country. But since our organization’s founding in 1920, the ACLU has defended the right to collective action. This bill threatens that right.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is designed to stifle efforts to protest Israel’s settlement policies by boycotting businesses in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The bill’s particular target is the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, a global campaign that seeks to apply economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with international law.

Whether one approves or disapproves of the BDS movement itself, people should have a right to make up their own minds about it. Americans engage in boycotts every day when they decide not to buy from companies whose practices they oppose. Students have boycotted companies that sold clothing manufactured in sweatshops abroad. Environmentalists have boycotted Nestlé for its deforestation practices. By using their power in the marketplace, consumers can act collectively to express their political points of view. There is nothing illegal about such collective action; indeed, it is constitutionally protected.

This is not to say that all boycotters are automatically free speech heroes; indeed, BDS advocates have themselves at times shut down Israeli academics or speakers to the detriment of academic freedom. Thus, it’s understandable that free speech advocates might not immediately identify BDS supporters as victims of censorship. But when government takes sides on a particular boycott and criminalizes those who engage in a boycott, it crosses a constitutional line.

Cardin and other supporters argue that the Israel Anti-Boycott Act targets only commercial activity. In fact, the bill threatens severe penalties against any business or individual who does not purchase goods from Israeli companies operating in the occupied Palestinian territories and who makes it clear — say by posting on Twitter or Facebook — that their reason for doing so is to support a U.N.- or E.U.-called boycott. That kind of penalty does not target commercial trade; it targets free speech and political beliefs. Indeed, the bill would prohibit even the act of giving information to a U.N. body about boycott activity directed at Israel.

The bill’s chilling effect would be dramatic — and that is no doubt its very purpose. But individuals, not the government, should have the right to decide whether to support boycotts against practices they oppose. Neither individuals nor businesses should have to fear million-dollar penalties, years in prison and felony convictions for expressing their opinions through collective action. As an organization, we take no sides on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But regardless of the politics, we have and always will take a strong stand when government threatens our freedoms of speech and association. The First Amendment demands no less.

Orginal story: This piece of pro-Israel legislation is a serious threat to free speech
@ https://www.washingtonpost.com/

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follow up: MSNBC backs down for now, O’Donnell stays on

Update of the previous post:  TRUMP REPEATEDLY PRESSURED MSNBC TO FIRE LAWRENCE O’DONNELL HOST OF “THE LAST WORD”, IS IT WORKING?

https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/trump-repeatedly-pressured-msnbc-to-fire-lawrence-odonnell-host-of-the-last-word-is-it-working/

MSNBC will renew Lawrence O’Donnell’s contract, which was due to expire today. At least for now, the network’s increasingly conservative tilt—new show hosts include Greta Van Susteren, Nicolle Wallace*, Hugh Hewitt, and, on sister network NBC, Megyn Kelly—will not be bleeding into the primetime liberal line-up of Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and O’Donnell. At the end of Wednesday’s The Last Word, O’Donnell congratulated an intern starting a new job next week and added, “You know where I’ll be next week? I will be sitting right here talking about the James Comey hearing and everything else that happens next week and everything that happens for the next couple of years.” Later he confirmed by tweet that he won’t get bumped from his 10 pm perch: “Yes I will be saying hi to Rachel @maddow at 10 pm for the foreseeable future.”
*(Some of us here at the Examiner have been enjoying Nicolle Wallace’s show, she has great enthusiasm for gleefully busting fellow Republicans for their hypocrisy supporting Trump.)

Though O’Donnell will remain at MSNBC, it’d be a mistake to think that protesters were overreacting. MSNBC, long considered the liberal answer to Fox News, is doling out valuable TV time to any conservative Never Trumper or ex-Foxer who bats an eyelash at them. The former Fox anchor Van Susteren has been hosting an hour-long weekday show at 6 pm since September. Wallace, a former communications director for George W. Bush and a top adviser for the McCain/Palin ticket (which she famously didn’t vote for) took over the 4 pm slot from Steve Kornaki just a few weeks ago. Right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt—who never-Trumped for a nanosecond—will reportedly get his own show on Saturday mornings. And to top it off, climate-change denier George Will, recently booted from Fox News for opposing Trump, has signed on as a contributor to MSNBC and NBC, where former Fox News star Megyn Kelly will debut her Sunday night show this weekend. In September, Kelly will also take over the third hour of NBC’s Today show.

O’Donnell supporters aren’t crazy to believe that MSNBC could be as ruthless as the next corporate media outlet. Just the day before O’Donnell announced his good news, we learned that CBS had fired Scott Pelley as the anchor of its nightly news show. Pelley has been outspoken about Trump—saying stuff like “It has been a busy day for presidential statements divorced from reality”—something unheard of for a network-news anchor. (Pelley will remain with CBS, however, returning full-time to 60 Minutes.)

MSNBC, of course, has its own history of unceremoniously shedding talent. In February, Tamron Hall quit both NBC and MSNBC after being told—just minutes before going live on air for her daily MSNBC news show—that Megyn Kelly would be bumping her from Today. That followed the purges of 2015, when Andrew Lack, the MSNBC executive, let go of, or moved to obscurity, some of the channel’s more progressive daytime voices—Ronan Farrow, Alex Wagner, Al Sharpton, and Ed Schultz—in an effort to make MSNBC look more like NBC and its straight-news approach. In early 2016, Melissa Harris-Perry quit her weekend show over disputes about editorial control. “They wanted us to cover politics in the narrowest sense,” Harris-Perry said at the time.

But even if Lack lusted for a more centrist prime time, it may not have made business sense to ax O’Donnell, as a number of the protesters pointed out to me. During the month of May, MSNBC earned its highest prime-time ratings ever, topping CNN and Fox in the desirable demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds for the first time in 17 years. And in terms of total viewers among MSNBC shows, also for the month of May, O’Donnell has had ratings second only to Maddow. Like CNN and Fox, MSNBC has Trump to thank for the ratings boost, but it has improved over the last year at far higher percentages than its rivals.

We don’t know what concessions either side may have made, but for now MSNBC issued a statement that portrays O’Donnell as just one of the five amigos: “Each weeknight, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Brian Williams provide insight and perspective that lets you know you’re in the know.”

But in truth, many viewers consider only some of those hosts to be the last bastion of progressive TV news. “Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow are essential to what’s left of my sanity,” Beverly Bullock told me at the rally. “A true, honest, crusading press is needed more than ever. The press is the only sector that’s really standing up for our country.”

And as much as anyone may or may not love O’Donnell, for some, the anxiety is not really about him. Claire Dillingham, a semi-retired teacher who attended the rally, said, “This is what I’m scared of—not of this or that individual losing a job so much as the whole attempt to tell the press to ‘Shut your mouth.’”

https://www.thenation.com/article/getting-last-word/

Trump repeatedly pressured MSNBC to fire Lawrence O’Donnell host of “The Last Word”, is it working?

Read our previous post: The voice of the resistance not so much racism and stupidly undermine MSNBC

https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/voice-of-the-resistance-not-so-much-racism-and-stupidly-undermine-msnbc/

Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” has just four weeks left in his contract, and the cable network does not appear to be interested in renewing his deal. Four well-placed sources tell HuffPost that MSNBC has not been in contact with O’Donnell’s team of representatives to negotiate a new deal.

The absence of active negotiations weeks before a contract expires is highly unusual and often a sign that a contract won’t be renewed. News networks normally don’t risk letting the contract of a host who has a highly rated program expire or even come close to expiring before renegotiating. A short time-frame puts the network at a strategic disadvantage in talks, that’s why cable networks often start negotiating renewals six to nine months in advance of a contract ending.

A spokesman for NBC News declined to comment on “ongoing negotiations.” Although, multiple sources from inside and outside the network have told HuffPost that no negotiations have taken place.

O’Donnell, who has been appearing on the network since its inception, has hosted his highly rated program since the fall of 2010. “The Last Word” is the cable network’s second-highest rated program, according to Nielsen figures, behind only “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

O’Donnell has even been, on some nights, besting Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News among viewers ages 18 to 49, the demographic that television advertisers care about the most.

If O’Donnell’s contract is not renewed, that would not come as a surprise to many network insiders. Andy Lack, the chairman of NBC News, is no fan of O’Donnell’s program, sources say. Some say it’s because he doesn’t appreciate the liberal nature of “The Last Word,” but others say it’s about the fact that O’Donnell rejected Lack’s request to move his program from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time. This decision was O’Donnell’s prerogative, two sources said, because his contract stipulates that his program must air in prime time.

O’Donnell’s refusal to move his program could have led Lack, who is known to bristle at dissent, to sour on O’Donnell, sources said. A senior NBC News executive disagreed with the idea that Lack isn’t a fan of O’Donnell’s show saying, “He is proud of and enthusiastic about all the work that’s being done across all of MSNBC’s primetime slate, including Lawrence’s program.”

There does appear to be some evidence of Lack’s distaste. O’Donnell has not had a face-to-face meeting with him since Lack returned to the network in 2015 after stints at Sony Music and Bloomberg Television, two sources said.

A senior NBC news executive said that Lack doesn’t take a heavy-handed approach with the cable network’s on-air talent and that frequent face-to-face meetings are often a sign that he isn’t satisfied. Sources familiar with the production of “The Last Word” say that Lack doesn’t interfere with the program’s editorial direction. And in Lack’s previous stint as NBC News president he was the one that pushed for O’Donnell to appear on the then nascent cable MSNBC network when it was founded in 1996.

Andrew Lack (second from left) meets with executives from Microsoft, General Electric and Drugstore.com in Manhattan to announce the creation of MSNBC.

Lack’s programming decisions and leadership style have caused tension internally at MSNBC leading staff members and on-air talent to express their displeasure internally and externally. For this story, HuffPost spoke to more than 10 sources inside and outside the network who asked to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak publicly about network business.

If O’Donnell’s contract is not renewed, the news would certainly be welcome to President Donald Trump, who has had a long-running feud with O’Donnell.

In 2011, O’Donnell called on NBC to fire Trump, then the host and executive producer of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” for pushing his racist and inaccurate “birther” conspiracy against President Barack Obama. In 2015, he also claimed that Trump was lying about his wealth. Trump threatened to sue O’Donnell for making false statements but never followed through on his threat (which O’Donnell had predicted).

According to three sources, Trump has pressured MSNBC President Phil Griffin to fire O’Donnell on multiple occasions. Griffin alluded to Trump’s push for O’Donnell’s ouster in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter last month, saying, “[Trump] started calling me all the time in 2011 to say Lawrence O’Donnell was a ‘third-rate’ anchor.”  Griffin and O’Donnell enjoy a cordial relationship but Griffin’s power as the President of MSNBC has been diminished by Lack since he returned in 2015. As a result, Lack will be the one to decide whether O’Donnell stays and under what terms.

There is a fear, among some at MSNBC, that Lack is making programming decisions in an effort to appease the Trump administration (an accusation that has been made of CNN and Fox News), which may lead to more access to the White House and in turn, conservative viewers.

A senior NBC News executive pushed back on this claim. “Is he bringing in more voices from all over the political spectrum? Yes. But that’s to make better programming and more informed analysis. We don’t do things to appease people in power. We hold them accountable.”

If MSNBC failed to renew O’Donnell’s contract, it would be unprecedented, given his high ratings.

It’s unclear who would replace O’Donnell if MSNBC declines to renew his contract. Multiple sources have told HuffPost that Brian Williams, whose program, “The 11th Hour,” is on MSNBC at 11 p.m. Eastern, has been eager to have an earlier start in the evening schedule.

If MSNBC failed to renew O’Donnell’s contract, it would be unprecedented, given his high ratings, but multiple sources tell HuffPost that Lack attributes O’Donnell’s high-ratings to heightened interest in Trump and the fact that his program’s lead-in is the top-rated Rachel Maddow show, and doesn’t credit O’Donnell’s star power and fan base for the high-ratings. Despite this, Lack is said to dislike when people attribute his cable network’s blockbuster ratings to Trump: He believes, according to multiple sources, that the high ratings are largely a product of his programming decisions.

A senior NBC News executive disputes both of these characterizations saying that Lack believes ratings success is more nuanced than attributing it to one or two factors. “He considers prime time to be the “op-ed section” of the cable news network, and believes MSNBC is on top right now because it has the smartest, most insightful and most dynamic opinion hosts in the business,” the executive said.

O’Donnell is not giving up on what appears to be his quest to stay at MSNBC. On May 3, he tweeted about “The Last Word” program beating Hannity in the ratings. “We need audience support now more than ever,” O’Donnell replied. “So thanks again.”

Friday night, he sent another Twitter message about his rankings. “Last night @maddow was #1 rated show in all of cable tv, not just cable news. @TheLastWord was #2,” he wrote. “Thanks for your support. We need it.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lawrence-odonnell-msnbc-future_us_59162d8ce4b00f308cf5534a

Dictatorship 101: Fire the FBI director investigating your regime, then start jailing reporters

Traitor Trump’s cronies copy National Fascist Party leader Benito Mussolini’s behavior.

A reporter has been arrested for pressing Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to say whether or not the Trump health care bill would make it harder for domestic violence survivors to obtain insurance.

West Virginia police arrested Dan Heyman at the state capitol Tuesday as he walked with Price and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, holding a recorder out and asking Price repeatedly about claims that insurers could refuse to serve survivors of familial abuse. That claim is based on inference from the bill’s provision allowing states to abandon consumer protections from Obamacare with federal permission.

Heyman had sought out Price on his way into the capitol. “At some point, I think [they] decided I was too persistent in asking this question and trying to do my job, so they arrested me,” Heyman told West Virginia Metro News. Heyman was later charged with “willful disruption of a governmental process,” according to the news service.

This is Tom Price. Don’t yell questions at Tom Price. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

A police report justifying the charge said the reporter “was aggressively breaching the Secret Service agents” and “causing a disturbance by yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price,” the West Virginia Metro News reported. Heyman was only released after someone from his news agency posted a $5,000 bond. He faces a $100 fine and up to six months in jail under state law.

Heyman’s arrest is the most dramatic recent illustration of the chilling effect President Donald Trump’s election has had on the news business, but it is not the first.

The traveling press corps who followed Trump’s campaign were frequently turned into a side show at his rallies, kept inside a tight and prominently placed cordon where Trump himself would typically point them out as enemies to his supporters. He also occasionally remarked that America should “open up our libel laws” to make it easier to sue reporters who enjoy First Amendment protections.

In one high-profile incident, a senior campaign aide grabbed a reporter by the arm hard enough to leave bruises — an incident the campaign denied despite video evidence. Trump’s political persona frequently relies on cherry-picking media reports he likes and deeming all others “fake news.”

But journalists can handle being presented as a political enemy to the public. The use of state power to physically detain them and then pursue criminal penalties against them for doing their jobs is something different.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wouldn’t rule out the idea of using cops and prosecutors to go after the press back in January. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked him to commit to “not put reporters in jail for doing their jobs” during his confirmation hearing, and he responded that “I’m not sure.” Subsequent reports that Sessions is considering criminal charges against Wikileaks revived deep concerns about press freedom under Trump.

Both Sessions’ exchange with Klobuchar and the reports of a potential Wikileaks prosecution primarily relate to issues of leaked information and source protection. Heyman’s detention and misdemeanor charge is obviously a different beast, pertaining to reporters’ physical and verbal conduct around the public officials they cover.

Heyman is not the first journalist to experience such rough handling by the legal system in the newly dawned Trump era. Several journalists were detained and charged with felony rioting at a mass roundup in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day. Their charges were eventually dropped.

But Heyman’s case is very different even from that mass-arrest sweep. He was solo, in a public building, repeatedly asking a public official for an answer on a matter of some controversy and great public interest.

Republicans and some reporters have scoffed at the idea that Trumpcare would treat domestic violence and rape as pre-existing conditions because the bill does not explicitly do so. But it is not difficult to infer that by allowing states to seek waivers to dump the most expensive health care patients into high-risk pools rather than requiring insurers to cover them at the same price as everyone else, those who suffer ongoing psychological or physiological effects from trauma could quickly be priced out of insurance coverage.

Price may not want to answer questions like Heyman’s. He may not appreciate being bird-dogged by a reporter rather than addressing the media through the controlled environment of a press conference.

But it’s hard to reconcile Heyman’s status as a member of the constitutionally-protected free press with the West Virginia capitol police’s decision that “yelling questions at” public officials in a hallway constitutes an illegal “willful disruption of governmental processes.”

Follow the dead russians

Nilolai Andrushchenko

A prominent Russian journalist known for articles criticizing Russian government and President Vladimir Putin has died in St. Petersburg after being severely beaten by unknown assailants.

Nikolai Andrushchenko, a 73-year-old co-founder of the newspaper Novy Petersburg, was attacked on March 9 and had been unconscious since then.

Andrushchenko’s colleagues and his lawyer say he underwent brain surgery after the attack and initially had been connected to a ventilator, but later was able to breath on his own.

However, they said he never regained consciousness and died on April 19.

His attackers have not been found.

Andrushchenko expressed concern about Putin after he came to power in 2000, saying that the secret services were taking control of Russia.

He was arrested in 2007 and claimed he was tortured in custody. In 2009, a court in St. Petersburg found him guilty of libel and extremism and fined him.

The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized him a political prisoner when he was in custody.

Extrajudicial assassination of Journalists!?!

Washington DC – Two journalists who say they have been targeted by the United States have filed a complaint against the American government, accusing it of putting them on a “kill list” and demanding to be taken off it.

The complaint was filed in the US District Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday on behalf of Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan – a dual Pakistani-Syrian citizen who works for Al Jazeera and Bilal Abdul Kareem, an American who has freelanced for Al Jazeera.

It accuses the US government of using information gathered via its Skynet surveillance programme, which has been used to guide drone strikes on “terror suspects”.

The plaintiffs accuse the United States of conspiracy to commit murder outside its borders and violating international law on targeting civilians.

Filed by UK-based rights group Reprieve and the Washington DC-based law firm Lewis Baach, the complaint asks the court to declare the journalists’ inclusion on the list illegal, and issue an injunction removing their names until they can review the secret evidence against them. It also asks the US to cease any planned strikes against the plaintiffs.

Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s founder and director, said the timing of the filing is linked to information his organisation has received from a secret source in Turkey who claims an attempt on Abdul Kareem’s life is imminent.

“A major reason for filing this litigation now is not because we’re going to win it next week, and get an injunction against [President Donald] Trump from killing these guys, but because we know they’re targeting Bilal and we’ve got to intimidate them enough, through publicity, to prevent them from doing this,” said Stafford Smith.

He told Al Jazeera there is no doubt the men are on the list of targets the US government is going after.

“When you look at Ahmad Zaidan … we have a copy of their [US] leaked Power Point saying he’s on the list. So that’s pretty powerful,” Stafford Smith said.

He said the case of Abdul Kareem is “even stronger”, as the US has allegedly targeted him several times before.

“The reason we know that is that three of those strikes, at least, maybe more, were drones, and the only country that had weaponised drones at the time was the US,” said Stafford Smith.

The Kill List – Kate Toomey

https://soundcloud.com/aljazeera/the-kill-list-kate-toomey

According to Reprieve’s research, it is not uncommon for the United States’ drone programme to require several attempts before killing a target, even ones such as Abdul Kareem or Zaidan who are not in hiding.

“The US misses on average three times for each person they’re trying to target. And with some people as many as nine or 10 times… Even a cat has only nine lives,” Stafford Smith  said.

Named after the artificial intelligence system in the Terminator movies, Skynet uses metadata – such as geolocation and social media activity – to flag individuals as potential “terrorist” threats, placing them on the so-called kill list – also referred to as the ” disposition matrix ” in the complaint.

“When you use an algorithm, it sounds very fancy, but an algorithm carries with it all the biases of the person who wrote it… This is the same problem with Skynet,” said Stafford Smith.

“The people who are really the ‘bad dudes’ out there, like Osama bin Laden, are not tweeting to anyone – they’re not sending text messages to [current al-Qaeda chief] Ayman al-Zawahiri.”

The sort of activities carried out by reporters in the normal course of doing their job, he said, is essentially what landed both men on the kill list.

Over the course of his career, Zaidan has interviewed senior leaders of groups listed as “terrorist” organisationis by the US, including former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Abu Mohammad al-Jolani,  head of the group formerly known as al-Nusra Front in Syria. He served as Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Pakistan for many years.

In a document leaked in 2015, the US National Security Agency alleged that Zaidan was a member of al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood – allegations that he countered in an op-ed detailing his meetings with members of al-Qaeda and other groups.

Abdul Kareem was one of the few Western journalists reporting from the ground during the battle for Aleppo last year for a number of outlets, including Al Jazeera. He has also interviewed members of the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate in rebel-held areas.

The complaint filed on Thursday stated: “Neither Zaidan nor Kareem pose a continuing, imminent threat to US persons or national security. Neither Zaidan nor Kareem is a member or supporter of any terrorist group. Inclusion of Zaidan and Kareem on the kill list under these circumstance was arbitrary and capricious, and an abuse of discretion.”

In Abdul Kareem’s case, being targeted also violates his constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment – prohibiting illegal seizure of evidence, in this case, data – as well as the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees US citizens due process.

The complaint has been filed against President Donald Trump, the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, the CIA, as well as several security-related agency and department heads.

Requests for comment were not responded to by the time of publication.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/journalists-allege-threat-drone-execution-170330205806045.html

 

 

 

 

“the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press” McCain v Trump pt 2

putin-2

Remember Trump’s attacks on the media are diversion so you don’t think about his collusion with this guy

 

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave a staunch defense of the free press Saturday, noting that attacks on the media are “how dictators get started.”

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” to be aired Sunday, McCain took a swipe at President Donald Trump’s volleys against the Fourth Estate, particularly a Friday tweet in which the press was called the “enemy of the American people.”

trump-press-tweet

 

“We need a free press,” said the 2008 Republican presidential candidate. “We must have it. It’s vital.”

“If you want to preserve ― I’m very serious now ― if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” he added.

McCain said that without a free press, “we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time.”

“That’s how dictators get started,” he added, noting that attacks on journalists questioning those in power are a tactic used by autocratic governments.

“When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press,” he said. “I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”

“A fundamental part of that new world order was a free press,” he added. “I hate the press; I hate you especially,” McCain quipped. “But the fact is we need you.”

Trump has ratcheted up his assaults against media organizations in recent weeks, culminating in a belligerent press conference Thursday in which he excoriated the members of the press as “fake news.”

McCain, in Germany for the Munich Security conference, has unleashed a series of thinly veiled attacks on the White House.

In a speech before the conference, he slammed a “hardening resentment” toward “immigrants, and refugees, and minority groups, especially Muslims” and asked world leaders not to give up on America despite the country’s current politics.

During a question-and-answer, the senator said the resignation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, showed the administration was “in disarray.”