The not-so-solid First Amendment

As I said the other day, my American friends are strangely confident that the Constitution will eventually keep Trump under control.

I wonder…

In the meantime, consider this sobering assessment by two academic lawyers in today’s New York Times:

When President Trump declared on Saturday that reporters are “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” it was not the first time he had disparaged the press. Nor was it out of character when, later that same day, his press secretary threatened “to hold the press accountable” for reporting truthful information that was unflattering to Mr. Trump. Episodes like these have become all too common in recent weeks. So it’s comforting to know that the Constitution serves as a reliable stronghold against Mr. Trump’s assault on the press.

Except that it doesn’t. The truth is, legal protections for press freedom are far feebler than you may think. Even more worrisome, they have been weakening in recent years…

For example, the First Amendment offers no protection to journalists who are hounded and harassed by mobs dispatched by Trump and his minions.

Journalism is about to become a dangerous profession in the United States.