The press is still struggling with how to cover Donald Trump.
Years after he crashed into politics and was promoted to the Oval Office, the country’s major news outlets, in large part by capitalizing on the media’s insatiable appetite for spectacle, began to criticize the disgraced president’s trivialities. I continue to give oxygen to such stunts.
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A recent example is by Bob Woodward. Trump filed his $50 million lawsuit against the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist this week, accusing him of constituting copyright infringement when Woodward released the audio of the interview in his audiobook. claimed to have violated the rights of
action is just one myriad threats And years of lawsuits filed by the former president against journalists and news outlets made headlines, were used for political gain by Trump, and were later disrespectfully thrown out by courts. rice field.
Most legal experts contacted by CNN on Tuesday promptly dismissed Trump’s lawsuit against Woodward as frivolous. Below is a sample of what they said.
► First Amendment attorney Charles Tobin said there was “no legal merit” and “just another example of Trump trying to control the news.”
► Ted Bootlas, another First Amendment attorney to the United States Constitution, said the Constitution protects Woodward’s right to publish his audio, adding: ”
> Floyd Abrams, a well-known First Amendment attorney of Pentagon Papers fame, said, “I can’t think of a public lawsuit less successful than Donald Trump’s,” adding, “Woodward agreed. “I don’t see any clear basis for Trump’s allegations.” The on-record interviews could not be published or otherwise disseminated as Woodward did. ”
► Rebecca Tushnet, Frank Stanton First Amendment Law Professor at Harvard Law School, described “most of the claims” in the lawsuit as “clearly garbage” and “preempted by federal copyright law.” bottom. (However, Tushnet says the underlying copyright issue is interesting, given that there is little legal precedent on the subject.)
It took CNN only a few hours to collect this expert’s comment. But after Trump filed a lawsuit against Woodward, instead of pausing the mainstream media to collect this much-needed situation, most newsrooms simply filed his complaint. In fact, news outlets such as The Associated Press, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, NBC News, POLITICO, Axios, and CNN have published articles that act directly on Trump’s hands. .
While some stories, like CNN, point to the former president’s history of filing lawsuits and eventually being thrown out of court, the stories still didn’t deliver the headlines Trump wanted. , amplified the allegations of the lawsuit. legal expert.
Yes, these outlets also published comments published by Woodward and his publishers Simon and Schuster, defending their actions (though some desperately rushed to publish , did not even wait for a response. It doesn’t seem to be appropriate when covering someone who can.
In fact, the way most newsrooms picked up the story is especially disappointing when you think about it. early this montha federal judge admonished Trump and his legal team for filing what was viewed as a frivolous lawsuit. I was ordered to
Judge Donald Middlebrooks noted Trump’s “pattern of misusing the courts for political ends,” noting several other failed lawsuits Mr. Trump has filed in recent years. “Mr. Trump is using the courtroom as a stage for political drama and grievances. This act hinders the judiciary’s ability to fulfill its constitutional obligations,” he wrote.
It’s also disappointing given the larger debate in the press over the years about not giving in hooks, lines and sinkers for Trump’s stunts. If you’re not paying, that doesn’t bode well.