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Fake News Is the Greatest Threat to a Free Press

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A free and trustworthy press is vital to a functioning democracy. Media outlets that publish egregious falsehoods do a grave disservice to the American people, and the Trump Campaign is holding them accountable.


Liberal journalists complain constantly about President Trump’s supposed “attacks on the free press,” but by calling out the dishonesty and bias that tarnish the integrity of the entire profession, Donald Trump is arguably the greatest defender of the First Amendment ever. 

The Trump Campaign’s defamation lawsuits against The Washington Post,  The New York Times,CNN, and other purveyors of Fake News are likewise intended to safeguard the entire institution of the news media against the abuses of a few bad actors. All three of the aforementioned outlets brought legal action upon themselves by continuing to peddle the Russiagate conspiracy theory long after their false claims about “deals” between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government had been definitively debunked by the exhaustive “Mueller Report.”

Unfortunately, those objective falsehoods were not isolated incidents. They are part of a pattern of media outlets abusing the public’s trust in order to advance their own blatantly political ends. The American people expect — and need — fairness and impartiality in the 2020 election. We at the Trump Campaign are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that they get it.

Our most recent lawsuit against WJFW, the local NBC affiliate in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, exposes just how pervasive the problem is. Instead of spreading false information under the guise of “opinion” writing as the national media outlets did, the station employed its advertising department for the same purpose.


Despite receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the Trump Campaign on March 25, WJFW refused to stop running an ad produced by a pro-Joe Biden super PAC that contains false and defamatory statements about the President. Incredibly, the station didn’t even acknowledge its error after we provided proof that the ad in question spliced and manipulated President Trump’s words to make it sound as though he was calling the coronavirus pandemic a “hoax.”

As detailed by countless other news outlets and fact-checking sites — including CBSSnopesThe Washington Post, and Politifact— the President never referred to the coronavirus as a hoax. Rather, he was referring to the falsehoods being circulated in the media about his administration’s response to the virus, comparing them to the lies that were spread in service of the Russiagate hoax.

Over many years, this sort of reckless disregard for the truth has eroded the American people’s faith in their press to the point that it has become almost impossible to discern which reports are true and which are partisan fabrications. It’s so bad that people don’t even trust the media to accurately report on the greatest public health crisis in over a century.


This is not a flaw inherent to journalism as such. The problem is that the overwhelmingly pro-Democrat media in this country has decided that discrediting, embarrassing, and attacking their political opponents — namely, President Donald Trump — is more important than reporting the unvarnished truth to their audiences.

It is these biased media outlets, not the President, who are threatening the free press. Unfortunately for them — but fortunately for America — they’ve finally met their match in President Donald J. Trump.

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