Time and again, President Donald Trump has triggered people across America with his habitual tweeting. Twitter has continued to offer a direct gateway to the thought process of a President, something Americans have never known before. His tweets are not watered down by his staff, they’re directly from him. Where President Trump encounters trouble is when he fires shots against his political enemies.
The hyperbole in response is incredible. Critics label his tweeting habits as dangerous to liberty and the free press. Using his own right to free speech to criticize those who criticize him is apparently contrary to the First Amendment.
Count disgraced spook Michael Hayden as one of those people jumping on the hyperbole bandwagon.
Over the weekend, President Trump incited a whole new uproar by stating Fox News is more important to America than CNN. He then went on to tweet that CNN represents the United States poorly worldwide. Fox News has long held a Republican bias, whereas CNN is frequently criticized for leaning too far to the left. CNN and the President have exchanged insults and criticism for several years now.
Is this an attack on the First Amendment right to free press? Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden believes so. In a tweet, Hayden slammed the President for his “outrageous assault” on the truth, free press and the First Amendment.
The problem here is that Hayden, who also once ran the National Security Agency, is no constitutional scholar. This is evidenced by the intelligence community routinely violating the founding documents under his watch. But here he is attacking other people for apparently violating the Constitution, as if he cares about it one bit.
The problem with the oft-stated claim that the President is attacking the free press is that it’s just wrong. When he criticizes CNN, he isn’t declaring that we should close down the press or shut down free speech. He’s calling a specific entity into question and using his own right to free speech.
Isn’t the right to speak freely and disagree one of the many great things about America?
Hayden also claims that if this is what the country is turning into, then his forty year career is a lie. Given that he directed two intelligence agencies to routinely violate the Bill of Rights against American citizens, it’s difficult to say that his career consisted of serving the cause of good.
In the last year, the President has given America some legitimate issues to complain about. He, like anyone else, is not perfect and, being a human being, will certainly make mistakes. But is free speech something people should be complaining about? This is the ultimate irony here.
Michael Hayden isn’t a constitutional scholar. In fact, he’s shown clear disdain for the Constitution. But he clearly doesn’t have a clue, as evidenced by his most recent bandwagon tweet joining the left-wing echo chamber. Instead, he should stick to doing what he does best: encouraging the intelligence community to violate the Fourth Amendment and attacking whistle-blowers for exposing these massive abuses of power.