The Trump White House’s War on Truth


There have been worse years for freedom of the press than 2017.

Take 1798, when President John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Act criminalizing criticisms of the federal government deemed fake news.

Or 100 years ago, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Espionage Act, intended to criminalize government leaks to the press related to national security. This was soon followed by the short-lived Sedition Act, which made it a crime to “utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States.”

And, of course, there was President Richard Nixon’s litany of paranoid assaults on the Constitution, including a White House enemies list of 56 journalists and media executives, complete with break-ins at private homes and offices as well as attempts to block publication of Pentagon Papers and to dismiss the Watergate investigation as a “witch hunt.”

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