Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner for President, is again threatening to roll back the media’s First Amendment protections in the Constitution.
Speaking at a rally at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, Trump condemned the media for writing “incorrect” stories about him.
“The press is amazingly dishonest, okay? The press is a real problem in this country. One of the things that’s very important to me … I think the press is worse … they’re worse than the politicians,” Trump said, arguing that about 80 percent of the press is corrupt.
“They can write anything they want and you cannot sue them, because the libel laws, they essentially don’t exist, and one of the things I’m going to do is I’m going to open up the libel laws.”
Trump assured his audience, “we’re not gonna do anything about Freedom of the Press,” but he then threatened to roll back the media’s protections in the Constitution.
“But when people write incorrectly about you, and you can prove that they wrote incorrectly, we’re gonna get them through the court system to change, and we’re gonna get them to pay damages,” he added.
“You know what’s going to happen? When you do that with the press you’re gonna see a much more honest press, and you’re going to see a press, frankly, that you’re gonna respect a lot more, and you’ll read. I mean, you’re gonna read.”
On Friday, the contender for President said he wanted to “open up” the libel laws in America so that he can “sue them and win money.”
According to constitutional law, as decided by New York Times v. Sullivan, In order for public figures to have a case against the media, they need to meet a standard known as “actual malice,” and prove that the statement “was made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard of whether it was true or false.”
Statements that are simply incorrect, and not written with proven malice, do not meet that standard, according to case law.