Week in Review 5-29-2020

President Trump's attack on the media to delegitimize them and cast doubt has been a prime focus of his since he took office. But on Thursday, he attacked the very media that allowed him to build followers for his hateful, spiteful, and untrue speech. He signed an executive order targeting social media companies, namely Twitter and Facebook, for applying fact checks to two of his tweets. 
The order directs executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to study whether they can place new regulations on these types of companies.
Media outlets do have a responsibility to fact check. Under the shield of free speech, these companies can't damage a person's good name. Our country's libel, slander, and defamation laws are designed to offer protection from these types of scurrilous attacks.
However the President should not use his authority as a sword. He must be accountable for what he says.
He can't use the FCC and the FTC as weapons against perceived anti-conservative bias in the media. The executive order is part of Trump's pattern of using government agencies as own political tools for revenge. 
Trump is embarking on a slippery slope that could lead to massive censorship throughout the internet and other forms of media. We need freedom of the press to serve as an independent check on the activities of government - especially during this Presidency.
Twitter's tagging of Trump's false  claims is itself absolutely protected under the First Amendment as an expression of opinion, according Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe. Freedom of speech is a Constitutional right guaranteed to everyone. Trump doesn't get to choose when and how it is used.
Words matter. Trump knows that and that is why he is fighting so hard against those that believe that, too.
In the meantime, let's remain committed to our goal - electing Joe Biden and other JAC candidates who will use their words and actions to lead and heal.