Fox News host Shep Smith just responded to President Trump’s recent attack on the First Amendment, during which Trump complained that it’s “frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
“This presidential tactic is not new in the Trump era,” Smith said in response to Trump’s reported comments. “It dates to the Nixon administration. It’s called, affectionately, ‘working the refs.’”
“The year was 1969, and President Nixon wrote a memo to the staff he had, saying, ‘If we treat the press with a little more contempt, we’ll probably get better treatment.’ As The Washington Post wrote last June, Nixon brought top broadcasting executives to the White House and told them ‘your reporters just can’t stand the fact that I’m in this office.’ Sound familiar?”
Trump had a similar meeting with TV news executives after his Electoral College victory, during which he berated them for their “unfair coverage” of his campaign. Those in attendance called the meeting “a total disaster,” “totally inappropriate,” and “a fucking firing squad.”
“He truly doesn’t seem to understand the First Amendment,” another source said. “He doesn’t. He thinks we are supposed to say what he says and that’s it.”
Smith continued: “The press secretary at the time declared that all of the TV networks were anti-Nixon and that they would pay for that ‘sooner or later one way or another.’ Another top Nixon advisor told the head of CBS News that Nixon’s administration would ‘bring you to your knees and break your network.’ He targeted The Washington Post, its television stations and more.
“His prosecutors drafted legislation to impede journalism,” Smith said. “In the end, good journalism ended his political career. The White House did not control the flow of information. The First Amendment stood firm and almost 50 years later, it does today.”
The full video can be found here: