With word that Trump has revoked the press credentials of the Washington Post for appearing in an official capacity at any of his events, and criticism of that from the usual quarters, I couldn’t help but recall what I learned perhaps only about five to six years ago, about “America’s greatest President,” Abraham Lincoln, arresting critical newspaper editors.
In fact, here’s Lincoln’s official Executive Order on the matter (emphasis mine):
“Whereas there has been wickedly and traitorously printed and published this morning in the New York World and New York Journal of Commerce, newspapers printed and published in the city of New York, a false and spurious proclamation purporting to be signed by the President and to be countersigned by the Secretary of State, which publication is of a treasonable nature, designed to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States and to the rebels now at war against the Government and their aiders and abettors, you are therefore hereby commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your command the editors, proprietors, and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers, and all such persons as, after public notice has been given of the falsehood of said publication, print and publish the same with intent to give aid and comfort to the enemy; and you will hold the persons so arrested in close custody until they can be brought to trial before a military commission for their offense. You will also take possession by military force of the printing establishments of the New York World and Journal of Commerce, and hold the same until further orders, and prohibit any further publication therefrom.“
And before that, America’s second president, John Adams, signed the blatantly unconstitutional “Alien and Sedition Acts,” which made it a punishable crime to be critical of the federal government.
Unlike Adams and Lincoln, Trump is still a private citizen. When he’s President, then starts banning various press agencies, then let’s put things in historical perspective and judge what a violator of the First Amendment he truly is, and decide on the appropriate remedy.