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Unfreedom of the Press review: Mark Levin's Trumpist take on the first amendment
Unfreedom of the Press review: Mark Levin's Trumpist take on the first amendment

New York, May 18 (TIWN): Americans’ distrust of the media is only exceeded by its disdain for Congress. Mark Levin’s latest book won’t do much to rehabilitate journalism but it should cement his standing among Trump’s go-to guys.

Related: The Mueller Report by the Washington Post review – the truth is out there… somewhere
A radio talkshow host and a recipient of conservative largesse, Levin served in the justice department under Ronald Reagan. In the 2016 Republican primary, he backed Ted Cruz and was a never-Trumper until he wasn’t. He has since embraced the 45th president with the passion of a penitent and the conviction of a convert.
Trump recently appeared on Levin’s program, where the president explained his reaction to the white supremacist march in Charlottesville in August 2017 in which a counter-protester was killed: “I actually said it every way you can say it. But I said you had bad people in both groups and I said you had good people in both groups.” If Heather Heyer were still alive she would surely beg to differ. But Trump’s memory of David Duke was always kinda hazy.
Unfreedom of the Press is a non-stop attack on the mainstream media and a running indictment of a century of progressive politics. In Levin’s words, his book is about “how those entrusted with news reporting in the modern media are destroying freedom of the press from within: not government oppression or suppression, not Donald Trump’s finger-pointing …”
Levin has jettisoned any journalistic skepticism surrounding Bill Barr’s non-summary of Robert Mueller’s report
Who cares if Trump calls the press the “enemy of the people”? A majority of Republicans embrace this proposition, though almost two-thirds of their fellow Americans disagree. Unfreedom of the Press attempts to bestow a patina of respectability on these darker impulses.
As to be expected, Levin ignores Trump’s oft-repeated attack on existing libel laws, exacerbated by Bob Woodward’s Fear; the president’s empty threat to enjoin the publication of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury; and his praise of using the media as a literal tackling dummy. Levin neglects to mention that Montana’s Greg Gianforte body-slammed the former Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, and was congratulated by Trump for doing so.
“Any guy who can do a body slam, he’s my guy,” said the president.
Unfreedom of the Press is not exactly fan fiction but it can get ahead of itself when discussing the special counsel’s conclusions, ending up sounding like the “fake news” the author and Trump both purport to abhor. Among other things, Levin has jettisoned any journalistic skepticism surrounding the attorney general Bill Barr’s non-summary of Robert Mueller’s report, instead choosing to equate Barr’s truncated take with holy writ.
To quote: “In addition to special counsel Robert Mueller’s declaration of no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia …” Uh, what “declaration”?
Fast forward to the text of the actual report. On page two, the special counsel explains: “Collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law.”
Levin has launched his own jihad against Mueller, a decorated and wounded Vietnam veteran. On Fox News in late March, Levin labeled the special counsel a “coward”. In the words of the Daily Beast, Levin also delivered a “breathless, spittle-flecked soliloquy” in which he declared that the media was hellbent on ruining Barr “because they destroy anybody who stands up to the mob”.
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