From The Nation
His attack on Twitter is really an attack on the right to criticize the president.
Donald Trump claims that fact-checking is an assault on free speech.
He is -- it should go without saying -- wrong. Indeed, the whole point of writing the First Amendment was to establish the right of the people and the media to object to claims by presidents and other powerful officials -- especially when those claims are lies.
Unfortunately, Trump needs his lies. Desperately. The president understands that at a point when his approval ratings are collapsing because of a jarringly awful response to the coronavirus pandemic and mass unemployment, only a campaign based on false premises and the crudest deceits can keep him competitive in the 2020 presidential race. So this president is ready to use the power of his position to attack the basic underpinnings of the First Amendment. Furious that Twitter attached a clarifying link to a false tweet he sent about mail-in voting, Trump on Wednesday tweeted, "Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election. If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost. Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!!"
Trump declared, "We're here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers."
Trump's statement twisted the truth to the breaking point -- as he acknowledged -- even as he signed the order, saying, "I guess it's going to be challenged in court."