He's playing with fire, but the president hasn't actually done anything to abridge press freedom, even if we fear what he might like to do. It's all words and bluster. Frankly, those concerned about this "war" should hope that Trump doesn't take lessons from several disturbing recent actions against reporters here in California.Which is truly the bigger threat to press freedom?
The latest example came in Democratic San Francisco, but the scene isn't particularly uplifting of the city's oft-touted liberal values. After the unexpected death of the city's elected public defender, Jeff Adachi, a freelance reporter secured a copy of the related police report and apparently sold the information—some of it pretty salacious—to news outlets. The San Francisco Police Department wants to find the source of the leak.
"Police used a sledgehammer to try to get into (the reporter's) home and office and cuffed him for hours as they searched and subsequently removed dozens of cameras, cellphones, computers and other equipment used to gather news," the Associated Press reported. Police are trying to figure out his role in getting the report. The AP notes that it's not illegal for reporters to receive or publish information, even if it were improperly obtained by a third party. Police reports are supposed to be public records.
That's worse than anything Trump has tweeted about the media. Much worse.