Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Trump An Enemy Of Free Speech

One of the more recent James Bond movies was titled “The World Is Not Enough”. It would seem the expression also summarizes Donald Trump’s worldview and philosophy of life.

Not satisfied trying to maneuver New Orleans residents and little old ladies out of their property standing in the way of his expansive domain, the famed tycoon is now taking it upon himself to acquire the rights to the First Amendment, grant access to it to whomever he pleases, and demand the masses venerate him like some deluded Roman Emperor. Responding to remarks made by Rosie O’Donnell on The View regarding the irony of someone of Trump’s questionable reputation standing in judgment over the propriety of Miss USA’s inebriated deportment, Trump is threatening to sue.

But on what grounds does he have standing? It is pretty much public perception that Trump got his boost in life with the help of daddy’s money and that Donald has come perilously close to bankruptcy.

He must think he is so rich that he ought to be able to expunge the historical record to suit his own fancy.

If Trump is going to try and corner Rosie on something other than hurt feelings, what is it going to be? Wouldn’t for charges of slander or defamation it have to be proven that Rosie knowingly uttered false statements?

Most of the time, when the average person is ridiculed for something they have said or done (even if enunciated against them unfairly or inaccurately), we stew about it for a while and then go on our merry way. If Trump demands to be fawned over and catered to to this degree or he’s going to fly off the handle, no wonder his first two marriage didn’t last and it prompts you to speculate how long the third will endure.

If we are going to fall for the assertion that Trump’s reputation might be damaged as a result of O’Donnel’s allegations, then why isn’t he as eager to go after late night monologist Jay Leno for musing that Trump went easy on Miss USA because she has a luscious bosom? Doesn’t such a comment impinge upon Trump’s character as much as O’Donnell’s since it insinuates he’s not willing to apply rules objectively but rather stroke them for something that jiggles and catches his eye?

Does anybody in a position to do business with Donald Trump really care what Rosie O’Donnell has to say anyway? After all, they are probably just as lecherous as he is.

Those among the 49% thinking the First Amendment is an impediment to an orderly society that ought to be curtailed will argue that obnoxious louts like Rosie O’Donnell need to be reined in. Yet it must be pointed out that Trump not only responds this way to the obnoxious most would consider needing to be taken down a beg or two but also more serious journalists as well.

In Give Me A Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, Scam Artists, And Became The Scourge Of The Liberal Media, John Stossel writes about exposing Trump’s efforts to force an elderly widow out of her home of over 30 years so that a parking lot could be built for one of his gambling dens. For daring to call the tycoon a “bully”, Stossel was warned, “Nobody talks to me that way (25).” Stossel muses that maybe someone should.

There is nothing wrong with the hyperrich accumulating vast fortunes. However, such monetary resources should not allow them to trump the basic rights of the rest of us deemed to be beneath their elevated status.

by Frederick Meekins

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