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Feds attack press freedom, worse things than Trump and other commentary

Libertarian: Feds Attack Press Freedom

“The powers that be have long tried to treat the release of inconvenient information” as “the equivalent of espionage,” thunders Reason’s J.D. Tuccille. Witness Tim Burke, “targeted with a controversial law by the feds after gathering information through electronic means.” The law’s meant to fight hacking, not (as Burke did) “clicking your way through a poorly secured website” and using public information to dig up stories — in this case unaired Fox News content, including “outtakes of the rapper Ye (formerly Kanye West) making antisemitic comments during an interview with Tucker Carlson.” This “misuse of a law against hacking to target those who do journalism without prior authorization is an inevitable escalation in the war between people who publish secrets and those who seek to keep them.”

Eye on Europe: Worse Things Than Trump

“Europeans fear Donald Trump’s return to the White House,” observes Jakub Grygiel at The Wall Street Journal — “and who can blame them”? But “Europe has enjoyed a decadeslong vacation from the obligation of any polity” thanks to the “benign international conditions of the 1990s and early 2000s.” Major nations like Germany and Italy “spend well below 2% of gross domestic product on defense.” So instead of Trump, “Europe should fear its enemies.” Like an “aggressive Russia pushing westward.” Or “the instability of Europe’s southern frontier.” And especially “a weak U.S. president.” So yes, “Europeans should be afraid. But the primary object of their fear is more immediate. They should arm themselves regardless of what a U.S. president, or a presidential candidate, says.”

White House race: Don’s Ill-Timed Money Woes

“Former President Donald Trump’s legal fees and primary challenges are a significant drain on the Trump campaign’s finances,” smirks Douglas E. Schoen at The Hill. Offsetting that, President Biden’s “spending on campaign ads reflects a candidate floundering to find a message that works.” Biden “has burned more than $20 million on advertising in swing states,” without improving his polling numbers. Indeed, “Trump seems to be maintaining, if not expanding, his lead” in swing states. But as pressure mounts on Trump’s personal and campaign finances, Biden and Democrats will throw “everything they have at him and into get-out-the-vote efforts” in order to win swing or undecided voters — who “may prove decisive in determining who emerges victorious.”

From the right: Cancel Culture Cracking?

After “comic Shane Gillis hosted Saturday Night Live . . . a little more than four years after he was fired from its cast” following outrage over one of his jokes, Spiked’s Tom Slater asks: “Is cancel culture’s brittle grip beginning to crack?” Gillis “just kept making comedy,” and his podcast “exploded in popularity.” He is “that rarest of things” in the “superficially diverse but socially monocultural, world of modern American comedy: a child of Fox News-watching, lower-middle-class, suburban America.” “There are plenty of people who are unhappy that Gillis has been re-embraced by the mainstream entertainment biz,” but “you can’t help but feel that those kinds of people are becoming more shrill precisely because they know they are beginning to lose ground.”

Culture critic: Elder-Abuse-Victim-in-Chief

“In most normal families, a frail 81-year-old grandfather insisting on working but showing clear signs of diminished mental capacity and repeated episodes of falling and physical fragility would be encouraged to quit, enjoy his retirement, golf and garden to his heart’s content,” notes Laura Rosen Cohen at Newsweek. Well, Joe Biden “requires physiotherapy daily for his increasingly stiff gait and must wear slip proof sneakers to prevent frequent falls. Staff reportedly can only schedule important meetings for him from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, because that is when he is most lucid.” So: “Why is the First Lady not putting an end to her husband’s repeated and consistent public humiliation? Why aren’t his children or grandchildren doing the right thing for their loved one?” If this “isn’t elder abuse, what is?”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board



This story originally appeared on NYPost

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