The President’s war with the news media just got real

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As inappropriate as his past comments have been, they haven’t carried any official weight, but all of the sudden, this is a serious problem.

AT&T has been told by the US Department of Justice that it needs to sell CNN, Time Warner’s cable news channel, to get its $84.5bn acquisition of the media company approved, according to three people with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

There are a few different versions of the story going around, but either way it’s a problem. In the worse case, this is nothing short of dictator-style strong arm tactics and an impeachable offense for sure.

In the best case, this is people who want the merger to go through trying to use this to make Trump look bad so it will get approved. But even if it’s the latter, this still shows just how inappropriate the President has been acting, because it opens him up to this kind of accusation and affects official policy.

I’m not sure if Trump doesn’t know that it’s inappropriate to bash the media and pressure the Justice Department to investigate your political opponents, or if he just doesn’t care, but this is probably as upsetting to me as any twitter or speech insult he has thrown out there. Freedom of the press and the justice system from authoritarian strong men is as fundamental to our democracy as anything.

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