Two completely unrelated pieces. For the full columns, follow the links embedded in the headlines.

Lawsuit blaming Fox news for COVID-19 threatens First Amendment (May 14): A judge on a Washington state court has a chance May 21 to quash a dangerous, outlandish lawsuit against Fox News that would eviscerate First Amendment media freedoms. He should indeed quash it.

The suit is brought by a 3-year-old group of leftist provocateurs called WASHLITE, which stands for the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics. They are suing Fox News for alleged violations of the state’s Consumer Protection Act, which outlaws deceptive practices in the course of commerce. WASHLITE says Fox should be punished because some of its on-air personnel, like many other members of the media, spent weeks downplaying “the danger of the international proliferation of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19.” The result, says the group, was that its members’ health and livelihoods were put at risk, and indeed, it says one of its members contracted COVID-19.

The obvious rejoinder is that Fox is a news organization protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of the press. Its reporters, guests, and hosts have every right to speculate about the effects of this and every other major news topic….

On tariffs, Trump just lies (May 15): President Trump continues to mischaracterize his tariffs and their effect on the Treasury, taxpayers, and farmers. He completely misrepresented it all again in an interview he gave my colleague Salena Zito in Pennsylvania yesterday.

Asked about how to hold China “accountable for the coronavirus,” Trump didn’t come close to answering that question but instead went off on this fact-challenged tangent:

“Well, as you know, we were doing very well with China. I was costing them a lot. They had the worst year in 67 years prior to the plague coming in from China. And we were doing great. We were taking in billions of dollars and giving billions to the farmers. We gave $9 billion two years ago and $12 billion last year. This year, we’re giving $19 billion to the farmers. The farmers are doing very well. Frankly, we’ve done so well with China that the farmers almost don’t have to even plant their crop, but they don’t want that. They just want a level playing field. So, we were doing great.”

This is pure tommyrot.

It doesn’t take complicated numbers or statistical analysis to show this is wrong. It’s just wrong as a matter of indisputable fact. When the United States puts tariffs on good coming in from other nations, the money for the tariffs themselves is not paid by the exporter; it is paid by the importer….


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