John Bolton Slams ‘Foolish’ Chuck Todd: Media 'Not Entitled to Worship’

Appearing on Fox News’s Outnumbered on Friday, former United Nations ambassador John Bolton blasted NBC’s Chuck Todd for taking to Twitter on Thursday to attack President Trump’s “un-American” criticism of the media during a press conference: “I thought that tweet was one of the most foolish things I've seen from the media in a long time, and you know, that's a pretty low bar there. The media is not entitled to worship.”

He continued: “It's not entitled to respect as an institution. It’s not entitled to deference by political leaders. It is entitled under the First Amendment to say what it wants to say. That’s it. And you know, the notion that the press is somehow specially protected by the First Amendment...that they have a special status, is ridiculous.”

After co-host Sandra Smith whether the President taking on the press was “good strategy,” Bolton replied: “Well, I think it is, because I think the opposition he faces is overwhelming and – from the establishment press. And I think he’s entitled to disagree with them. He's not threatening them with any repressive measures, he's not talking about censorship or prior restraint.”

Bolton concluded: “And let’s be clear, I really think the press has a view of themselves that’s unwarranted Constitutionally....It's just another part of freedom of speech. So the notion that there’s a – that there’s a quasi-religious role that they’re pursuing is nonsense.”

Here is a transcript of the February 17 exchange:

12:29 PM ET

(...)

SANDRA SMITH: And NBC's Chuck Todd tweeting "This is not a laughing matter. I’m sorry delegitimizing the press in unAmerican" Alright, it all of the sudden got really serious at the end there. Ambassador, what did you make of that drama that you saw on the screen there?

JOHN BOLTON: I thought that tweet was one of the most foolish things I've seen from the media in a long time, and you know, that's a pretty low bar there. The media is not entitled to worship. It's not entitled to respect as an institution. It’s not entitled to deference by political leaders. It is entitled under the First Amendment to say what it wants to say.

HARRIS FAULKNER: Preach it.

BOLTON: That's it.

FAULKNER: Preach.

BOLTON: And you know, the notion that the press is somehow specially protected by the First Amendment and the institutional press, than mainstream newspapers and TV networks, that they have a special status, is ridiculous.

SMITH: But still, do you think is a good strategy by the President?

BOLTON: Well, I think it is, because I think the opposition he faces is overwhelming and – from the establishment press. And I think he’s entitled to disagree with them. He's not threatening them with any repressive measures, he's not talking about censorship or prior restraint.

And let’s be clear, I really think the press has a view of themselves that’s unwarranted Constitutionally. The Supreme Court has said even the humblest leaflet is entitled to freedom of the press.

FAULKNER: Preach.

BOLTON: It's just another part of freedom of speech. So the notion that there’s a – that there’s a quasi-religious role that they’re pursuing is nonsense.

FAULKNER: Drop the mic.

(...)

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