Speaking on his Fox News Show “Life, Liberty and Levin” on Sunday, host Mark Levin said “The media is [sic] destroying the free press” and suggested that media who say they have never seen anything like President Trump calling out newspapers and journalists are “illiterate when it comes to history.”
“The media is [sic] destroying the free press,” stated Mark Levin. “I make a distinction between the media and the free press. We have mostly a media, and we mostly have a media, not a free press because of the media. The media is [sic] destroying the press – not the president by calling out newspapers and journalists who are very thin-skinned and don’t like it.”
Later, Levin responded to Hegseth about the media thinking they are under a great threat than they’ve ever been because of this president, saying, “Well, it’s because they are illiterate when it comes to history.”
Mark Levin was interviewed by “Fox and Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth, discussing Levin’s new book “Unfreedom of the Press.”
Below is a transcript of the exchange between Levin and Hegseth.
Mark Levin: “The media is [sic] destroying the free press. I make a distinction between the media and the free press. We have mostly a media, and we mostly have a media, not a free press because of the media. The media is [sic] destroying the press – not the president by calling out newspapers and journalists who are very thin-skinned and don’t like it.”
Pete Hegseth: “They say they're under a greater threat than they've ever been because of this president.”
Levin: “Well isn’t that fascinating. You know, you have Jim Acosta, you have others out there saying we've never seen anything like this before. The New York Times’ publisher said the same thing. Well, it’s because they are illiterate when it comes to history.
“As I explained in the book, John Adams, the Sedition Act. Well he put journalists in prison. He shut down newspapers. It was a big problem. Jefferson ran against this. Jefferson won. Jefferson got rid of the Sedition Act. You have Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Through his Secretary of War, they shut down over 300 newspapers. They put a number of journalists in prison for a variety of reasons. You can argue one way or the other, but that's what they did. One of the great so-called progressives, intellectuals, Woodrow Wilson – really an accidental president in many ways – he had a new Sedition Act in 1918, an extension of the 1917 Espionage Act that we often talk about. And he put a number of journalists in prison. He actually put a number of political opponents in prison. And even in more modern times, you have FDR who used the IRS to go after the owner of the [Philadelphia] Enquirer. His wife Eleanor Roosevelt used the IRS to go after Gannett because they were conservatives.
“They went after Kennedy. LBJ also used the IRS. And of course, Barack Obama used the FBI to go after James Risen of The New York Times, James Rosen of FOX and 20 Associated Press reports. Of course, he knew nothing about it. They just sorta did [it]. So to say this president, long story— To say this president by calling a particular reporter or news operation fake news is like a dictator, it's the worst thing we've ever seen, is so absurd, is so outrageous, I'm not aware that he's use the FBI or the IRS or a Sedition Act to shut down anybody or put anybody in prison, and yet, you if you asked the left about FDR, they love FDR. If you ask them about Woodrow Wilson, they love Woodrow Wilson.”
Hegseth: “Well, he has used all-caps on Twitter though.”
Levin: “Yeah, it’s very painful to watch.”
Hegseth “It is. I feel like that shuts a lot of people down.”
Levin: “So, this is part of the problem. Part of the problem is when you look at the stretch of history in the media, I would argue we’re at the lowest point ever. You have half the American people, give or take, the vast majority of Republicans – I'm not making this up. It's in the book, and you can look at research that’s done – that does not trust the media. You have the vast majority of Democrats that do. That's fine. But that means you're playing to a political party, and you’re playing to an agenda. You couldn't tell me the difference, really, between the Democrat agenda and what you hear from Chris Cuomo or Don Lemon or a whole list of so-called reporters – same with MSNBC.”