Donald Trump is no stranger to outlandish comparisons, but MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt came in for some mockery online after suggesting that the billionaire president’s hostility to the media was the most extreme since England’s King George III.
“The last person to rule America who didn’t believe in the First Amendment was King George III,” said Hunt, who frequently reports for the channel and hosts the Sunday evening program “Kasie DC.”
The last person to rule America who didn’t believe in the First Amendment was King George III. https://t.co/V17NPtM6OW
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) June 26, 2018
Hunt made the remarks in a quote tweet in response to President Trump calling the media the “enemy of the people” during his Monday night rally in Columbia, S.C. Harsh words from the real estate magnate for sure — but perhaps not the harshest since the legendary British tyrant ruled over the 13 colonies during the mid-18th century.
Many on Twitter were quick to point out that the comparison may have been overdone.
Some, including Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule, noted that when George III reigned over the American colonies there was no U.S. Constitution — let alone a First Amendment.
King George III reigned over the various North American colonies of which Britain was sovereign. There was nothing to firstly amend. pic.twitter.com/udZ3oKKfpA
— Gray Connolly (@GrayConnolly) June 26, 2018
Other critics, like the National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, pointed out earlier instances of presidents acting in less than noble ways toward American’s cherished First Amendment protections of free speech, a free press and the free exercise of religion.
Woodrow Wilson shut down newspapers that criticized him and put people in jail for thought crimes. FDR used the mails to censor. https://t.co/ndVfeuBKYo
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) June 26, 2018
Wilson put a major left-wing labor leader and presidential candidate in prison for giving an anti-war speech but, granted, he never trolled CNN. https://t.co/RRn2Aae22p
— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) June 26, 2018
Someone needs a history lesson. Lincoln trampled on the First Amendment. I believe even some of our FOUNDERS had problems with the First Amendment once they got to power. Woodrow Wilson. There were others. Get thee to a history class. https://t.co/gduAPtnZBN
— ⚾️ Mary #FlyTheW ? (@mchastain81) June 26, 2018
Literally no president before ~1930s had a concept of the first amendment like you did. I’d expect more from someone your age, but you’re also a journalist https://t.co/Vfi6UQHro4
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) June 26, 2018
Which president weaponized the IRS against groups for practicing that specific Amendment? Just curious.
— Jeremy Frankel (@FrankelJeremy) June 26, 2018
Hmmm, do you think that the US presidents during the era of slavery believed in the first amendment? Did slaves have all those rights?
— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) June 26, 2018