Buck Sexton criticizes Newseum for pulling 'Fake News' shirts after backlash

By Buck Sexton
Opinion Contributor

Does a commitment to free speech include t shirts?

Of course the answer is yes, but you wouldn’t know that from what happened recently at the newseum.

You see, that somewhat obscure dc institution dedicated to advancing the public's knowledge about a free press and the first amendment-

Doesn’t want to upset the class of elite journos who roll back and forth along the acela corridor, from washington dc to nyc.

The Newseum had a "very fake news" t shirt for sale.

And you could take the phrase on the front any number of ways.

After all, what does "very fake news" mean to you?

You could call it kitchsy, satirical, or a profound statement of truth. All depends on how you see things these days.

But the establishment media was having none of it. They were deeply offended at the very notion of a "very fake news" t shirt. Especially on turf they consider friendly to their side like the Newseum.

Now here we had a ready-made free speech showdown, an opportunity for both the press- and a museum allegedly devoted to the ideals of the press- to show that they believe that free speech doesn’t mean popular speech.

In fact, free speech has to protect speech that is unpopular, or else it doesn’t protect anything at all. Consensus doesn’t need to be defended. Dissent does.

But sure enough, the press was overcome with they perceive as the baggage the term fake news brings. Trump has used it to hold a mirror up to their arrogance and bias, and the news media doesnt like that.

They much prefer to be esteemed as the guardians of the republic. So their egos won the day, and the calls for a t shirt with a political phrase in common usage was pulled from the newseums online store.

Given the current political environment, it would be tough to find a more fitting epitaph for the "neutral nonpartisan press" that their pressure campaigns against a t shirt that strikes too close to home.

They had a chance to stand up for a principle, and failed to take it. In fact, they went in the opposite direction.

A majority of our elite news media doesn’t like free speech, they their own ability to freely speak. They hate to be called fake, because sometimes its all too true.

And that my friends, is very real news.

Buck Sexton is the co-host of "Rising," Hill.TV's morning news show.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill.