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Time Warner CEO: ‘Real threat to the First Amendment came from the Democrats’ side,’ not Trump

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Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes believes the greater threat to the First Amendment came from the Democratic Party during the election campaign, not from President-elect Donald Trump.

Bewkes was not worried by Trump’s threats to sue media outlets over libel issues and his frequent attacks on CNN, which is owned by Time Warner.

“I don’t think that’s a serious thing,” Bewkes told Business Insider’s Henry Blodget at a conference on Tuesday.

“We should all worry if anybody’s going to change the First Amendment and remember the Democratic Party had a campaign plank to change the First Amendment. And they were doing it in the guise of campaign finance reform,” he said.

Bewkes believed the media’s tendency to miss that was due to their usual agreement with Democrats.

“And that was worrying me more because the press tends to miss that because they tend to lean that way, and therefore they were supporting what they were viewing — I think overly charitably — as something in cleaning up money in politics when in fact what it would do is restrain multiple voices,” he said.

Bewkes referred to Democrats vowing campaign finance reform and wanting to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision which allowed political contributions by corporations and labor unions as protected by the First Amendment.

“So I thought the real threat to the First Amendment came from the Democrats’ side more,” Bewkes concluded. “There’s not going to be a serious effort on the Republican side.”

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Frieda Powers


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