Love her or hate her, trust her or not, Omarosa Manigault Newman inadvertently exposed a little secret about how political journalism gets done in 2018: Some of the people you see talking on TV or who are quoted in articles about President Trump are legally obligated to say nice things about him.
Trump acknowledged last month that Manigault Newman — author of “Unhinged,” a tell-all book about her time in the White House — had signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) when she went to work for his 2016 campaign. He suggested she had violated the agreement, which obligates signers not to disparage Trump or members of his family.
Which raises a question: Are others who have signed an NDA with Trump really being honest in those media interviews, or are they just lauding the president because they legally can’t do otherwise?
The issue extends to the news media, as well. Shouldn’t news organizations disclose that the Trump officials they quote or put on the air are legally bound not to criticize the president, given that doing so would enable readers and viewers to better judge where an interviewee is really coming from?
Is it possible that cable news arguments are just play-acting? I can’t believe it.
* Andrew Sprung has a good piece explaining that taking away protections for pre-existing conditions is just the beginning of what Republicans want to do to health care.
* Adil Abdela and Marshall Steinbaum argue that America has developed a serious antitrust problem, and offer a deep dive into it.
* Ian Millhiser reports that Facebook censored a piece he wrote because a Weekly Standard “fact check” took issue with it. For some reason the Weekly Standard has been given the right to do this by Facebook alongside neutral arbiters like Politifact and Factcheck.org, while no liberal outlet has been given this privilege.
* Steve Benen flags some polling that shows an alarmingly high percentage of Americans think Trump is mentally unstable, and notes that it’s even more alarming that question is being polled.
* Radley Balko looks at the staggering scope of our wrongful conviction problem.