Non- Disparagement Agreements

Some of the people who appear on American TV, or who are quoted in articles about President Trump, have signed non-disclosure agreements that oblige signers not to disparage Trump personally, or members of his family. Some versions provide for financial penalties, others are comprehensive in terms of Trump’s political, social and financial affairs. So the question is: when these people appear on TV are they being honest, or are they lauding Trump because they cannot legally do otherwise?

In the interests of transparency shouldn’t all media organisations now preface every broadcast by a Trump operative by stating that they have signed an NDA, where appropriate? Then the reader or the audience would be better informed as to where the interviewee is coming from. (Fear being one emotion).

We have no idea how many people there are who have signed these NDAs, (although the anonymous critic in the New York Times may have signed one, which explains his anonymity). NDAs have been described as “common” and “very normal” for this administration.

The NDA chills free speech and in all probability contravenes the First Amendment. It is what you expect in a tin-pot dictatorship. A robust, self-confident man with nothing much to hide wouldn’t feel the need for it. Is the President’s amour propre so fragile that he cannot bear criticism of the mildest kind? What precisely is he concealing, and how much of it should be public knowledge? (Information obtained from article by Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 12 September 2018)

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