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November 2023

Santa’s Gift List for Media Players Naughty & Nice

By George Freeman

Joe Biden – directions to the Fountain of Youth

Judge Tanya Chutkan – a tv camera to televise the proceedings before her, so that the public can see for itself whether our democracy will survive

Evan Gershkovich – a first class ticket home from captivity in Russia

The Justices of the Supreme Court – 9 cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup and some Jack Daniel’s (Bad Spaniels) dog toys they can enjoy while they ponder their questionable decisions in these two cases

Elon Musk – a reminder of the true meaning of X(mas)

Reporters Covering the Israel-Hamas War – their safety, as well as the ability to report that all of the hostages have been released

Donald Trump – to urge retirement on him, a new golf bag so he can lie about his golf scores rather than his purported accomplishments and rigged elections, and a videotape about the Constitution, since he seems incapable of reading and understanding it

Govs. Abbott and DeSantis – Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye and other classics so that they can read the very books they are trying to ban from school libraries

NBC and MSNBC – freedom from being investigated for their coverage of Trump by whatever is left of Trump’s DOJ, should he be elected

Prince and Andy Warhol – an artist’s colony at which to meet in heaven, where they can paint and sing about their litigation

The Justices of the Supreme Court – computers with access to social media platforms, and Jeff Hermes’ Digital Review to study, so that they don’t screw up the internet in their NetChoice decisions

RFK, Jr. – a copy of his uncle’s Profiles in Courage, which, if he reads, might lead him to withdraw from his quixotic presidential raceDominion’s Lawyers – no gift is necessary, given the legal fees they will have obtained from their $787 million settlement

Election Deniers – a trip on an Elon Musk rocket to Pluto

Marty Baron and Adam Nagourney – awards for their engaging books about how the Washington Post and New York Times survived the digital revolution, Donald Trump and Jeff Bezos

Zoom – a decree rescinding their most ironic order that employees have to work in their offices, in recognition of their being responsible for MLRC’s 200 free zoom calls for members with leading lawyers and journalists during the pandemicCommander, the White House Dog – a Bad Spaniels toy to chew instead of biting Secret Service members’ legs

Donald Trump – a reissue of his book Art of the Deal under the more accurate title Art of the Steal now that he’s been exposed as a business fraudster

Maggie Haberman and Laura Coates – our thanks, for a wonderful and entertaining performance at our Annual Dinner

The NFL – the Kansas City Chiefs qualifying for the Super Bowl, so that with all the Swifties watching her boyfriend on the field and Taylor in the stands, the game will get the highest ratings ever

David Muir, Norah O’Donnell and Lester Holt –  added viewers of the national evening news programs, in numbers resembling the Walter Cronkite and Huntley/Brinkley days

Terry Bradshaw and His Pre-Game Football Colleagues – a mute button so that we don’t have to hear their mindless bloviating

The Justices of the Supreme Court – a copy of MLRC’s 50-State Surveys of Libel and Privacy in the event the Court takes its first media content case in close to a quarter of a century

Julian Assange – a “Get Out of Jail Free” card in the event he is successfully extradited by the U.S.ChatGPT – a challenge to write a better Xmas list than this one

MLRC Staff – My heartfelt thanks for all your work, effort and dedication in a very daunting year in producing Zoom calls, Daily Reports, LawLetters, Bulletins, 50-State Surveys, Conferences and Committee work every day, and without which we would not be able to give the benefits we do – professional, intellectual, social and fun – to our members

My wife Annie: heartfelt thanks for supporting and helping me throughout this challenging year

And, finally, I wish our loyal readers and members a very happy and healthy new year, with high hopes that ’24 will be a better year than the one now ending.


George Freeman is executive director of the Media Law Resource Center.