ALTERNATE UNIVERSE—U.S. journalists and other liberals attended a mock funeral for the First Amendment in front of the White House on Wednesday to protest President Donald J. Trump's violent assault on CBS News correspondent Ed O'Keefe.
Trump struck the reporter, who was attempting to ask a question about the Senate impeachment trial, after appearing to suffer a rage stroke. Prior to committing the assault, the president, whose eyes were bulging out of his head, could not stop repeating the word "why."
Recent Stories in Politics
O'Keefe was airlifted to George Washington University Hospital, where he was evaluated for concussion-like symptoms and possible internal injuries. "Pen = mightier than the fist," the reporter scrawled on his notebook before being loaded onto the paramedic helicopter. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow announced an exclusive interview with the wounded journalist scheduled to air later this evening.
Several minutes after the alleged assault took place, the New York Times published an exclusive interview with Clifton Breadshaft, a classmate of Trump's at the New York Military Academy, where Breadshaft alleged that Trump "viciously bullied" him during their freshman year by smearing peanut butter all over his soccer cleats.
CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta presided over the "funeral" ceremony on Pennsylvania Avenue, leading the crowd of dozens in a moment of silence before placing a printed-out copy of the First Amendment into a makeshift coffin made of ethically sourced African mahogany.
"First this president went after our good friend Qassem Soleimani, and we grieved," Acosta said, draped in the American flag. "We should have known he'd come after us next. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Acosta for more information on how to fight back."
On Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers staged a "die-in" in the Senate chamber to "acknowledge the fact that Donald Trump has murdered free speech in America," in the words of Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.). Republicans, including Rep. Greg Gianforte (R., Mont.), called the Democratic stunt "pathetic."