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When the speech condemns a free press...(Spurious Quotation)
Quotation: "When the speech condemns a free press, you are hearing the words of a tyrant."
Variations: “Speech that condemns a free press are the words of a tyrant” [sic].
- Founders Online
- Thomas Jefferson Retirement papers
Earliest known appearance in print: N/A
Comments: This quotation has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. Its earliest known appearance to date is a meme generated in late February 2017.1 It apparently spread from there to Twitter, with a few usages in March and then a flurry of appearances in late June and July 2017. Its ultimate origin is unknown.2
- Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Quotes and Family Letters Database. Search for Jefferson quotes by keyword or topic; quotes are vetted by Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series editors.