Dear President Trump,
Decades before our Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia to define the limits of government through a new constitution, the concept of an unabridged press had already become part of the American character.
The colonists threw off the shackles of British law, paving the way for press freedoms that had never existed before in history—freedoms that they understood would protect the rights of citizens embarking on this Great Experiment.
Since that time, journalists across this great country have worked to uphold the ideals expressed by those colonists and codified by our Founding Fathers. They have done this often at the risk of losing their own freedom—and even their lives.
But nothing worthwhile comes easy. The natural tensions between the press and those they cover, including you, Mr. President, often give way to anger and disagreements. That does not mean, however, that the press is your enemy, nor the enemy of the people.
To the contrary, the press has been vigilant; it has helped to promote the continuity of the human and political ideals that grew in the hearts and minds of the American colonists and that have been nurtured—in large part by the press—for 300 years.
As our second president, John Adams said, “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of the State.”
Chris Vaccaro, president
Press Club of Long Island