On Aug. 16, newspapers across the country published editorials in solidarity, asking President Trump to end his assault on the
#FreePress. Journalists are friends of democracy, not enemies of the people. We serve a vital purpose — acting as a check against absolute government power. Mr. Trump is free, of course, to criticize the media. Most presidents have. To call journalists “enemies of the people” — a term employed by communist dictators when speaking of political dissidents — is a bridge too far, however.
Below are samples from and links to editorials published by Long Island Newspapers:
From Newsday: “Trump’s accusations of ‘dishonest’ and ‘disgusting’ and ‘fake’ on a running basis, while inciting crowds at his rallies to harass journalists, put the nation on a perilous path.”
From Herald Community Newspapers: “The only enemy of the people is deceit. The journalist’s essential job, according to the Society of Professional Journalists, is to ‘seek truth and report it.’ Nothing has changed over the past two-plus years since Trump swept onto the national stage as a firebrand spewing insults and untruths.”
From The Southampton Press: “If the public can be convinced that journalists are no longer seeking truth, but are mere foot soldiers or ringleaders for political ideologies, it shakes the foundation of the free press. That, in turn, weakens the columns supporting this entire American experiment.”
From The Sag Harbor Express: “Immediately after President Donald Trump took office, a dangerous rhetoric labeling news media ‘the enemy of the American people’ emerged and has only become more relentless with each passing month.”
From The Suffolk Times, quoting President Ronald Reagan: “American freedom does not belong to just one nation. We’re custodians of freedom for the world. In Philadelphia two centuries ago, James Allen wrote in his diary that ‘If we fail, liberty no longer continues an inhabitant of this globe.’ Well, we didn’t fail. And still, we must not fail. For freedom is not the property of one generation; it’s the obligation of this and every generation. It’s our duty to protect it and expand it and pass it undiminished to those still unborn.”
From Blank Slate Media: “Putting the truth in the hands of one man undermines the public’s ability to make an informed decision on choosing leaders and the policies they offer. It is a threat to our very democracy.
Especially with a president who shows little regard for the truth.”
Read the story in The New York Times here.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring that members of the free press are NOT “enemies of the people.” Read the story in USA Today here.