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The Enemy of the Press


 It is important to remember that

when the President of the United

States calls the press the enemy of

the people, as he has said and

tweeted on a number of occasions,

he does not just mean the good folks

at CNN and MSNBC. He means any

press that dares disagree with him.

When he points the finger at CNN

correspondent Jim Acosta and calls

him a “terrible person”, he could just as easily be pointing it at a novelist or poet.

     We should not let Trump’s very dangerous and un-American pronouncements

toward the press get lost in the fusillade of foolish statements and outright lies

uttered or tweeted by him on a daily basis. The free press, we must all remember,

is the only profession specifically protected by the United States Constitution. Amendment 1 reads, in part, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom

of speech, or of the press.” The printed word and its creators are a protected class created by the founders. When a tyrannical president or congress chooses to ignore this, the judiciary branch must exercise its powers as it did this week in the CNN

case.

     The importance of a free press, and of dissent, is that government must not be allowed to control the flow of information to the people. Government control of

“the news” is tyranny, as is governmental censorship of the arts. Those things occur regularly in countries controlled by right wing fascists or left wing communists.

Rejecting governmental filters on the press separates the United States from those totalitarian regimes.

     As writers, and as readers, we must not nod our heads when the President and

his sycophants try repeatedly to quash and denigrate dissent. The freedom to

dissent or to question our leaders is an American ideal protected by the

Constitution. That some of our leaders don’t fully grasp that is truly cause for alarm.   

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