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
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.