The Boston Globe made a bold move that spread like wildfire. The editors asked other newspapers around the country (both liberal, conservative and everything in between) to write editorials today “promoting the freedom of the press, in light of President Trump’s frequent attacks on the media.” At least 350 publications joined The Globe. We join these publications in condemning Donald Trump’s attacks on the media and are proud to say we write about this topic often. We can’t allow his lies about the media to go by unchecked, ever. We can’t let his rhetoric empower others to threaten reporters with violence. It is not befitting for the highest office in the land and it needs to end now. As Dan Rather said earlier this month:
“Whenever I see President Trump rail against ‘Fake News’ or call us the ‘enemy of the people’ I think ‘you can’t handle the truth.’ You may not like it, but the press is protected by the Constitution (you know that document you swore to preserve, protect, and defend?)”
Here are some of today’s editorials:
“Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current US administration are the “enemy of the people.” This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president, much like an old-time charlatan threw out “magic” dust or water on a hopeful crowd.”
“In our business, we know how much words matter. We know, too, that Trump’s references to us as the ‘enemy of the American People’ are no less dangerous because they happen to be strategic. That is what Nazis called Jews. It’s how Joseph Stalin’s critics were marked for execution.”
“It is vital that we not allow Trump, or anyone else, to sever the relationship between the American people and the press. Journalists are not the ‘enemy of the American people.’ We, like you, are the American people.”
“It may seem obvious, but at this particular moment in our nation’s history it’s important to say these words with clarity: There is nothing fake, disgusting or sick about pursuing the truth.”
“We get it. He (Trump) doesn’t like negative coverage. We get it. But we have a job to do, and the president plays an outsized role in current events.
Not covering him aggressively would be a dereliction of duty.
We know that’s not always a popular stance, but it doesn’t make the press the enemy of anyone.
We’re not separate from the public. We are the public. We live and work and play in Topeka and surrounding areas. We go to restaurants and send our children to school. We drive the same roads, see the same doctors.
We’re not the enemy of the people. We are the people.”
“Not since Richard Nixon have we seen a president with so much contempt for the First Amendment and reporters.
Yes, the press sometimes gets it wrong. Yes, the press is sometimes arrogant. But we try to get it right, acknowledge our mistakes and inform the people who read and watch our reports.
It’s no easy task. But it’s an important one.”
“We all — as citizens — have a stake in this fight, and the battle lines seem pretty clear. If one first comes successfully for the press as an “enemy of the American People,” what stops someone from coming next for your friends? Your family? Or you?”
“Trump has convinced his supporters that the press is making up stories about him to put his presidency in a negative light, even though Trump’s own Twitter account is one of the biggest sources of incorrect information on a daily basis.
Enough is enough.”
Many newspapers also reminded readers that their work is so important to local communities and much of that is lost when the President lumps all media, all reporters, all stories into his #fakenews narrative.
“The enemy? Really? The president wants you to believe that we live to tear others down, to mangle the truth. The reality of daily journalism, the journalism that makes a difference, is that it is mainly about showing up, about listening.
It’s not about tearing anyone down, and it’s not about the money. It’s because words matter, truth matters. Because a story can change a life.”
“We put in miles on snow-covered roads and spend long hours on hot summer nights covered in bugs by the ball field to bring you a product we hope you like. We don’t do it because we like being away from our homes, we do it because it’s a labor of love and pride in our community and its members. What we do is sometimes uncomfortable, grueling and just downright awful, but we do it because our community deserves an honest and good product.”
“New businesses in town, car accidents, election results, high school sports all are examples of real news. When someone calls the news “fake” simply because they don’t like what they read, they are trampling on your first amendment rights.
We are indeed your lens into your community. We are not your enemy. Unlike some posts on Facebook and other social media sites, we verify our facts before publication. We are not anonymous. We stand by the veracity of our work.”
Want to read more of the editorials? The Boston Globe has listed dozens here.