Journalists Are Not the Enemy
Journalists Are Not the Enemy - Boston Globe Editorial Board
Center for Public Integrity Board of Directors Condemns President Trump’s Attacks on the Press
These Are the Newspapers Telling Trump Journalists Are Not The Enemy - Madison Park, Faith Karimi and Emily Smith (CNN)
Boston Globe Editorial Board
August 16, 2018
We asked editorial boards from around the country – liberal and conservative, large and small – to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words.
Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country. 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.
For more than two centuries, this foundational American principle has protected journalists at home and served as a model for free nations abroad. Today it is under serious threat. And it sends an alarming signal to despots from Ankara to Moscow, Beijing to Baghdad, that journalists can be treated as a domestic enemy.
The press is necessary to a free society because it does not implicitly trust leaders — from the local planning board to the White House. And it’s not a coincidence that this president — whose financial affairs are murky and whose suspicious pattern of behavior triggered his own Justice Department to appoint an independent counsel to investigate him — has tried so hard to intimidate journalists who provide independent scrutiny.
There was once broad, bipartisan, intergenerational agreement in the United States that the press played this important role. Yet that view is no longer shared by many Americans. “The news media is the enemy of the American people,” is a sentiment endorsed by 48 percent of Republicans surveyed this month by Ipsos polling firm. That poll is not an outlier. One published this week found 51 percent of Republicans considered the press “the enemy of the people rather than an important part of democracy.”
Trump’s attack feedback loop helps explain why his faithful are following him into undemocratic territory. More than a quarter of Americans now say that “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior,” including 43 percent of Republicans. Thirteen percent of those surveyed thought that “President Trump should close down mainstream news outlets, like CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times.”
Trump can’t outlaw the press from doing its job here, of course. But the model of inciting his supporters in this regard is how 21st-century authoritarians like Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan operate; you don’t need formal censorship to strangle a supply of information.
Trump’s apologists feebly insist that he is referring only to biased coverage, rather than the entire fourth estate. But the president’s own words and long track record show again and again just how deeply cynical and dishonest this argument is.
The nation’s Founding Fathers took for granted that the press would be biased and yet they still explicitly enshrined the freedom of journalists and publishers in the Constitution. “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost,” wrote Thomas Jefferson.
American politicians of all parties since the Founders have groused about the media, trying to work the refs by arguing that the news is biased against their tribe. But there was always respect for the press as an institution. It was not that long ago that Ronald Reagan proclaimed, “Our tradition of a free press as a vital part of our democracy is as important as ever.”
“The press was to serve the governed, not the governors,” Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote in 1971. Would that it were still the case. Today, the only media that Trump’s movement accepts as legitimate are those that unquestioningly advocate for its leader personally.
Indeed, it is not just that the president is stoking domestic division for political and personal gain, he’s asking his audiences to follow him into Fantasia. “Just stick with us, don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” he told an audience in Kansas last month. “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” George Orwell put it more gracefully in his novel “1984.” “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”
It is an essential endpoint to Trump’s deluge of dishonesty that he now contests objective reality and urges his supporters to do the same. In the first 558 days of his presidency, Trump made 4,229 false or misleading claims, according to a list compiled by The Washington Post. Yet among Trump supporters, only 17 percent think that the administration regularly makes false claims. “Alternative facts” have become de facto.
Lies are antithetical to an informed citizenry, responsible for self-governance. The greatness of America is dependent on the role of a free press to speak the truth to the powerful. To label the press “the enemy of the people” is as un-American as it is dangerous to the civic compact we have shared for more than two centuries.
By The Center for Public Integrity
August 15, 2018
The Center for Public Integrity
Note from the CEO: Led by The Boston Globe, more than 350 newspapers are publishing editorials condemning President Donald Trump for his hostile rhetoric directed at the news media. The Center for Public Integrity, in an unprecedented move, has decided to issue a statement speaking out against the president's attacks:
We, the Board of Directors of the Center for Public Integrity, are deeply concerned about President Trump’s repeated statements that the press is the “enemy of the people.” These statements are unprecedented attacks on freedom of the press, one of the pillars of our democracy. Moreover, they have created a dangerous environment for reporters, who are increasingly facing verbal attacks and even threats of violence from the President’s supporters.
This is the first time in the nearly 30-year history of the Center that its board has felt obligated to issue such a declaration.
We call on the President to recognize the responsible press for what it is: a defender of the public interest and our democracy, a check on power and a valuable resource of information. Fair, rigorous criticism of the press is welcome and expected, but attacks labelling it as the “enemy of the people” or “dangerous & sick” are neither appropriate nor responsible.
The Center for Public Integrity is a non-partisan, non-profit investigative journalism organization. For nearly 30 years it has produced award‑winning, credible, data-driven investigative reporting.
By Madison Park, Faith Karimi and Emily Smith
August 16, 2018
(CNN)About 350 newspapers in the United States had editorials Thursday decrying President Donald Trump's description of the media as the "enemy of the people."
Here are some of the newspapers blasting Trump's anti-press rhetoric.
Anchorage Daily News
The Arizona Daily Star
The Arizona Republic
Van Buren County Democrat
Friends like these
Idyllwild Town Crier
Out Loud: Fake news, American institutions, and the presidency
The Ferndale Enterprise
Editorial: Way ahead of the curve
The Long Beach Post
The Orange County Register
The president's dangerous dubbing of media as America's enemy
The San Diego Union-Tribune
How we restore faith in journalism
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
We're not your enemy. We're journalists who cover the real news of SLO County
The Lakeville Journal
Perspective on truth, lies, respect and hate
Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun Sentinel
President Trump, the press isn't the 'enemy' — it's America's watchdog
Tampa Bay Times
Journalists are friends of democracy, not the enemy
The Gainesville Sun
The Palm Beach Post
Valdosta Daily Times
President Trump's attacks on the press must stop
The Chicago Sun-Times
This newspaper is the 'enemy' of all that hurts 'the people'
The Chicago Tribune
Mr. President: We aren't enemies of the people. We're a check on government
We believe in power of good journalism
News and Tribune
We are defined by purpose, not the president
South Bend Tribune
The Journal Gazette
Des Moines Register
Media are not the enemy of the people; a free press is critical to democracy
Hillsboro Free Press
Discrediting media a dangerous plan
The Topeka Capital-Journal
Press isn't 'enemy of the people'
The Baltimore Sun
News media won't back down under pressure from president
The Star Democrat
Your local newspaper is your neighbor
Athol Daily news
Trump's media attacks are dangerous
The Berkshire Eagle
Our Opinion: Trump's assaults on press are assaults on democracy
The Boston Globe
Journalists are not the enemy
The Daily Free Press
Journalists are not the 'enemy of the people,' they are the people
The Swellesley Report
What's important about this isn't so much what we do, it's that we can do it
The Sun Chronicle
Sun Chronicle joins others in emphasizing importance of free press
We stand for press freedom
We stand with our US colleagues against 'Fake News' claims
Detroit Free Press
Duluth News Tribune
Free press -- our protection from tyranny
Swift County Monitor-News
Attacks on journalists will lead to violence
The ultimate friend of the people
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Stand in defense of the truth. Don't let Trump label journalists as "the enemy"
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Journalists aren't the enemy; we are you
Falls City Journal
'We are not the enemy, we are your peers, friends, and neighbors.'
Omaha World-Herald remains committed to our community and state
The Seward County Independent
Trump's attacks on media unfair
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Journalists performing public service are not the enemy
The Atlantic City Weekly
Joining in solidarity with the Boston Globe, others
Sentinel of Gloucester County
Call for action to protect the freedom of the press
Las Cruces Sun-News
The Santa Fe New Mexican
Valencia County News Bulletin
We are not the enemy; We are the people
Defendemos la libertad de prensa
The Altamont Enterprise
Journalism needs a champion -- you
We are not the enemy of the people
Journalists are not the 'enemy of the people'
Queens Courier and the Ridgewood Times
Stop attacking the press! Remember the First Amendment of our Constitution
New York Post
Hate the press all you want — we'll keep reporting
The New York Times
A Free Press Needs You
The Sag Harbor Express
We Are the People
Las Vegas Sun
Our View: 'Fake news' and all the president's taunts
The News & Observer
The Star News
Trump's attacks on press go too far
The Bismarck Tribune
We aren't the 'enemy' when covering news
The Grand Forks Herald
This is not fake news
The Chagrin Valley Times
Local news is real
The media are not the enemy
No more enemies
Enid News & Eagle
The news isn't 'fake' just because you see things differently
The Daily Item
This just in: We are not the enemy
The Delaware County Daily Times
President Trump, we are not the enemy of the people
The Elizabethtown Advocate
We need Freedom of the Press, Not Freedom in Name Only
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Stop the war on a free press
The Providence Journal
Trump attacks the messenger
Rapid City Journal
The Freeman Courier
'Enemy of the people' rhetoric damaging
Journalists are watchdog neighbors, not enemy of the people
Dallas Morning News
We the people hold our elected officials accountable
Hays Free Press
We are the people
San Antonio Express-News
The Victoria Advocate
The Salt Lake Tribune
Press freedom is a Vermont value
The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram
Phrases damaging for free press
The Plymouth Review
This dirty war against the press must end
The Ripon Commonwealth Press
One thing worse than the 'enemies of the American people' ...
OTHERS (Magazines, professional organizations, etc)
Center for Public Integrity
Society of Professional Journalists
The press isn't "fake"