Stop attacking the press

President Donald Trump is infringing upon freedom of the press

Editorial Board

President Donald Trump frequently criticizes news outlets for posting what he perceives is ‘fake news’

“The media is fake… The media is really the word – I think one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with is fake. I guess other people have used it perhaps over the years, but I’ve never noticed it,” Trump said.

The editorial staff believes that Trump’s accusations against the media are harmful and infringe upon the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of press.

Freedom of speech and freedom of press are two incredibly important ideals. The attempts at discrediting the media limits these freedoms and raises concerns about future curtailment of First Amendment rights.

President Thomas Jefferson sums up these beliefs simply.

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

With news outlets under fire, it is difficult to exercise our freedom of the press. As a result of the accusations, Trump has caused people to blindly dismiss reputable sources of information. He is aiming to decrease trust in the media to serve his personal agenda.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been a vocal critic of the president’s attacks on the media.

“He has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing ‘fake news awards’ upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he disagrees with,” McCain said. “Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy.”

Attacking the media is an attack on democracy and is an attempt to censor people who report facts that Trump doesn’t like. If Trump does not cease his accusations, larger consequences are inevitable.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is also concerned about the repercussions from Trump’s comments.

“It is for that reason that I rise today, to talk about the truth, and its relationship to democracy. For without truth, and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, Mr. President, our democracy will not last,” Flake said in a speech rebuking Trump from the senate floor.

Our country was created with the idea of freedom of the press in mind. Once someone begins to attack this freedom, democracy begins to crumble.

The editorial staff believes that President Trump should cease these accusations. Trump’s campaign slogan was

“Make America Great Again,” but through his accusations, he is assaulting one of the great foundations of democracy.

As an organization, we are thankful that the administration does not restrict our freedom of speech or our freedom of press. But, we wish that leaders of this country would do the same.