Newspapers across this great nation have spoken with one voice. They have spoken not just on behalf of those who publish the printed word, but also for those who speak to Americans through various broadcast media.
I am proud that one of the newspapers where I worked for about 11 years joined the chorus that stands up to those on the right and the far right who have declared the media to be the “enemy of the people.”
The Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise spoke out. They did so acknowledging what many of us know already: The media are the people’s ally, not their enemy.
Read the Enterprise’s editorial here.
Donald J. Trump has led the “enemy” call. He rails that the media are purveyors of “fake, fake, disgusting news.”
As if this president is the only man who’s ever had to deal with criticism. All of his predecessors — Democrat and Republican — have licked the wounds inflicted by criticism, some of it harsh. Did they declare the media to the people’s enemy? No. They took their lumps and went about the business of trying to govern.
The media’s role is clear. It is to demand accountability from those who purport to do things on the public’s behalf, but who on occasion end up doing things to the public.
I regret that another newspaper where I worked during my journey through print daily journalism — the Amarillo Globe-News — chose not to join the chorus. That’s their call. I wish the editors there had made another choice.
This campaign was initiated by the Boston Globe. More than 200 newspapers around the country joined the Globe. They have spoken as one. I am proud of them all.
As the Enterprise said in its editorial: A free and vigorous news media is not just a good idea in America or any other country. It’s vital to helping people create the kind of lawful, prosperous society they want, helping ensure that injustice or corruption are exposed instead of excused. Anyone like our president who calls American journalists the “enemy of the people” is undermining this cornerstone of democracy.