Give me a few solid reporters to help keep my nation free as opposed to a battalion of soldiers. I have often stated the real heroes are the ones who use ink and shoe leather to shine a light on the truth. Those reporters have always been the ones I most respect.
Thomas Jefferson perhaps said it better than most.
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”
Trouble is we have too many in this nation who show a disdain for knowledge and facts.
For a society to be responsible and powerful, it must be informed. But this election cycle has proven a loud and unruly segment of the electorate is just too darn stupid to grasp the fact our free press, which is protected by the first constitutional amendment, plays a critical role in ensuring that every American has constant access to important news and information.
It is no mystery who these cranky ones are when it comes to denouncing the press. Just look at the demographics of a Trump rally and it is clear who these people are–they are easy to point out. Many of these have been shown to statistically not have a solid education. Therefore it is then clear why they so readily swallow what they are fed by Donald Trump.
This week the nation has been treated to see the Trump lifestyle. It is a trashy life that is being reported to the electorate. As such the GOP nominee has claimed that mainstream media outlets no longer conduct journalism.
“Reporters who work for these outlets like Washington Post or The New York Times may think of themselves as journalists, but they’re actually just cogs in a corporate, political machine.”
He spoke of reporters as “Third rate people. I’m telling you. Third rate. Bad people. Bad people. Sick people!”
I know that in the nations where Trump finds dictators and despots that he so admires it is easy to have censorship reign. Not being kind to the press is a long running narrative in this nation but the tone and degree to which Trump is now taking it makes the Spiro Agnew bombast pale in comparison. There is a real danger to what is being ginned up in this nation by a demagogue running for president.
Yesterday in my news feeds came the following tweet.
Seema Mehta (@LATSeema): “Press at Trump evening rally getting escorted to motorcade under watch of cops in riot gear, per pool. This is getting increasingly scary.”
That is not how our free press should need to be treated in a nation that has a First Amendment.
I know a segment of lower educated whites are the ones being riled up by the Trump campaign and as the election looms and his defeat nears these types of ingrates scream louder and even resort to violence. But I also trust that the majority in this nation who still respect our constitutional rights will also rise up and defend the role and responsibility of the press.
After all it is the newspapers and the reporters they hire who keep as free as Jefferson so well knew to be the case.