Conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby who I enjoy reading hits his latest column out of the park with the following paragraph.
It is commonplace for critics to lecture journalists about their obligation to cover the news fairly. Rarely is it noted, especially by politicians, that freedom of the press — a liberty explicitly guaranteed in the Bill of Rights — is not contingent on media objectivity. The First Amendment protects the freedom of journalists to practice their profession as they see fit. It imposes on them no obligation to protect or defend the president’s interests. On the other hand, presidents do have an obligation toward the press. Trump, like the 44 chief executives who preceded him, swore a solemn oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution — including the Bill of Rights that empowers the news media Trump despises. Whether Trump likes it or not, defending freedom of the press is part of his job description. When he uses his bully pulpit to demean the press, to insult journalists, or to threaten retaliation against media outlets he doesn’t like, he isn’t just being inimical. He is violating, or at least undermining, his oath of office.