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Don’t Use Hate Against Journalists

August 25, 2019

Paul Fanlund, is the editor and publisher of The Capital Times, and is often a must-read for those who care about politics and governing.  One of his most recent columns hit a home run at my home.  The reason the article resonated strongly is due to my deep conviction about the role that journalists play in our democracy.   There is a reason that at the top of this blog the statement from Walter Cronkite reaches out to my readers.

“Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.” 

I very much agree those like Donald Trump from the right, or Bernie Sanders from the left, are much the same when it comes to using the press as a tool to deflect from their own deficiencies.   Fanlund drove the point home in a must-read piece.

Look, I don’t give a hoot that voters apparently are deciding that Bernie Sanders has passed his “use by” date, but his effort to drag down our most credible journalists with him is repugnant.

American journalism is fighting a two-front war these days. One front is economic — the advertising models that made journalism so easy to afford have vastly contracted, putting severe pressure on the capacity of newsrooms everywhere.

The other front is the war over journalistic integrity, already under years of attack by a president whose hatred of the media is one of the top two or three pillars of his political brand.

The press reports on what others do and say, and in so doing allows for the nation to be informed as far as the facts are able to carry the story.  That oftentimes shows that some politicians are not as smart, capable, or adept at governing as they would have us believe.  Instead of snapping at a reporter, or smearing the entire journalism profession, those politicians ought to reflect on their own shortcomings.

American history is a long story as to why the words from Thomas Jefferson, on this matter, are so powerful and true.

The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure. –Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823.

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