Saturday, March 11, 2017

The greatest threat to the free press is an arrogant media establishment

The media should avoid the speck in Trump's eye and focus on the log in their own

By Barry Casselman March 10, 2017
There are numerous complaints being made these days that the Trump administration is a threat to the First Amendment, which protects a free press in the U.S.  The complaint is misdirected.  It is true that President Trump has been repetitively critical of news coverage of him and his first days in office.  It is also true that the White House press office has declined to provide total access to print and broadcast news outlets that it feels have been chronically unfair in their news reporting.

The historical fact is that since the very first days of the Republic, the press and the executive branch have been antagonists and persistent critics of each other.  Every president criticizes some in the media.  To suggest that President Trump is doing something new or improper is ludicrous.

At the same time, the role of the press has historically been to act as a check on the executive branch.  This role declined until Watergate when the media played a key role in exposing wrongdoing emanating from the White House.  The balance between fair news reporting and editorial comment and judgment soon again became unbalanced.  U.S. media, which had earlier deliberately eschewed investigative journalism about Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, now felt they had license to alter the balance between the front page and the editorial page.........More

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