These Quotes From Newspapers About Trump's Attacks On The Press Are Worth The Read
President Donald Trump hasn't exactly been a friend to the press. Since the campaign trail his rhetoric has been to lash out against the media, often referring to them as "fake news" or as an "enemy of the people." In an effort to push back on Trump's tirade against the press, The Boston Globe put out a call asking newspapers across the country to address Trump's comments on the press, and the outcome was pretty amazing. On Aug. 16, newspapers around the country put out op-eds denouncing Trump's rhetoric about the media, and these quotes from newspapers about Trump's attacks on the press are worth a read.
The Boston Globe, upset over Trump's constant demonizing of the press, decided to take action, according to a call made in their opinion section. So on Thursday, Aug. 16 they put out a call to all editorial boards of the press, on both the conservative and liberal sides of the aisle, asking them to "join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words." They wrote,
A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather 'The enemy of the people.' This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences. We asked editorial boards from around the country – liberal and conservative, large and small – to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the news media, doing everything from calling reports he doesn't like "fake news" to tweeting memes about himself attacking news outlets to actively refusing to answer questions from reporters who represent outlets he doesn't like. The president's vitriol towards the press has been widely denounced, and now, it looks like the news outlets themselves are clapping back.
Over 350 newspapers, big and small, joined the effort, according to Reuters, and the Aug. 16 issue of newspapers across America contained op-eds on why journalists are not the enemy. While each article had a different writer and took a different approach the underlying message was the same in each and every piece: the free press is not "the enemy of the people."
There were so many poignant and important quotes strewn through those 350 article, but here are some of the best:
1. Van Buren County Democrat, Arkansas
It's human nature not to want your dirty laundry aired in public, and the president is not exempt from that. However, Trump's the president and the "guy from the paper" is not airing his dirty laundry, he's delivering vital news to the public who needs and deserves it. An editorial from the Van Buren County Democrat called out both the idea that journalists are somehow outside their community, as well as the idea that Trump and his administration should be above scrutiny. It read,
Not everybody likes it when their business is put out for public review, even when it's public business, even when it deserves review, even when it's done by the guy from the paper.
2. Bangor Daily News, Maine
The Bangor Daily News pointed out that the need for a free press comes from the idea that people don't have access to facts that are locked behind the doors, especially if those doors are to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The editorial noted that facts can't deliver themselves to you, they need a third party find them and translate them to the people. In an editorial titled, "The media is the enemy only if you don’t want to know what your government is doing," the paper's editorial board wrote,
Facts matter. But they don't make themselves known. They don't, actually, speak for themselves. They need people, such as journalists, or yourselves, to say them out lout.
3. Long Beach Post, California
This quote from the Long Beach Post brings up the fact that guys, this shouldn't need to be said. To suggest that journalists are the enemy of the people, as opposed to members of the community trying to shed light on what's going on behind closed doors, is kind of terrible. Columnist Tim Grobaty wrote in an editorial,
It's problematic, and a little embarrassing, to have to insist that we, the press, are not the enemy of the American people.
4. The Hartford Courant, Connecticut
Out of all the quotes, this one from The Hartford Courant really tries to illustrate what journalists do.
They're there when terrible things like school shootings happen — this particular post brings up the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that took place in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, when 20 children were shot and killed. The Hartford Courant points out that though journalists are no less shocked and distraught when things like that happen, they have pull themselves together and bring the facts to the people so that the rest of the world can know what happened. "Doesn't sound like nefarious work of enemies of the American people," the paper's editorial board wrote. It went on,
We're at high school football games, at zoning hearings, and the latest show so that we can help you decide if it's worth going. And when the unthinkable happens and 6-year-olds are gunned down at school, we wrestle with our own shock and grief while telling a stunned state the story. Doesn't sound like nefarious work of enemies of the American people. Sounds like people who care about the community where they own homes, pay taxes, send their kids to school.
5. The Mercury News And East Bay Times, California
The final quote of the bunch, from The Mercury News And East Bay Times sums up what this entire initiative is about: Journalists are trying to strengthen America by keeping people informed. The paper's editorial board wrote,
Journalists are trying to do a job. We're not trying to tear down our nation. We're trying to strengthen it. For we believe in the foundational premise behind the First Amendment — that our nation is stronger if its people are informed.
If Trump doesn't like what the press is reporting about him, then maybe he should give them something better to report. That seems like a fairly simple solution.