Thursday, January 26, 2017

Will the press under Trump become the enemy of your right to know? |

Will the press under Trump become the enemy of your right to know? |:

Will the press under Trump become the enemy of your right to know?


A few days ago, the chief editorial writer and columnist for New Jersey’s largest newspaper wrote he leapt to his feet to applaud Gov. Chris Christie’s recent State of the State address. The journalist wrote he was “standing up and cheering” the politician who persists in trying to punish an independent press by depriving it of revenue from legal ads. He was cheering a man who, until Nov. 8 and the election of Donald Trump, represented the worst in modern American electoral politics.
Before the Russia-backed coup that brought Trump to power in the United States, I would have dismissed the columnist’s antics as an embarrassing lack of professionalism. If I were the newspaper’s editor, I would have spiked the sycophantic column and then lectured the man on the obvious—journalists are not cheerleaders for any politician and should not be seen to be. It is a betrayal of a fundamental value in our increasingly fragile democracy—a free and independent press.
But that was before Nov. 8. Now I see the sycophantic cheering as more than just another embarrassment one writer will have to live down. In the era of The Great Leader Who Will Make America Great Again, such behavior is just one more frightening hint of what will come. An independent press and the public’s right to know face many threats now—and one is the existence of media outlets that will, for whatever their reason, try to get on board the bandwagon that is now sweeping up Quisling Republicans, weak Democrats and others who see opportunity in an authoritarian quasi-dictatorship.
Some media employees always have sought the favor of the powerful, serving more as shills than as genuine journalists. Christie rode to power as governor based on the good press he received as a federal prosecutor—a good press he all Will the press under Trump become the enemy of your right to know? |:


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