The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns freedom of the press. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting … the freedom of … the press.” This amendment gives Americans the right to write what they desire as long as what they right does not infringe on the freedoms of other people.
Conservatives complained that Barack Obama took away freedom of speech and press, but most Americans know that the media protected Mr. Obama. Because the media could not be trusted, Americans started looking for information from alternative sources on the Internet. The media continued to lie to the people, but the people found the truth in other sources.
Now liberals are claiming that Donald Trump is threatening the first amendment. It is no secret that President Trump has a love-hate relationship with the media. He calls out “face news” organizations and bans some news organizations from press briefings. The media has been overly antagonistic to Donald Trump from the time that he became a serious contender for the office of President. A recent article stated that a high percentage – something like 88% - of all media articles were negative about Trump. Their articles are even more negative now that President Trump is keeping his campaign promises.
Blogger Barry Casselman shares some interesting thoughts about freedom of the press and the media. Casselman claims that President Trump is not the first President to criticize the media. “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.” The press is supposed to cross-check the federal government, but it should not print lies or half-truths. The Watergate situation came about because the press was doing its job.
Casselman ends his article: “The voter was always the true story of 2016 election and why it happened the way it did. Many in the elite media actually believed that the election was about themselves and that voters would do as they were told. The media establishment not only misunderstood the country and their role, but did rink, and still risk, their most valuable asset: the credibility. That is why they continue to endanger a truly free press.”
President George W. Bush told one reporter that the media is not as important now as it was when he was President because people can obtain information from other sources. If the media wants to remain relevant, it must start reporting the news honestly and completely and let the American citizens decide what is good and what is not.