Stand Against Trump’s Un-American Attack on Free Speech

  • Week of December 4, 2016

Authoritarians and demagogues love to muzzle the media. As Robert Reich recently wrote, President-elect Trump has berated, condemned, mocked, turned the public against, blacklisted, threatened, and bypassed the media. Just last week he invited over 20 reporters to Trump Tower to scold them for their unfavorable coverage of him. As one reporter said, “he doesn’t seem to understand the First Amendment. He thinks we are supposed to say what he says and that’s it.”

That’s because Trump’s version of the Constitution begins with the Second Amendment! But this is America, and we are protected by, and have a duty to protect, the First Amendment. We must remember that “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” William O. Douglas, 1951.

Trump’s treatment of the press is un-American and also very un-cool. As David Folkenflik of NPR writes, “His administration will require an unusually robust, muscular form of accountability reporting — tethered to fact and fairness, independent of political pressure.” Let’s help reporters like Folkenflik flex their First Amendment muscle, and lets all flex ours too!

All-of-us must:

Subscribe to and read press that is willing to question Trump such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg. Keep an eye out for Axios, a new media company, launching in early 2017.

Donate to NPR and PBS.

Write a letter to your editor (as brief as 200 words).

Hold our media accountable. Sign this petition, which urges the major networks to refrain from giving Trump a “free-pass."

Now exercise your own freedom of expression - share or Tweet this post far and wide!