Both Left and Right Must Join to Counter DT’s Attacks on the Press

Just as Left and Right joined forces a few years ago to protect Net Neutrality (the right to an open Internet without tollbooths and bandwidth restrictions for those who are not part of big cable or news empires), so we must come together to protect our precious freedom of the press.
Someone commented on a post from one of my right-wing acquaintances that they thought DT was being humorous when he threatened CNN journalists. Here’s my response:
Making thinly veiled threats to beat up journalists is NOT humor. If you don’t see the need to protect press freedom and other First Amendment rights, you are wearing blinders. And your liberties will be trampled just as much as ours on the “other side.” Laughing off threatening behavior as “humor” is creating a culture where the behavior is permissible and excused. Put your glasses back on! We should be able to join across sides to protect First Amendment freedoms.
Another right-wing acquaintance posted on his own page,
If he can destroy the out of control reckless American MSM and force them to recalibrate their models and become honest, unbiased journalistic organizations instead of hacks (and that goes for FOX News), then he will go down as the greatest President of all time.
I responded:
If you want unbiased MSM, start by reintroducing the Fairness Doctrine. Eliminating that began a long slide away from honesty and toward bias. And despite flawed reporting, I still am thankful every day that we have a free press—sand very worried when DT attempts to create a culture where beating up journalists is OK. That’s right out of the Hitler playbook. Without primary sources in the MSM, bloggers with minimal research skills would have no platform.
No sooner had I posted these comments when I scrolled down in my feed and found a chronology of Nazi suppression of press freedom, starting with Hitler’s threats to press freedom in Mein Kampf. The parallels are disturbingly chilling. Please go read the link. I will wait.
Statue of Thomas Jefferson. Photo by Thad Zajdowicz, FreeImages.com

Statue of Thomas Jefferson. Photo by Thad Zajdowicz, FreeImages.com

Thomas Jefferson, whose politics today would be described as Libertarian-Conservative, came back to the theme of the importance of free press over and over again. Here’s a whole page of Jefferson’s quotes on press freedom. His most famous is right at the top:

The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.

Another quote on that page speaks directly to the issue of fake news, and how much of that originates in government:
The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.
Why am I not seeing an outcry on the right as the country takes a sharp turn toward thuggish fascism? Their news channels will be restricted and attacked just as much as ours. Look what he said and continues to say about his one-time cheerleaders at Morning Joe.
This is important, folks. Do not let this petty tyrant erode our freedoms. It CAN happen here. Don’t let it.

Green/social change business profitability expert Shel Horowitz shows businesses how to turn poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance--??while making a good profit. An international speaker and bestselling, award-winning author, his 10th book is Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World.

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