A free press is essential to the functioning of any healthy democracy, which is why the Founding Fathers included it in the First Amendment. A free press allows people to obtain information from sources not dictated or restricted by the government, thus imposing transparency and accountability on those in government. A free press helps people to be better-informed voters, make better choices on who/what to vote for and to act as a check on corrupt behavior in our government. Think of the free press as a watchdog on our government on behalf of the public’s interest. The lack of an informed public is what makes totalitarianism possible (Russia). Trump has embarked on the most aggressive/sustained assault on the free press in this country’s history in an attempt to undermine and delegitimize the media – even calling it the “enemy of the people.” Allegations that the press purposely publishes “fake news” is dishonest, misleading and self-serving. Attempts to create distrust in the media weaken the foundations of our democratic system. Liberty cannot be preserved without an informed public. Attacks on the press are an outright attack on our democracy.
Tom Lorentz, Boise