Attacks on mainstream news organizations are concerning because a vigorous press/news media is essential to the preservation of a free democracy. Unfettered reporting on world events, and particularly on the actions or inactions of our government officials, is the only real check on government power that we citizens have. This check function is especially important now that we have a president who spouts made-up “facts” that he “heard somewhere” to justify controversial governmental actions. Frequently, he is the one purveying “fake news,” and it is critical that such inaccuracies not go unchallenged.
Throughout the world, it has been shown time and time again that an early target of tyrants is the free press. We may think we are immune to authoritarian rule in the United States, but the Founding Fathers recognized the possibility and enshrined freedom of the press in the First Amendment. We must not let that freedom be eroded in any way by the Trump administration. He must not be allowed to muzzle the voices that fact-check his irresponsible statements and inform us of his administration’s actions.