Look for a precedent-setting legal case against the Trump administration that will blow open the lies, manipulation and underlying intent of what drives its relentless attacks on national security agencies, the judiciary, the press and now members of Congress.
The New York Times and other news organizations shut out of a scheduled news briefing with White House press secretary Sean Spicer Friday will likely take the mounting oppression of the media to the mat because they can and must for the greater good.
The First Amendment is under assault by a President and administration that wants to control the message and squash fact and speculation that does not serve their subversive interests. Trump has for more than a year systematically worked to delegitimize the media, the judiciary, the CIA and FBI when they dared to reveal or cross his objectives. He has succeeded in anesthetizing the American conscious.
Trump is bullying his way into a rewrite of America’s constitutional freedom of information and speech which are the rights of all citizens. The media is the only mechanism for reliably and regularly delivering the many shades and grades of information to the public. Objectivity is the idea filter, but a declared perspective is necessary for a free and fearless press that is all that stands between an informed electorate and an autocracy.
This age of dangerously myopic, ephemeral communications fostered by texts, tweets and other social media has created low tolerance for detail and multiple points of view. This new universal standard makes the need for a free, unobstructed press all the more important-and makes the media’s responsible handling of that charge all the more imperative.
Now is the time for all Americans—readers and writers alike—to take a step back and recognize the Trump administration’s behavior and words for what they are: an intensely focused crusade to eliminate and debilitate the free flow of information, ideas and speech that is at our democratic core. We the people must resist and fight any threats to the freedoms hold dear but take too much for granted. The assault on one person is an assault on us all. The assault on one freedom is an assault on the freedoms that define our American way of life.