“The fake news media is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people.”
— Donald Trump, President of the United States of America.
“The first thing dictators do is shut down the press.”
— Sen. John McCain, R -Ariz.
“We must challenge this statement that the news media is the enemy of the American People. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”
— William H. McRaven, retired four-star admiral and Navy Seal, Commander of the bin Laden raid.
Truly news that really is “fake”is an enemy of a democratic republic, but to apply that label to mainstream news organizations like CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post just because they ask tough questions is absurd. Without a free press a country cannot be free.
That is not to say that mainstream news organizations or any news reporters are above being criticized. It also doesn’t mean I agree with the practices of some of them. However, to try to shut them down because they hold a presidential administration accountable and fact check what its representatives say, or oppose them editorially, in my view, is an unacceptable threat to democracy.
To me the most important amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the first one:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
(The Trump quote was contained in a Tweet. The McCain quote is from an NBC Meet the Press interview, and the McRaven quote is from The Daily Texan.)