Thank You, WTO
I must take a moment to offer my deepest thanks and to laud you for standing up so courageously for journalism in your editorial of August 16 entitled “Abridging the Freedom” in the face of Donald Trump’s relentless attacks on the priceless work all journalists do for our nation.
You are not the “enemy of the people” – and it must be noted that this phrase has been used by dictators the world over to attack, undermine, and silence independent journalists with the audacity to question or criticize them, or to present facts which contradict the “truths” which they want others to believe.
This pattern is a defining feature of countries which we used to scornfully refer to as “banana republics,” but which Mr. Trump now seems to want so desperately to emulate.
His alarming and persistent attempts to undermine any efforts to uncover and shed light upon actual facts which he does not like (“fake news”) and to convince people that he is the one and only source of truth clearly shows his desire to transform our democracy into an autocracy where he is the absolute ruler and his word is law.
Consequently, an independent media is one of our most precious checks on presidential abuses of power and thus on anyone in that position who would twist the powers entrusted to them to serve themselves rather than the nation which they have sworn an oath to serve. Our Founding Fathers clearly recognized this, wisely choosing to explicitly and forcefully protect such freedom of the press in the very First Amendment of the Constitution which they so lovingly crafted as the foundation of this newly created democratic government which they brought forth into the world with great courage and hope.
And now, more than two centuries later, it falls upon us to protect and defend this bedrock of our now somewhat tattered yet undeniably resilient democracy – and the importance of standing up for our independent and free press cannot be overstated during these extraordinarily disturbing times.
Our media is not perfect, of course, but it is ultimately self-correcting when those doing this work are individuals of integrity, principles, professionalism, high ethical standards, a passionate commitment to truth, and the courage to hold those in power accountable for their words and actions.
We are all indebted to those who do this work and do it honorably. And we are also indebted to those who will stand up for them when warranted.
So, once again, thank you Warren Times Observer for doing so.
Dale E. Buonocore