Free Press


Reactions to Donald Trump labelling news media “the enemy of the American people” from: 

  • David Axelrod, former adviser to President Barack Obama
  • Carl Bernstein, investigative journalist and author who covered the Watergate scandal and was the first to suspect that Nixon was involved
  • Gabriel Sherman, national affairs editor at New York magazine
  • Eliot A. Cohen, scholar of international affairs and former counselor in the United States Department of State
  • Jesse Berney, writer and activist
  • Andy Greenwald, writer and critic
  • David Evan McMullin, former CIA operations officer and independent candidate during the 2016 United States presidential election

Press associations are pushing back after Donald Trump’s Twitter threats

  • Trump’s Friday threat to scratch the White House daily press briefing had skeptics calling it another attempt to distract the media.
  • Navel-gazing reporters, some social media pundits said, would rush to make the headlines about a threat to their own work. That would give Trump a break from a barrage of stories about James Comey and Russia.
  • Actual threat or merely hot air, professional journalism associations took the president’s remark seriously all the same. Read more (5/12/17)

Sean Spicer, December 2016“We have a respect for the press. When it comes to the government, that is something that you can’t ban an entity from. I think that’s what makes a democracy a democracy, versus a dictatorship.”

Sean Spicer, February 2017: CNN, New York Times, Politico, and other news outlets are banned from a White House press briefing. 

(original video source: Politico)

A veteran reporter was arrested while trying to ask Trump cabinet member Tom Price a question

  • Dan Heyman, a West Virginia-based producer and reporter for Public News Service, has been a journalist for about 30 years. 
  • On Wednesday night, he was arrested in the West Virginia State Capitol, reportedly for trying to ask visiting Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question as the official walked through a hallway.
  • Heyman was following Price and Conway as they walked through the Capitol, trying to ask the official whether or not the new health care bill would allow domestic violence to be considered a pre-existing condition.
  • But, while Heyman was trying to get answers out of Price, a Capitol officer stopped him, handcuffed him and arrested him — later charging him with “willful disruption of state government processes,” the Post reported. He was released on a $5,000 bail. Read more (5/10/17)
In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.
—  Supreme Court Associate Justice Hugo Black, concurring opinion in New York Times v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)