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Thursday, 18 May 2017 20:01

When the Press Plays 'Gotcha,' Everybody Loses

Written by  Suzanne Fields

It's a difficult time to be proud of everything about America. The president is vilified from all sides (some criticism deserved, some not), and what's difficult to defend is the democratic process as we've used it to produce both the likes of Donald Trump and a press that rushes to judgment like lemmings.

That's too bad. Honest criticism (not mindless vilification) reaffirms democracy and our values -- if we don't lose the principles that make such criticism possible.

Now, more than ever, we must treasure freedom of speech. What's more troubling today than at any time in our nation's history is the way that speed and insidious repetitiveness enable mindless criticism to permeate the culture and attach to the president, whether based on fact or fiction, accurate reporting or distorted opinion posing as reporting.

Most presidents have criticized the press for their attacks regarded as undeserved and off the mark. President Abraham Lincoln characterized criticism by the press as "noise" and "gas" produced by ignorance and self-elevation. Closer to our own time, Marlin Fitzwater, the White House press secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, described the media as "an unwanted appendage, like a cocklebur that attaches to your pants legs.

Read more at TownHall

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