Donald Trump has been accusing the mainstream media of spewing fake news and has called the free press an enemy of the American people. In response, an estimated 300 newspapers have signed on to a call from the Boston Globe for a coordinated editorial campaign in today’s editions as a way to protest against President Trump’s “dirty war on the free press.”
Naturally, I assumed that, when I opened my paper this morning and turned to the editorial page, I would see a well-crafted, engaging defense of the free press. After all, I live in San Francisco, the heart of the resistance.
But no such editorial was there. WTF? So I went to the newspaper’s website to see if maybe they published the protest editorial there. Nada.
But I did find an article attempting to justify why the editorial board of the Chronicle did not join the protest.
“It’s not that we take issue with the argument that Trump’s assault on the truth generally, and his efforts to diminish the free press specifically, pose a serious threat to American democracy,” the article said. “We wholeheartedly agree with Marjorie Pritchard, the Globe’s deputy editorial page editor, that such unprecedented attacks on press freedom by the president of the United States ‘are alarming.’”
The concern, according to the Chronicle article, is that “it plays into Trump’s narrative that the media are aligned against him” and that Trump will use that as an excuse to spew out tweets accusing the fake news media of collusion and anti-Trump bias. “He surely will attempt to cite this day of editorials to discredit critical and factual news stories in the future, even though no one involved in those pieces had anything to do with this campaign,” the article suggested.
“Our editorial page will continue to speak out against this president’s war on the free press. Our silence on Thursday is testament to our commitment to do it in our own way, on our own timetable.”
Personally, I disagree with the position the newspaper’s editors took to not participate in this organized protest. Sure, Trump will probably lash out at those newspapers for speaking out against him. That’s what he does. But should that threat render us silent? Should anger or retaliation on the part of our unhinged, incompetent, vindictive president cause us to stop protesting what he’s doing to our nation?
I don’t think so. What do you think?