Taking to Facebook to comment on Trump’s Press Conference yesterday, where Trump lambasted and insulted reporters who were merely doing their jobs Rather said:
“I felt a shudder down my spine yesterday watching Donald Trump's fusilade against the press. This is not a moment to be trifled with. It wasn't his first tirade and it won't be his last….
This is not about politics or policy. It's about protecting our most cherished principles. The relationship between the press and the powerful they cover is by its very definition confrontational. That is how the Founding Fathers envisioned it, with noble clauses of protection enshrined in our Constitution.
Good journalism--the kind that matters--requires reporters who won't back up, back down, back away or turn around when faced with efforts to intimidate them. It also requires owners and other bosses with guts, who stand by and for their reporters when the heat is on.”
I personally feel that Trump knows he will not intimidate the intrepid reporters who cover his activities, for whom reporting on this election is not only a moral but also a professional imperative, but notice Rather also calls for backbone from “the owners and other bosses”... to have “guts”. I think he, along with many of us, and perhaps Trump also, feel that it is in these ranks that his techniques of intimidation and bullying will find receptive ground.
As veteran columnist Charles M. Blow points out in a piece today:
These principles of free press and free speech, which are almost as old as the country itself, are not things to be tinkered with on the whim of a thin-skinned man who has said flattering things about dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, ruler of a country that the press watchdog group Freedom House calls “one of the most repressive media environments in the world,” where “listening to unauthorized foreign broadcasts and possessing dissident publications are considered ‘crimes against the state’ that carry serious punishments, including hard labor, prison sentences, and the death penalty.”
The foot soldiers press will continue to do it’s job, of this I, and I think Rather, have no doubt. But will “the owners and other bosses” resist the inevitable behind the scenes blandishments of their “owners and bosses” in the 1% to be “fair” to Trump?
That remains to be seen.
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