This past week on Meet the Press, John McCain, a Republican member of the U.S. Senate, while not mentioning Donald Trump specifically, called suppression of the press "how dictators get started".
|Freedom of the Press is not only core to the Constitution,|
but it was included in the very first amendment.
It's arguably as important as freedom of religion, freedom of speech,
freedom of assembly, and the right to petition the government.
Freedom of the Press in the Constitution
The Press in Colonial America
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison understood the power and value of the press. But what, exactly, was the press in pre-Constitution America?
In colonial America around 1760 there were only 24 newspapers, all of them published weekly. Of the original 13 colonies, only New Jersey lacked a newspaper.
Freedom of the Press is not Universal
- North Korea
According to the Global Investigative Journalism Network, as of 2013, only 14% of the world population lives in countries with truly free press. Meanwhile 43% of the world living countries where there is no free press, even nongovernmental sources of information can be squelched by the government.
- Saudi Arabia
Candidate Trump Embraced the Free Press
Nominee Trump Resisted the Free Press
President Trump Despises the Free Press
Now, as president of the United States, he recognizes that enemy #1 is an intellectual press with resources to fact check in dispute claims.
Defend the Constitution – a call to action
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!— President Trump (@POTUS) February 25, 2017