Dear Tim,Now I can understand sending out alerts about specific policy proposals such as lowering the legal threshold for libel, which would require an act of Congress. But can somebody explain what Trump has done to "threaten the underpinning of democratic society: an independent press and freedom of speech"? Hint: Criticizing reporters -- which has happened to me more times than I can remember -- doesn't rise to that level.
On Friday, our nation will inaugurate its 45th president, Donald J. Trump, whose words and actions threaten the underpinning of democratic society: an independent press and freedom of speech.
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The fact is I've been watching established news outlets for the past two months getting fully behind the "fake news" meme in an attempt to control or shut down political speech on the internet. And I don't remember getting a fundraising letter from SPJ a few years ago when a sitting U.S. senator said, "There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.' It would be a big favor to political discourse."
I was a student member of SPJ back in the '80s and briefly edited the organization's newsletter at San Diego State University. But now it appears the open partisanship that has infected so much of our media has made it inside one of our most cherished professional organizations as well. It's a sad day for our industry.