Suppressing the Press

Thomas Jefferson observed that if he had to choose between a government without newspapers and newspapers without a government, he would unhesitatingly “prefer the latter.”

That’s how important a free press was to America’s founders.

A free press is an essential part of a democracy. And suppressing the press is an essential tactic in creating a dictatorship.

I’m sure you’ve noticed how Trump consistently belittles and berates the news media, calling them names and shutting them out of state events. But he has stopped short of jailing them the way his pal Putin has made a habit of doing.

Until now.

This morning, in the wake of James Comey’s firing. I came across a news item about a reporter being arrested for persistently questioning a government official.

How ominous is that?

The reporter, Dan Hayman of Public News Service (photo at right) , was yelling questions at Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who was visiting Charleston, West Virginia.

Wow! If that kind of government had been in power during my time as a reporter, I would certainly have spent a lot of time in prison as I yelled questions at officials all the time.

I wonder what’s next. Voter intimidation perhaps? I read that Trump is setting up a commission to investigate “voter fraud,” which almost everyone else knows is virtually non-existent. What’s that all about?
The news story

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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