Letter: Robust free press vital to democracy

From: Cynthia McMillin


Recently the American people have been subjected to alarming attacks on our free press by the current administration. The president and his advisers have referred to the media as the opposition party, an enemy who fabricates “fake” news.

Hard-working reporters have been slandered as corrupt and dishonest. Recently, certain members of the mainstream media were excluded from a press briefing. This should horrify every American, regardless of political affiliation. An inquisitive, often adversarial, always stubborn press is essential to a healthy democracy. History is not kind to leaders who have shut down their countries’ printing presses.

In 1786 Thomas Jefferson said, “Our liberty depends on freedom of the press.”

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivered a powerful, unequivocal defense of the press, the kind of reporting that he himself often found adversarial but essential. He understands that the role of journalism is to bring truth to the American people, not to present flattering, cheerful stories about people in power. Without the press, McCain said, we would be in danger of losing many of our liberties. Please join me in thanking McCain for his advocacy and ask our own representatives to add their voices to his strong affirmation of the First Amendment and a vital free press.