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Trump Suffers Brutal Senate Rebuke for Attacking the Free Press as ‘the Enemy of the People’

posted Aug 24, 2018, 8:36 AM by Rahni Jere Sumler   [ updated Aug 28, 2018, 6:55 AM ]
Reposted from Mark Howard at News Corpse

On August 16 2018, there was a coordinated effort on the part of more than 350 independent newspapers to strike back at Donald Trump’s relentless and dangerous assault on the media. And it’s about time. As noted by one of the organizers, the Boston Globe, “This whole project is not anti-Trump. It’s really pro-press.”

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i)[Left] and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)[Right]

File:Brian Schatz official portrait.jpg

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced and called for the immediate passage of a new resolution affirming Congress’ support of the First Amendment and condemning attacks on the free press, which undermine the credibility of journalists and the press as a national institution.

The Senate resolution comes as President Trump and White House officials continue to attack journalists and news organizations. 
By United States Senate [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, March 2015 and July 2011 respectively

Naturally, Trump took time from his golf game to post tweets (three actually) criticising this overdue measure of self-defense and support for the First Amendment. Once again he demeaned the press by calling them the “opposition party.” Actually, that’s true. They are opposed to much of what Trump stands for: lying, corruption, racism, misogyny, and treason. Trump’s GOP is defending all of those traits in this perverted White House.

Also on Thursday, the Senate passed by unanimous voice vote a resolution offered by Sens. Brian Schatz and Chuck Schumer. The resolution is focused directly at “affirming Congress’ support of the First Amendment and condemning attacks on the free press, which undermine the credibility of journalists and the press as a national institution.” What follows are some of the more pertinent passages from the text of the resolution:

Whereas the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the press from government control and suppression;
Whereas the freedom of the press—

  1. Has been recognized as integral to the democratic foundations of the United States since the beginning of the United States;
  2. Has endured and been reaffirmed repeatedly throughout the history of the United States;

[…]

Whereas tyrannical and authoritarian governments and leaders throughout history have sought to undermine, censor, suppress, and control the press to advance their undemocratic goals and actions; and
Whereas the United States, including its long-held commitment to and constitutional protection of the free press, has stood as a shining example of democracy, self-government, and freedom for the world to emulate: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that:

  • The Senate –
    • Affirms that the press is not the enemy of the people;
    • Reaffirms the vital and indispensable role the free press serves to inform the electorate, uncover the truth, act as a check on the inherent power of the government, further national discourse and debate, and otherwise advance our most basic and cherished democratic norms and freedoms; and
    • Condemns attacks on the institution of the free press and views efforts to systematically undermine the credibility of the press as a whole as an attack on our democratic institutions.
  • It is the sense of the Senate that it is the sworn responsibility of all who serve the United States by taking the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States to uphold, cherish, and protect the entire Constitution, including the freedom of the press.

The fact that a resolution like this even needs to be brought up is a sad statement on the status of the United States government, and particularly the White House under Donald Trump. Its language is unambiguously aimed at Trump himself with the inclusion of the affirmation that “the press is not the enemy of the people.” Moreover, having been passed without any objections in a body controlled by Republicans is an indication that the GOP may finally be sick and tired of some of Trump’s overtly un-American tendencies.

Now if only they would see fit to challenge the President on matters like his punitive as well as intimidating revocation of security clearances for former intelligence officials; his assaults on the Justice Department as well as those conducting investigations on him; his reliance on Fox News instead of experienced national security professionals; and his predilection for lying and resorting to infantile name-calling.

Maybe, just maybe, the Congress might hold actual hearings to get to the bottom of his conspiracies with Russia and obstruction of justice. Its their sworn duty to act as a check and balance, to hold the President accountable for misdeeds, and to offer solutions that will prevent similar problems in the future with rogue leaders as well as foreign attacks on America’s democracy. Is that asking too much?

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