Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” guest host Jon Karl addressed President Donald Trump‘s tweet calling the press the “enemy” of the American people.
Karl said, “There’s been no shortage of outrage over the president’s statements on the press. But I’d like to close with a little perspective. There is nothing new about a President of the United States criticizing or even vilifying the press. Even Thomas Jefferson, the same Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence and who, ten years after that, wrote, “Our liberty depends on freedom of the press” — even Thomas Jefferson, when he was a few years into his own presidency, was so upset about what was being written about his administration that he flatly declared, “Nothing can now be believed that is seen in a newspaper.”
Teddy Roosevelt, who now is next to Jefferson on Mt. Rushmore, once wrote, “To announce there must be no criticism of the president or that we are to stand with the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
I couldn’t agree more. But I also know that T.R. wrote that nearly a decade after he left office. When he was still in the White House, he coined the term “muckrakers” to denounce investigative journalists who he felt were so obsessed with the negative that they were missing the good in the world.
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