Today, newspapers across the country are sharing editorials that basically defend their right to exist in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
They are under attack by what is likely the worst presidential administration in our relatively brief 242 years of existence as a nation. It is an administration led by a sick despot whose primary goal in life is to have the rest of us fall at his feet and kiss his nasty toenails.
I don’t need to give you chapter and verse, but when Donald Trump called news reporters “the enemy of the people,” he echoed the sentiment of some of history’s worst dictators, people he appears to admire and hopes to emulate.
I’ve been a journalist for more than 50 years and during that time I have pissed some people off, but nobody ever said I was an “enemy of the people.” I’ve been called biased, inaccurate, stupid and careless, but never an “enemy of the people.” Because I have not been an enemy. Neither has any of the large number of reporters I’ve known over the years. They have been honest, mostly dedicated people whose primary intent was to give you information that could benefit you.
Ours is an honest, open profession when practiced as it is intended, but like most professions where people are the primary ingredient, its practitioners make mistakes, hear information wrong or interpret it incorrectly upon occasion. The best news people aren’t people who practice the craft perfectly, they are those who correct mistakes as directly, honestly and quickly as possible. The goal is to get it right.
Anne Adams, my friend who owns the Recorder in Monterey, a village in Highland County, is the very personification of the journalist both historically and in a modern context. Anne is a part of her community and she cares about her neighbors and their daily struggles. She has battled windmills and pipelines, crooked developers and their pocket patch politicians and she has taken stands that were occasionally unpopular. She has been threatened physically by the powerful while holding her children to her breast. And she has never flinched, never would flinch. She stands between them and you.
Getting it right these days means fighting back at the people who want to destroy us and, in the process, destroy the form of government that has served us for these 2.5 centuries. If we don’t stand up for those trying to inform us, we will lose them. And I can assure you that you don’t want that.
(Here is what some of the nation’s newspapers wrote as editorials today.)