Assault on reporter is assault on you

So it has come to this.

Donald Trump spent his whole campaign dissing reporters who were assigned to cover him. He called them dishonest, disgusting and liars. He used them to inflame the crowds at his rallies, ordering news crews to turn their cameras to show the size of the crowd and then trashing them when they wouldn’t. Later, as president, he tweeted out that some of the major news organizations were “enemies of the people.”

Now other candidates have taken up the animus against reporters. On Wednesday, a GOP candidate for Montana’s sole House seat in Congress, Greg Gianforte, was charged with misdemeanor assault for reportedly body slamming Ben Jacobs, a reporter from The Guardian who had the temerity to ask him a question about the House health care replacement bill.

Watching news reports on Thursday, some voters in Montana responded that while some reporters are nice, others are not and are probably asking for it. Someone tweeted to a CNN reporter that they are lucky “no one pops you.”

This assault on the free press not just disgusting, it is un-American. Shame on the president for swearing to uphold the constitution, then dumping on the press for trying to do what the constitution expects them to do – report on what the government is doing.

That’s the saddest part of this whole business. The people who parrot the president’s disdain for the “mainstream media” don’t realize it’s not just the media who are under attack, it is the people themselves. Reporters have no special right to ask questions of government, their right stems from the right of every citizen to demand an accounting from government. By asking questions and informing the public, the media are serving the people and their right to know what’s going on. When a candidate body slams a reporter for asking a question, he is body slamming you, the American public.

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