Editorial: The So-Called ‘President’ Must Be Held to Account for Attacking the Free Press

We join hundreds of papers nationally in defending the Free Press against a demagogue in the White House.

The Humor Times is proud to join hundreds of newspapers and news outlets, large and small, all over the country, in defending America’s free press this month. It’s part of an effort launched by the Boston Globe.

Joel Pett cartoon free press
Editorial cartoon by Joel Pett, published in the September 2018 issue of the Humor Times, out now. (Click to enlarge.)

As the New York Times said in its editorial, “Criticizing the news media – for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong – is entirely right. News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes. Correcting them is core to our job. But insisting that truths you don’t like are ‘fake news’ is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the ‘enemy of the people’ is dangerous, period.”

It’s actually rather sad that we need to defend this constitutionally protected institution, but unfortunately, the man with the biggest megaphone in the world, the president of the United States, is on a never-ending campaign to vilify the press. And even more unfortunately, there seems to be about 30% of the population that is buying this attack. And because of the importance of the free press to a free society, these tirades are also an attack on democracy itself.

For all his bluster and bravado, Mr Trump has proven himself to be extremely thin-skinned, unable to take any criticism whatsoever. As far as we know, he has never admitted fault for anything, or that he might have ever even learned from his mistakes. He rarely seems to take advice from anyone who is an expert in their field, because, as he says, he has a “very good brain,” and is “like, really smart” and, of course, “a very stable genius.”

At different times, he has said, “My primary consultant is myself… Nobody knows banking better than I do… Nobody knows more about debt. I’m like the king… I understand money better than anybody… I think nobody knows the system [of government] better than I do… Nobody knows more about trade than me… I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.” And he has proclaimed himself the foremost expert in the world on any number of other subjects.

For a man with a third-grade vocabulary who daily demonstrates his rank ignorance on almost every subject other than being a TV “reality” star, that’s a lot of boasting. It’s an extremely unbecoming trait, and in the leader of a country as powerful as the United States, it’s downright dangerous. Not to mention, as he so often tweets, it’s just SAD!

His ego knows no bounds, and so he figures he can take down the entire free press and proclaim it’s fake, and that’s that.
But as in so many areas, he is dead wrong. The American free press has a long and proud history, and will not be destroyed by a big baby like the Donald. His cult-like followers – who believe every word their Dear Leader says without question – may be fooled, but the vast majority in this country know better.

Mr Trump, your whiny, petulant attacks on the media are backfiring, “bigly.” Nobody is “tired of winning” under your so-called “leadership,” but the majority of us are sick of the b.s. It will all come back on you and your spineless party in Congress who refuse to do their Constitutional duty and be a check on the presidency, come this November.

The only positive thing you have done for this nation is to awaken us to just how easy it is for a slick salesman to fool a lot of people, as well as alert us to the dangers of allowing a charlatan like you to take the reins of our government. I believe the Republican party will pay a “YUGE” price for allowing it, and we will come out of this a better and a wiser people.

But until you are finally kicked out of office, and possibly into a jail cell, all of us must remain vigilant. And show up at the polls!

– James Israel
Editor, Humor Times

[This editorial was printed in the most recent issue of our monthly political humor magazine, the Humor Times, available by subscription all over the world, in print or digital formats, and in Barnes & Noble and other stores nationally.]

James Israel
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