By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief
Welcome back, Tigers. Or, if this is your first semester with Towson—welcome to campus. So far, 2017 has been busy and, frankly, a little overwhelming. And, speaking of overwhelming, I graduate in May, so that’s a little terrifying.
Donald Trump is president. So far, every day of his presidency has come with an announcement of some policy proclamation, or executive order, or rumor, or drafted memo, or something, that has seemed, somehow, more striking and dramatic than the rest.
There has been a lot. A lot of talk and a lot of action from the administration. There’s a lot that I could say about what’s been going on so far, but I won’t. Because, more than obsessions over crowd size, more than lies about voter fraud and more than gag orders at federal agencies, what bothers me is the constant and unrelenting demonization of the media.
Just today (at the time of reading, at least), the New York Times published an interview with Steve Bannon, a senior counselor to the president, where Bannon called the media the “opposition party” and said we had “no power.”
President Trump continues to call CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post “fake news” and prop Fox News up as the only media source with any credibility. The press secretary has called, continually, on nontraditional—and, frankly, un-credible—news sources in the White House Briefing Room.
Bannon and Trump are trying to paint “the media” as a monolithic, unflinching and conspiratorial entity. This is—and I promise you—this is not the case. “The media,” just like any other profession, is made up of thousands of dedicated, hardworking and underpaid producers, reporters, editors, researchers and other news-types.
We don’t all get together on weekends and talk about how to bring down the Trump administration or how to prop up Hillary Clinton. (Besides, if there were a media conspiracy in favor of HRC, do you honestly think her damn emails would have been discussed to death?)
Our dedication isn’t to political party or personal gain. Our only agenda is the truth. We tell the truth by speaking truth to power and by holding the powerful accountable.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) January 26, 2017
Journalism is a form of public service. We serve our public by seeking the truth, reporting what we find and correcting when we make mistakes. But we can’t do our jobs, we can perform our service, without the public’s trust.
The press isn’t protected by the First Amendment because the Founders wanted the media to bend the knee, toe the line and be stenographers. A strong and independent press was enshrined in the Constitution to help protect America from falling into tyranny.