Editorial: Watchdog role is more important than ever before

The recent climate for the media has been turbulent in all aspects. Reputable news organizations are being scrutinized by high-powered officials in public office and are changing how people perceive information.

Fake news and claims of fake news are running rampant in our society and it is a threat to our democracy. People are believing biased and untrue claims when the facts are out there for them to see.

When people believe politicians and disregard honest and factual news, it could be extremely detrimental to our way of life as we know it. It is a constitutional right for freedom of the press and no administration, large or small, has the power to infringe on that right.

New York Times Editor Dean Baquet said President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press are “out of control” and damaging “the civic life and debate of the country.”

This was in response to a Tweet the president sent out on April 8.

“The Washington Post is far more fiction than fact. Story after story is made up garbage – more like a poorly written novel than good reporting,” Trump Tweeted.

He was also quoted on Feb. 24 calling the media the “enemy of the people.”

“And they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources, they just make ’em up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said, “Nine people have confirmed.” There’re no nine people,” Trump said.

According to an article posted by CNN on May 1, Trump has said over 3,000 untrue or misleading statements in the 466 days of his days in office.

That averages out to around six or seven lies per day being blatantly blurted out by the president.

Most recently, Trump has declared war on Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who ironically happens to own the Washington Post, by making false claims about the company at the expense of the U.S. Postal Service.

“I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)” Trump Tweeted on April 3.

In fact, the USPS website has a disclaimer that states it receives absolutely “no tax dollars for operating expenses,” and operates solely on the funds generated through “postage, products and services.”

Based on all the facts presented against the president, he still chooses to deny it and his supporters choose to believe him. That is why is it crucial to have members of  the news media dedicated to their jobs and keeping alive the meaning of a true democratic society. They need to stop at nothing to get the truth and inform the public so their rights are never infringed upon.

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