President has 1st amendment rights, too

To the editor:

This morning (August 16) CNN and the Associated Press reported some three hundred newspapers, led by the Boston Globe, coordinated an editorial page attack on President Trump asserting criticism of the media is unacceptable and an attack on First Amendment freedom of the press. The Journal’s past editorial opinions about Trump were more fair and balanced than most I read, and I read many, so I was disappointed they joined the coordinated attack today (Thursday).

I do not appreciate many things Trump says or how he says them. I do not consider the press “the enemy of the people.” But I do think his criticism of what he considers biased news is protected by the Constitution; not an attack on the First Amendment. Is newspapers coordinating to try to suppress anyone’s freedom of political speech (also protected by the First Amendment) antithetical to the First Amendment they hold so dear?

Finally, I think it noteworthy a recent Gallup/Knight Foundation survey found 62 percent of U.S. adults thought news coverage was biased; 44 percent thought it inaccurate; and 39 percent thought it gave misinformation. It is not clear what effect Trump’s “fake news” comments toward some in the press might have had on the survey responses.

Bob Jentges

North Mankato

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