I edited and published the Colchester Chronicle from 1987 – 2002. I was a daily newspaper reporter before then and have been in and out of journalism ever since. From this background, I share my thoughts about the “I’m not the enemy, YOU’RE the enemy” middle-school cafeteria food-fight we’re seeing between President Trump and much of the U.S. press.
The Constitution specifically protects the freedom of the press AND the freedom of speech for all Americans – including the president:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
President Trump’s tweets and tirades are “the free exercise” of an American citizen. Every slam of him in the U.S. media is an exercise of the “freedom of the press.” Are some of their words abhorrent? Sure. But until Pres. Trump or a successor sends goons to smash the presses or arrest editors, it’s all constitutional. And if the worst does happen, the “originalist” judges Trump is appointing hand-over-fist to federal benches will demand a strict reading of the First Amendment. Either way, the Republic will endure.