The Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Defending Free Press

The Senate pushed back against the White House and their criticisms of the media by unanimously passing a resolution to “reaffirm the vital and indispensable role the free press serves.”

The declaration follows a lengthy period of President Trump, White House Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway often voicing criticisms of a press they (and many others) call “fake news.”

Escalating the title from “fake news” to “enemy of the people” seems to have been a line too far for some members of the legislative body who are now condemning the White House.

Per Axios:

In a uniform decision Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted to “reaffirm the vital and indispensable role the free press serves.”

Why it matters: The resolution comes on the heels of a nationwide push by hundreds of local and national newspapers to publish editorials standing up for the press in response to President Trump’s claims the press is an “enemy of the people.”

The resolution, which was introduced by Hawaii Democrat Brian Schatz, affirms that the press is “not the enemy of the people.”

The resolution says the “vital and indispensable role that the free press serves to inform the electorate, uncover the truth, act as a check on the inherent power of the government, further national discourse and debate, and otherwise advance the most basic and cherished democratic norms and freedoms of the United States.”

It also defends the work of the free press, despite content which is often highly critical of the Trump administration, as an invaluable liberty protected by the Constitution.

President Trump responded to the bill by defending himself and saying the press is “just plain trying to hurt people.”

“There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS,” the president tweeted.

“The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people,” Trump continued.

“HONESTY WINS!” he added.

“THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!” Trump said in another tweet.

Starting with the Boston Globe, a number of newspapers recently banded together to defend one another amid what they see as an attack from the administration.

Trump also responded to the editorial boards by criticizing Boston Globe’s history as a news outlet.

Here’s more from Axios:

The backstory: The newspapers’ effort began as a call from The Boston Globe to dozens of other publications last week to have editorial boards across the country craft a coordinated response to President Trump’s rhetoric calling the press “fake news” and “an enemy of the people.”

  • In light of the Globe’s push, more than 1,000 local TV and radio stations were also asked to join the dozens of local newspapers in making a statement.

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