Waging War Against the Media: Donald Trump Battling the Forces of the First Amendment and a Free Press

Sponsor: Freedom of Expression Division
Sat, 11/18: 8:00 AM  - 9:15 AM 
Room: Majestic 3 - 37th Floor (Center Tower) 
A letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, dated January 16, 1787, included the following passage: "The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter, but I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them." As one of the five freedoms delineated in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, the import of the "fourth estate" and its integral and revered place as a bulwark of our democracy and our democratic principles, is regrettably under siege by our current President. As contentious as has been the relationship between political and journalistic spheres, even politicians concede that, notwithstanding the agonistic dynamic, as a modality of political accountability, the press is sine qua non. This panel explores the ways in which this sort of natural and "healthy" contentiousness has devolved and deteriorated into an unnatural and unseemly contentiousness, threatening the health of our democratic institutions , Panelist explore the responses of well-known journalists and leaders of news organizations to Trump's attacks on news outlets, highlighting responses of Marty Baron, editor of the Washington Post and Jeff Zucker, president of CNN worldwide; the dangerous pivot towards an authoritarian state; Trump's use of the paranoid style in American politics; Trump's characterization of the news as "fake news"; the reversion to partisan journalism with the administration's normalization of outlets like Breitbart; and the ominous parallels between Turkey's anti-press rhetoric and practices like those of the current United States administration.


Adrienne E. Hacker Daniels, Illinois College  - Contact Me


Kimberly D. Meltzer, Marymount University  - Contact Me
Jay Hudkins, Arkansas Tech University  - Contact Me
Rod Carveth, Morgan State University  - Contact Me
Deborah Dwyer, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  - Contact Me
Prashanth Bhat, University of Maryland  - Contact Me
Nurhayat H. Bilge, Florida International University  - Contact Me


Freedom of Expression Division