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Letter: Trump’s attacks on media are dangerous

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Posted: Monday, July 10, 2017 2:30 pm

Editor: Journalists sometimes risk their lives to bring the world news about events. Combat photographers and correspondents went ashore alongside soldiers storming Normandy beaches in World War II, shocked the country with televised reports of atrocities committed by American troops in Vietnam, died covering conflicts in South America, Mexico, Africa and the Balkans.

However, the newsmen and women did not seek death. They took risks because they believed a free flow of information was essential to preserving freedom. Covering political news in the United States should not be life-threatening, but one television personality says the social atmosphere is becoming poisonous, according to a July 2 article by Entertainment Weekly’s Christopher Rosen:

“CNN contributor Ana Navarro said on ABC’s This Week that President Donald Trump ‘is going to get somebody killed in the media’ following Trump’s Sunday morning attack on CNN with a meme video that showed the president punching a stand-in for the network in the face.

“ ‘I’m a CNN commentator. I think that is unacceptable. I think that is the president of the United States taking things way too far. It is an incitement to violence. He is going to get somebody killed in the media....’ Navarro said. She later added, ‘The president of the United States is inciting violence against the free press, and America, we cannot stand for it.’ ”

It is no accident that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees free speech. State-controlled media are the tools of despotism. The Soviet Union kept a tight leash on news lest Russians discover the world view painted by their masters was false. Vladimir Putin today does much the same.

Angry people inflamed by news reports or commentaries have murdered journalists. One incident saw an Arizona radio host shot in his studio by a listener unable to restrain fury about condemnation of anti-Semitism in the country.

Ana Navarro properly decries the president’s rhetoric. There is no place in national discourse for the president’s assault on one of the country’s most precious rights.

Lange Winckler

Lodi

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