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The Power of a Free Press

Today came a powerful example of the importance of freedom of the press.

Yesterday, The Washington Post and "60 Minutes" revealed the results of an investigation showing that Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), nominated by President Trump to become the nation's new drug czar, had taken $100,000 from the drug industry, apparently to shepherd a bill inhibiting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from preventing opioids from hitting the streets.

And President Trump, who constantly derides the mainstream media as being #FakeNews, often naming The Washington Post as a matter of fact, immediately announced he would address the opioid crisis in the coming days.

Guess Trump didn't like the public impression of having yet another of his best-in-the-universe administration officials being shown as a swamp rat, this time profiting from the opioid industry even as those drugs are killing people all around the country. Although Trump said he is "a very fine man."

Whoops! Shouldn't be sarcastic. One of my readers just Facebooked me and told me that "sarcasm is the biggest block to constructive communication." (She didn't like my shirt.)

Certainly don't want to infringe upon constructive communication here because what happened is really important. Trump is constantly making derisive and threatening tweets about the media, and here is a clear example of just how important the free press is to our country and our citizens. Even he had to recognize that.

Here we had a situation where the nation is in a crisis of death caused by opioid addiction and abuse and the public official who would be charged with helping to end that crisis was reportedly paid off by the manufacturers of those drugs -- and the top official at the DEA charged with regulating that industry is now employed by that industry and advising it in its dealings with the DEA.

The Post and "60 Minutes" should win an award for their coverage.

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