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Trump's War Against the Free Press Must End

Newspaper editors are standing up against President Trump's attack on the free press.

Newspapers across the country will publish editorials Thursday, August 16, calling out President Trump for his vicious and dangerous attacks against the news media, including individual reporters, whom he repeatedly calls "the enemy of the people."

It's an effort organized by The Boston Globe, and as of today, more than 100 newspapers have signed up to participate.

"We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration's assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date," The Globe said in its appeal to newspaper editors.

"We have more than 100 publications signed up, and I expect that number to grow in the coming days," Marjorie Pritchard, the Globe's deputy editorial page editor, told CNN. The American Society of News Editors, the New England Newspaper and Press Association and other groups have helped spread the word, she said.

"The response has been overwhelming," Pritchard said. "We have some big newspapers, but the majority are from smaller markets, all enthusiastic about standing up to Trump's assault on journalism." Instead of printing the exact same message, each publication will write its own editorial.

The consistent message that is expected to be included in all of these editorials is the importance of a free and independent press, said Pritchard.

Trump's diatribe against the press has been going on since his 2016 campaign, when he launched his attacks about "fake news" every time a reporter wrote a story he didn't like. But his anti-media campaign has escalated and in February, he sent out this tweet:

Trump launches "enemy of the people' attack against the media.

Since then, reporters have received death threats from nutcase Trump supporters and angry Trump rally attendees have shouted obscenities and made obscene gestures at reporters. Who knows if the deadly June attack on the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD that claimed five lives was emboldened by Trump's rhetoric?

This has got to stop. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech and provides protection for a free press. No public official, including the president, has the authority to abridge those rights and protections.

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