The following statement is by W. Jeffrey Brown, Founder and Executive Director of the Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation, regarding statements made by President Donald Trump that glorified violence against reporters during a political rally on September, 22nd, 2020 at Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon Township, Pennsylvania:
The freedom of the press is essential to a healthy democracy in which the government and the powerful are accountable to the people. So vital that the work of the press is protected in the U.S. Constitution by the Bill of Rights.
Yet we live in a time when politicians are putting the sanctity of the Constitution aside, encouraging and glorifying acts of intimidation and life-threatening violence against members of the press.
This is not a partisan issue – attacks and threats on the press represent an existential threat to freedom and democracy.
While Donald Trump’s repeated statements glorifying attacks and violence on the press are not technically unconstitutional, they do represent a reckless disregard for the oath of office.