I'm humbled to report that Boise Weekly is one of hundreds of newspapers across the U.S. that are, this week, calling out the clear and present danger of President Donald Trump's attack on journalism. Trump is not the first U.S. President to tangle with the media, yet he chooses to define his administration via vitriolic rhetoric, calling the press "fake," "disgusting," "liars," "sick," and most recently, "the enemy of the people." The barrage is more than ugly. It's a reckless attempt to corrode a key pillar of democracy.
Boise Weekly and its brethren among the Association of Alternative Newsmedia have been regularly targeted over the years by a select group of men and women who have wielded power as if it were a mallet rather than a privilege. I can personally testify to being harassed and/or threatened for reporting in BW about failures of the powerful to protect the very values they're sworn to defend. In every instance, common sense, decency and, above all, truth prevailed. Those victories didn't come by default. They were the result of a not-so-simple pursuit of truth. It may seem obvious, but at this particular moment in our nation's history it's important to say these words with clarity: There is nothing fake, disgusting or sick about pursuing the truth.
Marjorie Pritchard, deputy editorial page editor of the Boston Globe, whose paper coordinated this week's nationwide editorial effort, wrote that Trump's assault on journalism may "look different in Boise than it does in Boston," but adds, "at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming."
To be sure, there is nobility, selflessness and even greatness in people from Boston to Boise (and beyond); but the current climate of divisiveness stoked by a rash but charismatic leader has eroded some trust in one another and, quite possibly, ourselves.
Enemy of the people? Not a chance. Agree or disagree with our pursuit, but we'll always be your advocate for the truth.