Claudine Schneider: Freedom of the press under threat – TribLIVE

While Americans focus on the coronavirus pandemic, the ongoing economic crisis and now the presidential campaign, top Republicans in Washington are continuing to attack one of the constitutional pillars of American democracy: our free press.

America’s founders knew freedom of the press was so important that they enshrined it in the very first amendment to the United States Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791.

Since then, our nation’s free press has defended and strengthened America’s constitution and our democratic way of life by keeping government officials accountable to the public for their actions in office. The free press serves as a watchdog of America’s free society.

As a Republican former Member of Congress, I have firsthand experience with the important role that journalists play, as I would face pointed questions from local reporters about my positions on key issues and votes I cast while in office.

Regardless of a reporter’s political affiliation, honest reporting of the facts helps inform the public about what actions elected representatives are taking to serve the public interest.

Why then, are so many Republicans attacking the free press? Why does President Trump call honest journalists “enemies of the people?” This is a slur that communist dictators use to justify brutal repression of their opponents.

Such language by