The U.S. Senate in a unanimous resolution, Thursday, rebuked President Donald Trump’s statement that the news media is “the enemy of the people”.
The Republican-led Senate, in the unanimous resolution across the aisles, affirmed that the news media is not the enemy of the people.
It also affirmed its commitment to protecting freedom of speech and condemned recent attacks on journalists and members of the media.
Trump has labelled the media as being the “enemy of the American people”, “very dishonest” and “fake news”, and he has accused the press of distorting democracy and spreading conspiracy theories and blind hatred.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]In a resolution brought forth by Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, lawmakers affirmed “that the press is not the enemy of the people,” which passed by unanimous consent[/penci_blockquote]
Nearly 350 news media in coordinated editorials on Thursday, attacked Trump over what they termed the president’s consistent attacks on them.
The Boston Globe made a call last week for a nationwide denouncement of the president’s “dirty war” against the media, using the hash-tag #EnemyOfNone.
In a resolution brought forth by Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, lawmakers affirmed “that the press is not the enemy of the people,” which passed by unanimous consent.
The resolution also reaffirmed “the vital and indispensable role the free press serves to inform the electorate, uncover the truth, act as a check on the inherent power of the government, further national discourse and debate, and otherwise advance our most basic and cherished democratic norms and freedoms.”
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It condemned “attacks on the institution of the free press” and said the Senate “views efforts to systematically undermine the credibility of the press as a whole as an attack on our democratic institutions”.
The resolution also mentioned quotes from previous U.S. presidents, including the Founding Fathers, who revered a free and independent press.
“Throughout history, the free press has always kept our government in check when it has gone astray, perhaps more than anywhere else around the world, and the Congress has a duty to protect the press’s First Amendment right.
“We rely on reporters and newscasters to keep our leaders honest, accountable, and always working in the best interest of the American people.
“I truly believe that America always solves its problems and combating dangerous and irresponsible attacks on journalism is no exception,” Schumer said in a statement.
Schatz said he was “a little less surprised” the resolution passed in a Republican-led Senate, adding “I think the mouse is trying to roar wherever it can”.