•This is a first time I’ve have responded in my column to a letter to our Mailbox, but I feel that this is important enough to justify a longer response.
In our previous issue I made the following comment:
• I am very concerned, and you should be also, about “any” president who tells his country to ignore the media because they are all wrong and to listen to only him. This is the beginning of Dictatorship101. An open exchange of ideas is what makes this country great.
Brian took umbrage with the following comments.
Sheldon- picking up the latest edition of the Breeze is always the highlight of my week. It’s the best local paper I’ve ever read. Sometimes your opinions leave me laughing and crying at the same time. Your comment about Trump imploring us to “ignore the media because they are all wrong” is one of those times. I cry because you let your bias affect your reporting – Trump has never made that statement, nor has he ever blasted the idea of a free press. His comments are directed to those publications and media celebrities who publish stories and on-line commentary that distort the truth, such as CNN, MSNBC and others. I laugh because your comment proves Trumps point about the media bias.
I don’t agree with your comments. Even though I do admit to bias (noun: prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.). I don’t feel my comments are based upon bias, but on reality.
One of the most important things of a true democracy is the freedom of the press, which is why this concerns me.
The following quotes were not written by me, but appeared, in some form in many many newspapers around the country. Apparently, my bias is shared by others, and I am in good company.
“More than 300 U.S. newspapers are running editorials that promote press freedom to counter Donald Trump’s attacks on the media, in a move coordinated by The Boston Globe.”
“President Trump has often attacked some media reports as “fake news” and called journalists the “enemy of the people,” and “very dangerous and sick,” in a tweet earlier this month.”
“In July, he blasted The New York Times and The Washington Post as “anti-Trump haters” who “do nothing but write bad stories even on very positive achievements — they will never change.”
“The Globe’s initiative aims to denounce “the war against the free press” and it suggested that editorial boards take a stand against Trump’s words regardless of their politics.”
“The president has referred to the media as the “opposition party” to his administration, and he has blamed news organizations for stymieing his agenda. But the language that Mr. Trump deployed on Friday is more typically used by leaders to refer to hostile foreign governments or subversive organizations. It also echoed the language of autocrats who seek to minimize dissent.”
“Oh boy,” Carl Bernstein, the journalist who helped to uncover the Watergate scandal, said on Friday, after a reporter read him Mr. Trump’s tweet. Donald Trump is demonstrating an authoritarian attitude and inclination that shows no understanding of the role of the free press,” he added.
“Historians pointed out similarities between Mr. Trump and Richard M. Nixon, who in 1972 told his national security adviser, Henry A. Kissinger, “The press is the enemy.”
Mr. Bernstein said the president’s language “may be more insidious and dangerous than Richard Nixon’s attacks on the press.” But there is a similarity in trying to divide the country, and make the conduct of the press the issue, instead of the conduct of the president.”
“Still, the notion of the news media as an enemy of the public — especially when voiced by a sitting president — went a step beyond Mr. Trump’s usual rhetorical turns.
Mr. Trump’s tactic of pitting the press against the public was mirrored in a survey distributed by the president’s team on Thursday, which urged Trump supporters “to do your part to fight back against the media’s attacks and deceptions.”
Survey questions included, “Do you believe that the mainstream media has reported unfairly on our movement?” And, “On which issues does the mainstream media do the worst job of representing Republicans?”
I apologize for getting so political, but this is important to me and should be to all lovers of democracy and freedom.
•I’m glad that Jim Monahan will not be seeking another term on the city council. He has served the city well, but I think 40 years is enough. Time for a change on the council to bring new ideas and new directions for the city. I’m sure that Jim will continue to serve the city in his council retirement as he always has..
•I am sorry that Interim City Manager Daniel Paranick has resigned to accept employment with another agency. I think he would’ve made an excellent city manager. The City is in the process of completing recruitment for a permanent City Manager, and an Interim City Manager has been hired.
• Amazing Noah was 640 years-old when he built a 3-story 400-foot boat. Some say he didn’t look a day over 500.
•There is a fear of everything and an associated word to describe it. For example, Triskaidekaphobia is fear or avoidance of the number 13. It is also a reason for the fear of Friday the 13th, called Paraskevidekatriaphobia or Friggatriskaidekaphobia. The term was used as early as 1910 by Isador Coriat in Abnormal Psychology. I wonder if there is a word for the fear of reading?