A Reminder Regarding Freedom of the Press
Kaitlan Collins, a CNN White House reporter, was recently informed that she was no longer welcome to participate in the “next event” which took place in the White House Rose Garden. President Trump was unhappy by her questioning in an earlier press conference.
Conservatives and the President may not like CNN and Ms. Collins any more than liberals dislike Fox News and its reporters. But that is no foundation to deny press access to news conferences in or out of the Rose Garden.
In a rare and refreshing example of solidarity, FOX News President and Executive Editor Jay Wallace said: “We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press.” Fox News anchor Bret Baier added,“[Collins’] questions were also Fox’s questions, and NBC’s questions, and ABC’s questions. And that’s partly why there’s been an unusual show of solidarity for this.”
This shouldn’t be hard for the Administration to understand. The principle has been part of our core beliefs for more than 250 years. It’s the First Amendment to our Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
While I imagine President Trump would like to distance himself from the Congress referred to in the clause, as our President, the rights guaranteed the press under the First Amendment should not be abrogated because of temper tantrums. Let Ms. Collins back in.