As sure as the day is long, a sign of the end of the free press is its refusal to stand against an assault on the institution by people who make their living by calling themselves journalists.
At his embarrassing news conference with the British prime minister today, President Trump refused to take questions from an accredited member of the White House press corps.
It’s not for nothing that the clip was quickly distributed by Russia Today, which knows a little something about a state-controlled media.
Trump’s performance today was unsurprising. But journalists’ refusal to stand against a blatant assault on journalism’s ability to hold “leaders” accountable to the people they are supposed to serve represents a troubling new development.
Old enough to remember when other networks came to the defense of Fox News WH correspondents during the Obama years. Such did not happen here.
Lesson for the kids out there: no one should ever try to do the right thing with the expectation it will ever be reciprocated. https://t.co/Ym7E94k2Wz
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 13, 2018
Ken Dilanian, the security reporter for NBC News, says Fox News’ John Roberts had a chance to make a stand for press freedom. He demurred.
I really wish @johnrobertsFox had taken a moment there to defend his colleagues.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) July 13, 2018
Not a single journalist stood up for their colleague.
It hasn’t always been that way. They stood up against the Obama administration’s naming of Fox News journalist James Rosen as an unindicted “co-conspirator” to Espionage Act charges in a leak case.
They stood up against the Obama administration threats against James Risen of the New York Times in an effort to get him to reveal his sources.
It’s OK for journalists to take a stand, I wrote in 2015 at the height of the Obama assault on a free press.
Obama laid the groundwork for what happened today in Great Britain.
It couldn’t have been possible without the willing participation of the one time defenders of press freedom to eat each other.