Senator Brian Schatz Defends Free Press, Condemns Attacks on Media

August 19, 2018, 5:36 PM HST · Updated August 20, 6:49 AM
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The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday that affirms Congress’ support of the First Amendment. Hawaiʻi Senator Brian Schatz introduced the bill along with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Richard Blumenthal.

The resolution also condemns attacks on the free press because these they “undermine the credibility of journalists and the press as a national institution.” The move comes as more than 300 newspapers across the country ran editorials on the importance of press freedom, which the Senators say has been under attack by President Trump and White House officials.

“We swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, including the First Amendment,” Senator Schatz said. “Today, every senator upheld that oath by sending a message that we support the First Amendment, and we support the freedom of the press in the face of these attacks. As Thomas Jefferson put it, ‘our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

Leader Schumer said that the nation relies on reporters and reporters to keep leaders honest,  accountable, and always working in the best interest of the American people.

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“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 protect the press’s first amendment right,” Schumer said. “I truly believe that America always solves its problems and combating dangerous and irresponsible attacks on journalism is no exception.”

Senator Blumenthal said this resolution reaffirms Congressʻ commitment to the First Amendment and the essential role that the free press plays in democracy.

“The press’s dogged pursuit of the truth—uncovering and reporting facts, exposing wrongdoing, and holding public officials accountable—has never been more important.” Blumenthal said. “When we look back at these extraordinary times, I strongly believe that our free press will be recognized as heroes—and I’m proud to stand with them today.”

A PDF copy of the resolution can be downloaded here.

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