President Donald Trump’s strategic and determined effort to discredit an independent press continues, although 85 percent of Americans in a recent public opinion survey agree that “freedom of the press is essential for American democracy.”
However, a deep dive into the polling by Ipsos shows that Trump’s message might be gaining traction. Twenty-six percent agree that the president “should have the authority to close down news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” For those identifying themselves as Republicans, 43 percent say he should have that power.
To get a better understanding of the views of Long Island’s elected federal officials, the Newsday editorial board asked them to respond to two questions:
(1) Do you believe the press is “the enemy of the people”?
(2) Do you think the rhetoric used by the president is dangerous?
Their responses, which are unedited, provide an intriguing insight into their views of the role of the press in our political systems. Spoiler alert: While no one thinks the press is the enemy of the people, some elected officials had concerns about the flaws of the press in their day-to-day coverage. Some views are expansive and one is parochial.
Read them here: