I will make this brief.
We need your help now, and we need it more than ever before. The free press, a keystone of democracy, is under attack by the incoming president of the United States. And we are asking you to support our work by making a donation. Now. Today.
Over the course of his 2016 campaign, now-president-elect Donald J. Trump viciously and persistently attacked journalists, media organizations, and the institution of the free press itself. Trump pledged that, if elected president, he would “open up our libel laws so when [newspapers] write purposely negative stories … we can sue them and make lots of money.” In other words, don’t criticize him. Ever. He also vowed that newspapers will “have problems.” That’s a direct threat to a free press.
This past week, as the media dug deeply into and reported on the history of Trump’s advisor, Steve Bannon, the white nationalist website Breitbart News, of which Bannon had long been executive chairman, threatened a lawsuit against a “major media organization.” This was a vague and unsubstantiated threat that was intended to raise alarms among independent media and freelance journalists. So far, Trump has trounced all established norms regarding governance and the press, and he is not even sworn into office yet.
In a dictatorship, journalists are among the first to be attacked. As the New York Times reported this week, Turkey’s free press has “withered” as more than 120 journalists have been imprisoned under the authoritarian regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In fact, as the Times noted, Turkey now has outperformed China as the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, according to figures compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Donald Trump has persistently praised Erdogan and other dictators—such as Vladimir Putin, another strongman who has crushed the free press in Russia. In addition, Trump also has vast investments in Turkey and relied heavily on Russian financiers. Because he has refused to release his tax returns, we have no understanding of just how many conflicts of interest the president-elect has. It is the responsibility of a robust press to keep the public informed on these and other issues.
We can’t afford to allow a man, whether or not he is president, to undermine the free press upon which our democracy depends.
I can promise you one thing: We at Rewire will not be cowed. We will continue to report doggedly and to provide news, analysis, commentary, and investigative research on reproductive and sexual health and justice at the state and federal policy level, and in Congress and the administration. We will continue to tell the stories of those most affected by the radical right-wing policies of Trump and his administration.
In addition, with your support, we will be adding more reporters and staff to produce cutting-edge journalism every day.
Please help us hold our government accountable by contributing to fact-based journalism, today.
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