Lima Charlie News joins the over 300 U.S. newspapers coordinated by the Boston Globe’s editorial board in condemning President Donald Trump’s attacks on journalists and the U.S. media. The words in question are his description of ‘fake news’ ‘the fake news media’ and his accusations that the press is ‘the enemy of the people.’
Service to the United States has always been a defining point of my life. I’ve been wearing uniforms of one sort or another for over 25 years. I’ve dedicated my life to defending this nation.
When I transitioned out of the active duty military in 2014, I knew I wanted to continue to serve my country. Service can come in many forms. Police and firefighters are public servants, as are teachers, public defenders and EMTs. All pursue lives of a humble dignity. These are people who will never achieve fortune or fame in their duties. But they build a better America.
I also believe journalism is a form of national service.
One of the more esoteric duties in the defense of our nation, its importance is undeniable. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” The founding fathers enshrined the freedom of the press in the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights.
Journalists were essential in the early days of our Republic. They remain so today. Journalists are the eyes and ears of the American people. All Americans depend on them to investigate and report the truth. Sometimes there are hard truths but they must be heard.
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.
-First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
It is for these reasons that Lima Charlie News strongly disagrees with Donald Trump’s continued efforts to undermine journalists and our free press. Central to these efforts are his claims that the mainstream media is ‘fake news’ and an ‘enemy of the people’. Undermining such a critical part of our political infrastructure is a legitimate threat to our national well-being. We support the Boston Globe in its call for journalistic unity and add our voice to their position.
Of course, journalists will almost always be at odds with authority. It’s at the essence of what we do. Journalists seek out corruption, misuse and abuse of resources and hold those in power accountable to the people.
It’s almost not surprising that Donald Trump feels comfortable disparaging journalists. As a real estate mogul and a reality TV star, he has never had to answer for unfounded statements. Having never been a public servant, until now, notions of duty, honor and selfless service may be lost.
None of this is offered as commentary on Trump’s presidency. Donald Trump is our legitimately elected president and deserves a fair and dispassionate critique. At Lima Charlie News we often find disagreement with members of both political parties – including the President. We publish verified facts and offer opinion based on rational, well-reasoned arguments.
I, and the other veterans, editors and journalists here at Lima Charlie News, will continue to live our lives of service. Our duty to the nation is to report facts irrespective of our political leanings. Those of us that have doffed combat uniforms and picked up the pen find comical absurdity in the assertion that we are an enemy of the American people. We will leave fake accusations to the meek and selfish who know little of service.
David Max Korzen, Managing Editor, Lima Charlie News
[David Max Korzen’s views are those of the editors and publisher of Lima Charlie News]
[Editor’s note: On Thursday the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution affirming that “the press is not the enemy of the people.”]
David Max Korzen is a writer and expert in national security, foreign policy and the Middle East. A former active-duty U.S. Air Force pilot, Korzen served as a special operations aviation advisor with the 6th Special Operations Squadron, developing the combat capabilities of partner air forces. A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, he has worked, lived and studied extensively throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Korzen holds a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, US News and World Report, the Boston Globe, Real Clear Defense and Arab Studies Quarterly. Korzen was named one of the top 100 veterans of 2017 by Hill Vets, a Washington DC non-profit organization, and is a member of the Defense Council at the Truman National Security Project.
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