Sorry, Pogo, Not This Time

At first it was almost a joke. Those of us who were too young to have made Nixon’s enemies list figured we had another chance with Trump.
But it soon became obvious there was nothing funny about it.
The first few times Trump bandied about the words “fake news,” we assumed everyone, including his rabid followers, would realize he was just yelling “is not!” like a child who doesn’t want to believe a blistering comment by the neighborhood bully.
But, his rhetoric became more vicious. Then he used that term.
“Enemy of the People,” a Stalinist phrase. A code for those Stalin, and other dictators, wanted “removed,” to use the delicate word, from their field of vision. Harking back to one of the most monstrous dictators of the 20th Century is not a joke.
And to apply that epithet to the Fourth Estate, the only profession protected by our Constitution, is even more unsettling.
James Madison was not fan of the press, but he was smart enough to know the new experiment that he did love needed the protection of the law because the new nation, that Great Experiment, needed a check, a watchdog, on its new government.
We’ve aggravated other presidents. All of them at one time or another. It’s our job to do that because it’s our job to publish the truth and often, the truth hurts.
Sure, we make mistakes. We’re human. But, we correct them and move on. And we take our Code of Ethics as seriously as any doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath. It’s what we live by.
We seek truth and report it.
That’s what we do.
At the inception of the environmental movement the brilliant Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo the Possum, had his favorite marsupial describe the problem, “We has met de enemy, and dey is us.” Not this time, Pogo. We are not the enemy. And we shouldn’t have to remind possums, or people, of that.

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