Over 300 newspapers are publishing editorials rebutting Trump’s criticism of the media in a coordinated effort to collectively fire back at the president’s “fake news” accusations. As a result, the hashtag #FreePress has been trending on Twitter. However, the Los Angeles Times wrote that they wouldn’t be participating — at least not in lock-step with the other papers. Here’s why:
The Los Angeles Times is not participating in today's nationwide editorial page protest against Trump's attacks on the press. Here's why https://t.co/5zqcCgRtbw (via @latimesopinion) pic.twitter.com/qeoycNBCOh
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) August 16, 2018
LATIMES REBUKES 'GROUPTHINK'… https://t.co/4ZOd6LBXgo
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) August 16, 2018
From the L.A. Times’ editorial:
We still believe that. Nevertheless, the editorial board decided not to write about the subject on this particular Thursday because we cherish our independence.
The Los Angeles Times editorial board does not speak for the New York Times or for the Boston Globe or the Chicago Tribune or the Denver Post. We share certain opinions with those newspapers; we disagree on other things. Even when we do agree with another editorial page — on the death penalty or climate change or war in Afghanistan, say — we reach our own decisions and positions after careful consultation and deliberation among ourselves, and then we write our own editorials. We would not want to leave the impression that we take our lead from others, or that we engage in groupthink.
The Times got plenty of backlash over that editorial, as you might have guessed, and much of it is fairly ironic:
by not defending the free press for truth, transparency and justice you have sided with tyranny…
the knees of the democracy are buckling and we grieve https://t.co/TzbfFEEh9O
— Nolite te bastardes carborundorum (@ronifrey16) August 16, 2018
So you wrote an editorial to tell us why you won't write an editorial about how you aren't going to fight back?
— Ayngel Boshemia (@boshemia) August 16, 2018
how disappointing. This is not about independence, it’s about solidarity which you will need when you are attacked
— marina gorbis (@mgorbis) August 16, 2018
@latimes Not defending 1st amendment ?
— Verda? (@HerbalifeVerda) August 16, 2018
— Double Positive➕➕ (@IngaProgressive) August 16, 2018
I really don't want to know. After this tweet I am no longer following the @latimes
— Mark (@AlbroMark) August 16, 2018
"we think we're too special to engage in something bigger than ourselves."
— ??? (@JoeRiley_1word) August 16, 2018
Just canceled my digital subscription.
— Rizoy213? (@Rizoy213_) August 16, 2018
The Times has lost whatever was left of it's credibility
— C.F.Dunbar (@CFDunbar1) August 16, 2018
…. and then they came for the L.A. Times, and there was no one left to speak for them…..
— Frolicking Gadfly (@FrolickinGadfly) August 16, 2018
Thanks for the heads up, I’ll buy another paper today to show support for Freedom of the Press.
— Commuter Moe (@CommuterMoe) August 16, 2018
Some displays of freedom of the press are less committed to the First Amendment than other more collective displays of freedom of the press, apparently.