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SAG-AFTRA Disputes Trump’s Claim That News Media Is “Enemy Of The American People”

Deadline logo Deadline 2/20/2017 David Robb
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Without mentioning him by name, SAG-AFTRA, which represents thousands of broadcast journalists across the country, has issued a statement challenging President Donald Trump’s claim that CNN and the news operations at ABC, CBS, NBC and The New York Times are “the enemy of the American people.”

“As a union whose membership includes broadcast and online journalists, SAG-AFTRA champions the rights of a free press, whose primary role is to provide citizens with the information they need to effectively govern a democracy,” the union said in a statement. “These rights are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which establishes that the press shall be free from government interference in the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions.

“SAG-AFTRA, journalists and non-journalists alike, supports a free and unencumbered press and stands with any journalist who might find his or her ability to report on our government challenged or compromised.

“SAG-AFTRA believes first and foremost that citizens in a democracy need the truth. Furthermore, SAG-AFTRA believes that journalists have an obligation to monitor and question those in power, pointing out wrongdoing when they find it, noting when facts asserted are not supported by evidence, and reporting inconsistencies in the positions of public figures.

“As working professionals, members of the news media have an obligation to verify the accuracy of what they report, with loyalty only to their readers, listeners and viewers and not to any political party, affiliation, or ideology.

“As a proud labor union representing more than 160,000 broadcasters, actors and entertainers, SAG-AFTRA stands with all of its members in ensuring that the basic rights of a free and independent press continue to be upheld.”

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