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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Protecting Press Freedom Is Important Now More than Ever this World Press Freedom Day

May 3, 2017
Speeches

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) spoke on the House Floor in commemorating World Press Freedom Day and the importance of maintaining a free press under the current administration.

Below is a video and transcript of the speech. 

Mr. Speaker, today is World Freedom Day, World Press Freedom Day, a day that deserves commemoration now more than ever.

Undermining the credibility of the free press and attempting to turn the American people against the media is reminiscent of authoritarian tactics, not the conduct of the leader of the free world.

Yet, the President has referred to the press as the “enemy of the American people” for simply doing their job, reporting the facts, and holding all of us accountable.

He has also dismissed distinguished publications as “fake news” for simply doing their jobs,

And has threatenined to change libel laws that will weaken the 1st amendment, making it easier for him to attack and sue the press.

This antagonistic relationship betweenthe President and the press is not only beneath the dignity of the office, but it’s also dangerous for our democracy.

We have seen strongmen in autocratic countries suppress the media through intimidation and by discrediting the integrity of the very institution of journalism.    

It is hard to believe that I have to say this country at this point in our history, but as Thomas Jefferson said: Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.

Thank you and I yield back.