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Acosta ban is an assault on First Amendment

"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter," Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787.

Those were the days prior to radio, TV, blogs, whatever, and newspapers were the media. But Thomas Jefferson knew what he was talking about even in the earliest days of our democracy. What's the big deal? Just one reporter, Jim Acosta, among the many who cover the White House, was banned from press conferences there. It is a very big deal, and this ban must be rescinded now.

If President Donald Trump is allowed to pick and choose who reports on his administration, we are headed for a dictatorship where dissenting voices are silenced and the dictator is allowed to govern unimpeded (“After White House suspension of CNN’s Acosta, no middle ground any more in battle to cover Trump,” Nov. 8).

"The marketplace of ideas" is what a free press is all about. Put your thoughts out there and let the chips fall where they may. Even Fox News deserves to be heard if only as an indication of what the far right thinks. That is how a democracy works.

We have a leader who has confused the presidency with the position of emperor. His every wish is not our command. There are rules to be followed and obeyed, a concept foreign to him, but there whether he likes them or not.

The media world should be up in arms over this ban until it is resolved. Talk about a slippery slope.

Sig Seidenman, Owings Mills

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