Horowitz: July 4th - Let’s Celebrate Our Free Press
Tuesday, July 04, 2017
A free press remains one of the bedrocks of our democracy. Despite its imperfections and well-documented shortcomings, media still supplies the information that we citizens need to hold elected officials accountable, make informed decisions, and actively and constructively participate in local, state and national government. In his famous dissent in Abrams v. United States, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes introduced the idea of the marketplace of ideas—a marketplace undergirded by a free press. Holmes wrote, “… the ultimate good desired is best reached by the free trade in ideas -- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.”
Taking a moment this July 4th to touch on the contribution a free press makes to the health of our democracy and to propelling Holmes notion of a marketplace of ideas is especially necessary in the wake of President Trump’s all-out assault on media outlets, along with individual reporters and television anchors, who are critical of him or his Administration. Instead of responding to coverage he believes is unfair or inaccurate with specific facts and coherent arguments, Trump paints with a broad brush, preferring to hurl insults and charges of “Fake News” at any one with whom he disagrees. He is working to delegitimize broad swaths of the media, attempting to discredit the marketplace of ideas rather than truly competing in it.
Senator Ben Sasse(R-NE) aptly described Trump’s approach as weaponizing the current distrust of the media. This past weekend on CNN’s State of the Union, Sasse said, “There's an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage and the right that citizens have to argue about that and complain about that and trying to weaponize distrust. The First Amendment is the beating heart of the American experiment, and you don't get to separate the freedoms that are in there."
President Trump and his spokespeople’s persistent efforts to brand the media as “dishonest” and “fake news can fairly be labeled as theater of the absurd given that the President and his Administration have gained a well-earned reputation for dishonesty due to the record number of reckless falsehoods they attempt to peddle on a daily basis. An overwhelming majority of the American public considers the President to be dishonest and when given a choice of believing the media or the President, most Americans choose the media.
I am confident that our press will withstand and even thrive in the wake of President Trump’s all out and decidedly un-presidential attacks. In many ways Trump, despite his efforts to label the media-or at least the outlets he perceives as unfriendly-- as “enemies of the people” has been good for the so-called mainstream media with ratings up and circulation increasing. Reporters at the New York Times and Washington Post are breaking excellent investigative story after story as Trump’s clumsy and thuggish attempts to intimidate only backfire. This renewed vibrancy of our media and its demonstrated daily success in continuing to " speak truth to power” gives us plenty to celebrate this Independence Day.
Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island
Related Slideshow: 25 Things to Do in RI July 4th Week - 2017
The Bristol Independence Rhode Race will be held on Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. and ending around 10 a.m.
The race will follow the Bristol Streets during the Oldest 4th of July Celebration in America.
The course includes historic homes, a town common and the America’s Cup Museum before heading out along the coastline, through Colt State Park and finishing along the water at Independence Park.
Steve Smith & the Nakeds at Bristol 4th of July Concert Series
Steve Smith and the Nakeds will play at the Bristol 4th of July Concert Series on Saturday, July 1 at 7 p.m.
The band has been together for over 40 years, touring throughout the U.S. and Canada.
They have been featured on television, appearing on MTV’s video countdown program “The Basement Tapes”, and the title track for their CD,” I’m Huge” gained notoriety by being included on the Fox TV season 6 Family Guy DVD box set.
Other Bristol 4th of July concert Series performances include "Change in Latitudes" on Juy 2 and "Sixwire" on July 3.
Visit The Museum of Work & Culture
Starting at 1 p.m. take a one-mile walking tour along the banks of the Blackstone River and Main Street.
Tour guides will explain how the river influenced the birth of the Industrial Revolution and how the mills impacted the environment.
Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens and includes complimentary admission to the Museum.
The Red States will take on the Blue States for the Independence Cup in a 6 chukker match.
“We'll be starting our holiday celebration with a good old fashioned American duel,” explained Dan Keating, Newport captain and founder of the Polo Series.
The match will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
July 1 -3
The Pawtucket Red Sox are at home for a four game series against first place Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
The series started on Friday, June 30 and concludes Monday, July 3.
There wil be a fireworks display following each game starting on July 1 through July 3.
Head to McCoy and catch some great baseball, then stick around for fireworks.
Scituate fireworks Display at Hope Jackson Fire Station at Hope Park
Starting at 5 p.m., enjoy some clam cakes, burgers, hot dogs, drinks, and free chowder.
Activities for the kids include a bounce house, face painting, shrine clowns, balloon animals, temporary tattoos, smoke trailer, glow-sticks and more.
Fireworks start at sundown.
July 3 - 4
The celebration will feature cocktails, chowder by Blount Fine Foods, and catering by Russell Morin Catering & Events.
There will also be live music by 6 Digg It Band & dancing on the Waterfront.
View fireworks on the dock & enjoy S'mores on the Beach.
Newport's annual fourth of July celebration kicks off at 9 a.m. with a salute to William Ellery, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island.
That will be followed at 10 a.m. by a patriotic band concert by the Newport Community Band at Salve Regina University.
At 11:00 a.m., the 142nd annual reading of the Declaration of Independence will take place on the steps of the Old Colony House, recreating the original reading by Major John Handy in 1776 and again 50 years later in 1876.
At noon a 21 gun salute celebrating the Nation’s birthday will be performed by the Artillery Company of Newport using four original cannons cast by Paul Revere in 1798.
Bristol is home to the country's oldest 4th of July Parade. This year will be the 232nd consecutive celebration which began in 1785.
The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Chestnut Street and Hope Street and will end on High Street, between State Street and Bradford Street.
PHOTO: H.C. Williams/flickr
The celebration at India Point park will include live music from the Navy Band Northeast, a taste of Providence’s culinary scene, a bike parade, and some of the best fireworks in the state.
The event goes from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public.
Narragansett Town Beach will host a beach party starting around mid day with sandcastle building and music from Brass Force from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the deck of the North Beach Clubhouse.
Then sit back and enjoy the fireworks that will begin at dusk.
The celebration begins at 6:00 p.m. at Old Mountain Field with a concert featuring “Take it to the Bridge”, a high-energy cover band from Southern Rhode Island playing hits that will have you dancing.
Get to the party early and enjoy food concessions and children's activities for ages 4 to 7.
Fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m.
PHOTO: Take it to the Bridge Facebook
Patriotic Activities at the Colony House and Washington Square
Visit the Colony House and Washington Square for a morning of patriotic activities, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Throughout the day, celebrate religious freedom and the First Amendment when over a dozen houses of worship will be open to the public for tours.
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