Freedom of the Press on Independence Day

It's Independence Day weekend and sadly we have yet another example of Trump disparaging the institution of the free press. Our Founding Fathers recognized, "The only security of all is in a free press" (Thomas Jefferson, 1823). I agree.

Last month KOLD ran a piece also agreeing with the principle that the press serves a vital role in our system. They said this:

While some politicians on the national stage on both sides of the aisle choose to disparage and disrespect reporters, many of our local leaders should be commended and appreciated for being open and available to the media.

State Senator Steve Farley comes to mind -- and yes -- even before he threw his hat into the Arizona governor's race.

The same is true of Tucson councilman Steve Kozachik. 

Since having been elected in 2009, I've worked hard to respect the role the press plays in informing the public. An educated electorate is key to ensuring those who are in elected positions reflect the values of the communities in which they serve. The press has deadlines. I answer my phone. The press works 24/7. I've made myself available because their job is to inform, and if I can assist in that, I should - and I do.

On any number of issues I've interviewed with all of the local media outlets, many in the Phoenix media market, several other local markets throughout the country, national shows such as Geraldo Rivera, CNN and Alan Combs, and internationally with shows airing in Canada, Britian and even Japan (gun control). And yes, even The Daily Show. The fishbowl of public service requires we respect the needs and the role of the media.

My opponent is so taken by Trump and his values that he "cried" from joy when he was elected. He even sent in a resume in an attempt to go work for the guy. Those are not the values of this community.

Trump and his supporters consider the press to be their adversary. I see it differently. On this 4th of July weekend, let's celebrate all the good this nation represents, and let's support the institutions we have in place that ensure the transparency required of public servants.

- Steve K