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Senator Wyden: Trump's Attacks On Media Threaten Democracy

Gage Skidmore

Free press, investigative journalism, and government accountability are all at risk, says U.S. Senator Ron Wyden.  He spoke at a town hall in Eugene, Sunday.  

The Oregon Democrat touched on the Trump Administration’s recent attacks on the media, as well as whether or not the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s funding may soon be on the chopping block. 

Wyden says the president’s dismissal of most major news outlets as “fake news” packs a troubling message.

“They’re signaling to people who may write articles that they disagree with, that they’re going to go after them," Wyden says.  

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Senator Ron Wyden, at a town hall event in Lane County.

"Even apart from formal censorship, this can really start to have people say, “You know, I better not write that article because I’ll be opening myself up to legal repercussions.

"That’s not what the First Amendment’s all about.” 

The Media Law Resource Center has called Trump a “libel bully”, citing 4,000 lawsuits and countless cease-and-desist letters. 

But to date, Trump has not won any libel cases against a media organization.  

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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