Teach students the power of the press -- Robert Reid

December 3, 2017

Curriculum additions now being advocated for public schools run the gamut from changing a tire and balancing a checkbook to self-awareness and skepticism to etiquette and manners.

Never appearing among such suggestions is one thing that is increasingly relevant, timely and crucial to a democratic society: understanding the history and role of a free press.

Several post-modern presidents have experienced adversarial relationships with the American press. Notwithstanding Richard Nixon and his ethically challenged Vice President Spiro Agnew, none has endeavored to poison the well of the Fourth Estate as have Donald Trump and his complicit enablers Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Steve Bannon, Breitbart and “FOX and Friends.”

Young Americans should know that Trump’s mantra of “fake news” is the same propaganda technique Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels propagated during World War II. They should know just what is at stake when an American president parrots the malignant Russian dictator Joseph Stalin in inveighing against his own nation’s press as “an enemy of the people.”

Unfortunately, these lessons were never learned by many. It would be nothing short of an American tragedy should it continue.

Educate before it’s too late.

Robert Reid, Wisconsin Dells