Monday, September 24, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: President’s tweets invite foreign crackdown on the press

Itís one thing for President Donald Trump to demonize CNN and other reputable news outlets for doing their jobs and exposing his mistakes out of a desire to gin up his right-wing audiences back home. But itís another altogether for the American president to use his bully pulpit as the leader of the free world to all but invite authoritarians across the globe to declare open season on news reporters. His Twitter rant over the weekend captures perfectly how this presidentís thoughtless words can pose immediate harm and danger to those he targets. It was a deplorable display that should worry all Americans who value truth, free speech and the safety of journalists abroad.

Trump indulged further in his usual badgering of CNN last week, declaring in a Twitter post that "FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN," and that outside the United States, "CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news," adding "they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly."

CNN was quick to fire back that it was not the governmentís propaganda arm ó its mission was solely to report the news. But by then the damage had already been wrought; correspondents expressed fears about the safety of journalists in the field. Press groups have worried for months that Trumpís viral attacks on the media would encourage foreign leaders in the darkest corners of the globe to jail, further harass or subject journalists to violence. A day after Trumpís tweet, Egyptís Foreign Ministry took to Twitter to denounce Western coverage of a terrorist attack in Sinai. The dog whistle is being heard loud and clear by governments across the world: Donít like what you hear? Attack the messenger.

For decades, U.S. presidents have used the moral authority of their office as a bulwark against tyranny across the globe. Their support for press freedom has been an invaluable instrument in promoting human rights and democracy, with both Americaís allies and enemies. Singling out an American media institution as a poor excuse of U.S. values only invites governments across the world to delegitimize their media outlets, too. This is no game for reporters already facing dangers in the field. And itís a terrible lesson to younger leaders in emerging nations of the role of the press in society.

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Editorial: Florida needs uniform standards for voting by mail

Editorial: Florida needs uniform standards for voting by mail

Vote by mail has been a stunning success in Florida, increasing turnout and making it easy and convenient to cast a ballot with time to research and reflect. But a new study shows that mail ballots cast by African-American, Hispanic or younger voters...
Published: 09/21/18
Editorial: Borrowers need protection from Marlin Financial

Editorial: Borrowers need protection from Marlin Financial

State and federal lending regulations exist to protect consumers from being surprised — and overwhelmed — by ballooning debt. Marlin Financial, a shadowy auto lender doing business around Florida, seems to be skirting those protections ...
Published: 09/21/18
Editorial: Putnam hire stinks of patronage, secrecy

Editorial: Putnam hire stinks of patronage, secrecy

In addition to a lesson on political patronage, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam needs a refresher on the particulars of state public records law.In January 2017, Putnam hired the 27-year-old son of a former Publix executive to a high-pay...
Published: 09/20/18
Editorial: Investigate first, then hold Kavanaugh confirmation vote

Editorial: Investigate first, then hold Kavanaugh confirmation vote

There should be a timely investigation of the allegation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh before senators hear from him and his accuser, let alone vote on whether they should confirm his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The proces...
Published: 09/20/18
Editorial: Immigrants help to make America great

Editorial: Immigrants help to make America great

The heated debate on immigration could benefit from some more facts, which the U.S. Census has helpfully provided. And the facts show that rather than building walls, the United States would do far better to keep opening doors to legal immigrants. Th...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18
Editorial: FDA acts to keep e-cigarettes from kids

Editorial: FDA acts to keep e-cigarettes from kids

The federal Food and Drug Administration is bringing important scrutiny to the increasing use of e-cigarettes, requiring companies that make and sell them to show they are keeping their products away from minors. Vaping is the new front in the nation...
Published: 09/18/18

Tuesday’s letters: Honor Flight restored my faith in America

Dogs are the best | Letter, Sept. 15Honor Flight restored my faith in AmericaJust as I was about to give up on our country due to divisiveness and and the divisions among its people and politicians, my pride was restored. As a member of the recen...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/19/18

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 18

From Times wires
Published: 09/17/18
Editorial: Senate should delay vote on Kavanaugh

Editorial: Senate should delay vote on Kavanaugh

The Senate and the nation needs to hear more about the sexual assault allegation against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Setting aside Kavanaugh's judicial record, his political past and the hyper-partisan divide over his nomination, a no...
Published: 09/17/18
Editorial: Tampa council has another chance to show it takes Stovall House changes seriously

Editorial: Tampa council has another chance to show it takes Stovall House changes seriously

The Tampa City Council has yet to hear a compelling reason to allow a private social club in a residential neighborhood off Bayshore Boulevard, and a final meeting on the matter scheduled for Thursday offers the council a chance to show the diligence...
Published: 09/14/18