Sunday, June 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: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Itís hard to pick the biggest outrage in the financial and ethical swamp that has swallowed Tampa Bayís two primary job placement agencies, CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay. Is it the boiler room atmosphere where CareerSource recruite...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Family separation crisis is not over

The family-separation crisis that President Donald Trump created is not over. The executive order Trump signed Wednesday purporting to end the routine tearing of children from their undocumented parents stands on uncertain legal ground. U.S. border a...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Veterans can help veterans deal with trauma resulting from military service in a way no one else can. Thatís the theory behind a special hotline set up in the Tampa Bay area that proponents are hoping to take statewide.The expansion would cost some $...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

It turns out the U.S. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the economic realities of the 21st century than Congress or the Florida Legislature. The court ruled Thursday that states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes even if the retail...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

The shocking scenes of immigrant children crying after being taken from their parents at the border exposed a new level of cruelty by the Trump administration, and though the president reversed course Wednesday, Congress needs to end the shameful pra...
Published: 06/21/18
Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Good job, Jeff Sessions! It seems the attorney generalís misguided attempts to revive the unpopular and unjust federal war on marijuana may be having the exact opposite effect ó prompting a new bipartisan effort in Congress to allow states to legaliz...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Editorial: A court victory for protecting Floridaís environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Floridaís environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18