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August 16, 2018 will be remembered as the day there was a collective awakening by America's media that there was something intrinsically and morally and constitutionally wrong with not just the functioning of the President of the United States - but with America itself.

In response to an August 10 appeal from the Boston Globe to newspaper editorial boards around the country to write and publish their thoughts on Trump's "dirty war against the free press," more than 300 newspapers responded yesterday.

The Globe's own editorial yesterday contained one of the most poignant phrases, stating that the President tosses out lies about the media "much like an old-time charlatan threw out 'magic' dust or water on a hopeful crowd." You can read the coast-to-coast outpouring of editorials on what a free press means to democracy here.

One of the most profound, and disturbing, editorials yesterday came not from a newspaper but from The Atlantic magazine. Written by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner, the editorial invoked the founding fathers' creation of "three branches of government with distinct powers and responsibilities that had to answer to one another" plus the 10 amendments to the constitution to protect citizen rights, and a free press established under the first amendment. Rather and Kirschner, who last year co-authored What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, also wrote this in the editorial:
"Where would America be without the muckrakers of the progressive era, like Ida Tarbell, who uncovered the perfidy and immorality of the Standard Oil monopoly under John D. Rockefeller; without The New York Times' publication of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the lies around the Vietnam War; without the dogged work of The Boston Globe in documenting sexual abuse within the Catholic Church? Because of the press, powerful institutions were held accountable for their actions, and we became a stronger nation."
Rather and Kirschner could not have picked a worse week to tell Americans that our nation was stronger because of the investigative work of the Boston Globe into sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. The courageous reporters at the Boston Globe published their work in 2002. Today, 16 years later, we are not a stronger nation because of that work. A grand jury report was released this week detailing the raping of children by priests in Pennsylvania with many of the criminals and conspirators still evading prosecution and in positions of power within the church. NBC News wrote this assessment:
"Sexual abuse has been institutionalized, routinized and tolerated by the church hierarchy for decades. If you think this statement is hyperbole, consider that the grand jury report includes, but is by no means limited to, the case of a ring of pedophile priests in Pittsburgh, who raped their male victims, took pornographic pictures of them and marked them by giving them gold crosses to wear so that they could be easily recognized by other abusers."
The NBC article said that this grand jury report "shows the church is a criminal syndicate." The Associated Press called the church's conduct "the weaponization of faith." The Philadelphia Inquirer provided more examples of the atrocities by priests against children.

A strong nation buttressed by a strong press would never have allowed this conduct to be exposed in 2002 and yet continue to this day. A genuinely free and courageous press would not have allowed Pope Francis to visit the United States and address a joint session of Congress in 2015 without calling him out on the continuing sexual abuse of children and the coverups within the church. (See our 2015 article: Pope Francis to Lecture Congress on Morals Today As Priest Victims Say Abuse Rages On.)

A strong nation and a courageous free press would be able to differentiate and articulate to readers how religious freedom does not include tolerance of an institutionalized, criminal culture that permits raping of little children and passing them around between priests like inanimate sex toys and moving the priests from parish to parish to continue the abuse. This is, tragically, not the first time we are hearing about pedophile priests passing around the same child. Maureen Dowd, a Catholic, described in 2011 in the New York Times the same kind of pedophile ring abusing a fifth grade boy who eventually "fell apart and turned to heroin." That report came from an earlier grand jury report.

And then there is that reference by Rather and Kirschner to the heroism of the New York Times in publishing the Pentagon Papers and exposing "the lies around the Vietnam War." That occurred in 1971 - 47 years ago. What has the New York Times done for the country since?

Read the rest of the article here.
About the authors is a public interest web site operated by Russ and Pam Martens to help the investing public better understand systemic corruption on Wall Street. Ms. Martens is a former Wall Street veteran with a background in journalism. Mr. Martens' career spanned four decades in printing and publishing management.