Friday, September 11th, 2020
Before Trump, before the pandemic, September 11th was one of those days I turned away from broadcast media (and now, social media) because there are just so many people out there who want to focus on the tragedies in New York, DC, and Pennsylvania and how it (very possibly) changed their lives.
I really have no sense at this precise moment whether people will have those moments for, I dunno, all of 2020 and maybe beyond when they commemorate the pandemic and the brave health care workers’ response to it and our crisis of leadership from Washington.
I guess I should give history a couple of years to sort it all out.
For contrast, or just to steady my sense of being, this afternoon I watched the end of 2017’s The Post, a story that affirms what it means to be a journalist and to put what you have behind the strength of the First Amendment and do the right thing.
There’s a coda in the film where actress Carrie Coon, playing The Washington Post’s Meg Greenfield, is powerfully relaying the words of the concurring decision of Judge Black to the newsroom at large, which were, in part:
“The founding fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.”
No prior restraint. An essential role. Get out there and do the honorable thing(s).