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Keep Stars and Stripes

Editor, News-Register:

Donald Trump’s latest threat to America’s freedom of the press hits our troops overseas. The Trump administration wants to block publication and end funding for the military newspaper, Star and Stripes. This comes as the latest news swept our nation overnight that our commander-in-chief considers fallen war heroes nothing but “losers,” according to an article published in The Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg.

In that article, according to multiple sources that served Trump in the White House, he asked “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” before eventually cancelling his trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because it was raining and it would mess up his perfectly coiffed hair.

Trump obviously denied this incriminating reporting after getting off of Air Force One from his insane visit to Latrobe, Pennsylvania last week. Remember, this is coming from the five-time draft dodger who disparaged the late Senator John McCain by claiming he is not a war hero because he likes people that weren’t captured.

Stars and Stripes, according to an article by Kathy Kiely for USA Today, was first published on Nov. 9, 1861 in Bloomfield, Missouri by a group of troops fighting with Ulysses S. Grant who were pressmen before the war. They set up shop at an abandoned Confederate sympathizer’s local newspaper office. Since then, the paper has been standing for American values and is known for its independence from the Pentagon brass. Stars and Stripes is printed around the world and delivered to soldiers fighting on the front line. The last day of publication is to be Sept. 30 and that would have a tremendous negative impact for its approximately 1.3 million readers.

This is an example of Trump’s contempt for journalists and freedom of the press. A journalist’s job is not to cater to those in power. It’s to hold them accountable for their actions. Removing this newspaper would set a terrible precedent for America’s commitment to the First Amendment, not to mention executive overreach. It makes one wonder: Does this move have anything to do with the most recent Military Times poll that showed Trump losing favorability among troops, with more of them saying they’ll vote for former Vice President Joe Biden in November?

Ben Gordon

Wheeling

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