Freedom of the President
December 8, 1951 — The Schenectady Gazette

The Mossadegh Project | August 16, 2018                                                     


U.S. President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)

Pres. Truman’s press censorship measures prompted this editorial in a New York newspaper.

Harry Truman editorial archive



Sad Commentary

In the fight to keep a free press—which is becoming increasingly difficult under the Truman regime—America’s newspapermen are acting merely as agents for the American people. The battle for freedom of the press is not, as many seem to think, a fight to maintain a sort of private preserve for the special benefit of editors and reporters.

Truman’s recent executive order permitting civilian agencies to classify (which means censor) the release of news is a vicious blow at one of the fundamental rights of the American people—the right to know what their government is doing.

It is not a blow at the newspapers as such. It is a blow at the public the newspapers represent. It is the public that is being denied access to information it rightfully should have; the newspapers merely are the agency for transmitting that information to the public.

It is a sad commentary on the United States of America when a handful of bureaucrats in Washington are able to decide what the public shall and shall not know. It was one of the first steps Hitler took to establish his control over the German people.


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Related links:

It Can Happen Here | The Milwaukee Sentinel, Oct. 17, 1951

Truman’s Censorship Order Can Be Menace to Freedom | Owosso Argus-Press, Sept. 29, 1951

Truman Should Back Up In A Hurry | Robert Ruark column (Oct. 2, 1951)



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