Screen Actors Guild Defends The ‘Free And Unencumbered Press’ After Trump’s Attack

Katie Jerkovich | Contributor

The Screen Actors Guild issued a statement defending the “free and unencumbered press” on Monday after President Donald Trump called the “fake news media” the “enemy of the American people.”

SAG-AFTRA, a labor union made up of celebrities and journalists, declared that they will stand with those whose role is to “provide citizens with the information they need to effectively govern a democracy,” according to Variety magazine. In the lengthy statement about rights of the press, they did not mention Trump’s name. (RELATED: Jerry Springer: Trump’s Attack On The Press Is An ‘Assault On America’)

-R) Presenters Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and Finn Wolfhard appear onstage during the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

-R) Presenters Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and Finn Wolfhard appear onstage during the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

“These rights are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which establishes that the press shall be free from government interference in the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions” the statement read. “SAG-AFTRA, journalists and non-journalists alike, supports a free and unencumbered press and stands with any journalist who might find his or her ability to report on our government challenged or compromised.” (RELATED: Celebrities Blast Donald Trump’s ‘Un-American’ Immigration Ban During Awards Show)

“SAG-AFTRA believes first and foremost that citizens in a democracy need the truth,” it added. “Furthermore, SAG-AFTRA believes that journalists have an obligation to monitor and question those in power, pointing out wrongdoing when they find it, noting when facts asserted are not supported by evidence, and reporting inconsistencies in the positions of public figures.”

“As working professionals, members of the news media have an obligation to verify the accuracy of what they report, with loyalty only to their readers, listeners and viewers and not to any political party, affiliation, or ideology,” it continued. “As a proud labor union representing more than 160,000 broadcasters, actors and entertainers SAG-AFTRA stands with all of its members in ensuring that the basic rights of a free and independent press continue to be upheld.”

Katie Jerkovich

Contributor

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