My dad went to Texas A&M University, which by family decree (especially during football season) has long forbidden me from saying anything nice about the other school – you know, the University of Texas.
That ends today.
The alumni group for UT’s Daily Texan newspaper and Texas Student Media have smartly and bravely conspired to create a T-shirt that should be worn proudly by every journalist in America -- hell, every human in America -- regardless of their politics. Here’s how it reads:
ENEMY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SINCE 1791
Any American who has ever been informed, inspired, moved, delighted, horrified, or summoned to action by a news story or broadcast should also buy one of these T shirts today.
I just bought mine.
The website to buy the shirt is aptly named www.since1791.us.
You’ll recall that it was in 1791 that a slew of long-haired upstarts ratified the Bill of Rights. And please remember there’s a reason that the First Amendment, penned by James Madison, topped the list of our enduring freedoms as Americans. For it decrees (among other things) that Congress shall make no law that curtails “freedom of speech, or of the press.”
Recently, the sitting president of the United States declared that American news media are creators of "fake news" and the “enemy of the American people.”
This was news to those of us who took vows of poverty to toil extremely long hours in the often thankless job of comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable, and sometimes risking our necks to publicly expose wrongs perpetrated by powerful fuckwits who sometimes make their way into the three branches of government, corporations, academia and, every now and again, the Fourth Estate.
Before you race out to buy one of these T-shirts, please remember the following quote that James Madison wrote in the months leading up to the July 4, 1776, signing of the Declaration of Independence: "There is something at hand that shall greatly augment the history of the world."
History will show that we “enemies of the American people” were on hand for that.
-- Bryan Denson, March 1, 2017