There is much to be fearful of in the world, and after the election, I decided the best way I knew how to combat that fear was by staying informed. I’ve always been a newspaper junkie, but access to several devices all day combined with my habitual multitasking has enabled me to feed that habit more than ever before. I hunger for information to stay aware and make decisions based on multiple sources.
So when NPR ran a segment tonight on the latest efforts to censor scientists about climate change, I ran to my sources and found an article in Reuters entitled “Trump administration seeks to muzzle U.S. agency employees.” It reports that not only employees of the Environmental Protection Agency but also the Interior Department, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services have all received gag orders from Washington, D.C., which includes speaking to the press, publishing material, posting on social media and giving presentations.
Say what you will about fake news and media mishaps, censorship is alarming and diametrically opposed to America’s core values. It is bad enough when the president avoids and berates the press, and selectively decides which reporter’s questions he will answer. Now I’m reading, “U.S. Department of Agriculture employees on Monday were also informed in a memo seen by Reuters that all communications with the media should be approved by the administration.” This is dangerous and we need to be vigilant. Censorship is a serious threat to democracy.
Just a few hours ago, Reuters reported that science and health agencies decided to go rogue on Twitter. I applaud them.