So you heard that four journalists and a sales associate were gunned down on Thursday at the Capital Gazette Newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.
A man armed with a shotgun stormed an office building and opened fire into the paper’s newsroom in the middle of the afternoon, sending people running in fear, diving under their desks and praying for their lives.
The man who’s accused of this horrible crime had a vendetta against the paper for printing a story about him years earlier. He wrote about his rage against the paper and the reporter who wrote the story on social media quite frequently leading up to the attack.
As a result of his anger and hatred, five people who got up to go to work to do their jobs — just like you do — are dead. Their families, friends and colleagues (their second families) are now left with a huge void.
It’s senseless. It’s sad. And it’s an attack on the free press — yes I said free, please reread your Constitution. The section listed “First Amendment.”
But it’s not the only attack, as you well know. As a journalist, I’ve been labeled an “enemy” of the people. I’m accused of producing “fake news.” So says the leader of the free world, who regularly uses his platform to discredit, malign and vilify journalists. And the message, unfortunately, reaches vast numbers of people who agree and emulate this behavior.