Saturday, September 10, 2005

John Lewis on the vital roll of the press

Thanks to Secrecy News and FAS for the link to this statement from Rep. John Lewis, "On The Contribution Of The Press To The Civil Rights Movement"

of georgia
in the house of representativesp
Thursday, September 8, 2005

Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, as the nation celebrates the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the conflict on the Edmund Pettus bridge, the 40th anniversary of the signing of Voting Rights Act, and the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott this year, I think it is fitting and appropriate that we take a moment to acknowledge the vital role that the press played in the success of the Civil Rights Movement.

I have often said that without the media the Civil Rights Movement would have been a bird without wings. I am not certain where we would be today as a nation, if the American public had not been made to acknowledge the struggles we faced in the American South. ... Without the media's willingness to stand in harm's way and starkly portray events of the Movement as they saw them unfold, Americans may never have understood or even believed the horrors that African Americans faced in the Deep South.

How true. How timely too. But for the press, Americans might never have witnessed the ineptitude of their government's response to Katrina. And thanks to that reporting, there's no way any partisan, half hearted whitewash inquiry will be tolerated.

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