(New York, NY) – In response to the White House suggesting it would urge federal agencies to cancel subscriptions to major newspapers, PEN America’s CEO Suzanne Nossel released the following statement:

“For the White House press secretary to threaten to force the cancellation of all federal government subscriptions to the New York Times and Washington Post is a terrifying and self-defeating effort at vindictive information control that reeks of totalitarianism. The White House is proposing to deny federal employees essential and credible reporting necessary to inform their work. The press secretary’s reference to saving taxpayer money makes plain that this proposed maneuver is designed to inflict harm, aimed to deprive the papers of subscription revenue as well as influence, and to extend a political vendetta. We filed suit a year ago to challenge the White House’s threats and acts of retaliation against journalists and the media under the First Amendment. This latest announcement underscores the danger of a president willing to use the federal government to exact retribution against the press, even if the cost is plunging his own workforce into information darkness.”

Read more about PEN America’s lawsuit against President Trump here.

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Stephen Fee, Director of Communications, sfee@pen.org, +1 202 309 8892