NEW YORK — In response to the Trump administration’s attacks on the media this week, which included virulent verbal attacks on reporters covering Trump rallies, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declining to state that the press is not the “enemy of the people,” and the President dedicating most of a Thursday rally to deriding the news media and repeatedly describing them as “fake,” PEN America released the statement below: 

“This week’s events evince a disturbing escalation in the administration’s already indefensible campaign to discredit independent media and to erode our most fundamental democratic norms around freedom of the press. One might have hoped that in the wake of the most deadly attack on journalists in the US since September 11, the President would take more seriously the need to moderate his dangerous rhetoric, but the opposite appears to be the case. These attacks not only threaten press freedoms, but they are also advance the administration’s ongoing effort to subvert truth, question facts, and corrode civic and political discourse. Solidarity among news outlets in the face of these attacks is encouraging, but this moment behooves all Americans to stand in defense of a free press as one of the cornerstones of our democracy.” 


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.


Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: