Open Letter to My Inept Representative
To the Honorable J. D. Hayworth:
The Scottsdale Tribune reported this morning that you are circulating a petition to revoke the press credentials of the New York Times in response to their stories regarding various surveillance programs orchestrated by the Bush administration.
I find this action reprehensible. In a free and democratic society the press play a vital role. They ensure the actions of the government are transparent and honorable. One of our greatest architects of this country, Thomas Jefferson, valued the press even above the various branches of government. In 1787, he wrote that:
"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
The last few years have shown a remarkable lack of oversight by the legislative branch. You and your fellow congressmen have abdicated your responsibility as a check on the executive branch. Without the free press, this administration, with a nod of approval from Congress, would eagerly violate and revoke our civil rights. Thankfully, the New York Times and other media outlets continue to demand accountability in the absence of a functioning legislative branch.
Your actions to censor one of our best papers show an incredible lack of understanding of democracy. Our district is ill served by such an ignorant and dangerous reaction.