One summer decades ago, Bob Ziel hosted a mid-day news program on KID-AM 590. I still remember listening to Mr. Ziel when I was on summer vacation from elementary or middle school, impressed by the novelty of a local mid-day news broadcast and eager to learn more about the world. I had aspirations of being a journalist when I grew up, and listening to Mr. Ziel was a source of inspiration. That voice I heard on the radio could do no wrong.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that Mr. Ziel would so passionately support a president who is so hostile toward Mr. Ziel’s former profession. In letters to the editor in this newspaper, Mr. Ziel consistently defends a president who:
— Mocks journalists as “fake news.”
— Keeps journalists in press pens at campaign events.
— Essentially started his presidency with a blatant lie about crowd sizes.
— Mocks the press as the “enemy of the people.”
— Has joked with Vladimir Putin about getting rid of journalists.
— Has threatened to change libel laws.
— Calls the press “corrupt.”
— Allows his staff to use doctored videos to share lies about journalists.
Our president’s actions undermine the First Amendment that Mr. Ziel depended upon every day to do his job at KIDK-TV and KID-AM. A small part of my idealism dies every time I see a letter to the editor from Mr. Ziel that defends Donald Trump.