Anchor Jim Gardner had a really good run — 46 years at 6abc, one less than the 47 I logged at the Daily News.
During his last turn as anchor on Wednesday he said something about the press that mimicked what I said on my last day, three years earlier.
Here’s what Jim said.
The American free press has been under attack. Not by forces from other countries, but from elements embedded in our own society, and even our own government.
It worries me deeply.
And it both feeds into and exploits people’s lack of understanding of what the Founders intended — the kind of democracy that the U.S. and only a handful of other nations aspire to.
Thomas Jefferson said to John Jay in 1786: “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” Jefferson would concur: No, we are not the enemy of the people.
He didn’t mention Donald J. Trump, and he didn’t have to. Most of us knew who had declared the press to be the enemy of the people.
We are the people.
We are sometimes imperfect and get things wrong.
A very few of us distort, invent or lie. I have had the pleasure of exposing the cheats among us. Most reporters hate the cheats.
But the overwhelming majority do the job with honor. You’ll have to take my word for this, because I know more journalists than do you.
The vast majority work from facts, not from bias.
But since everyone sees things through their own filters, it’s important to use more than one news source. That’s the best way to get the full picture.