1. Statement
  2. Voting & Elections

Freedom of Press and Rule of Law are Sacred American Values Say Quakers

By Timothy McHugh, November 8, 2018


Washington, DC - The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) today expressed concern over the denial of press access to the White House and the threat to independent government investigations.

Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, media@fcnl.org; 202-903-2515

Yesterday, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta was stripped of his White House press credentials. Subsequently, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was fired, endangering the current probe on Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

“Freedom of the press and the rule of law are sacred American values,” said Diane Randall, FCNL Executive Secretary. “We respect the president’s authority to hire and fire officials, but what happened yesterday is not what millions of Americans voted for in the midterm elections.”

As a Quaker lobby group, FCNL’s policies on government accountability and press freedom have always been clear. FCNL’s policy reads:

“We hold our government institutions and officials to rigorous ethical standards of fairness, honesty, openness and avoidance of even the appearance of conflicts of interest. We expect our government to abide by the U.S. Constitution, national and international law, and international treaties. The system of checks and balances among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches is central to our form of government and must be strengthened.

“Democracy does not work properly if the public does not know what its government is doing. Secrecy erodes the government’s accountability to the people. Strong protections are necessary for whistleblowers, journalists, and confidential sources who expose government misconduct. Timely and free access to accurate information enables the constitutional process of checks and balances to function well and allows informed participation by individuals in government activities.

“A strong, diverse, and independent media is a pillar of democracy. We call on our government to honor the independence of the press, promote diversity of media ownership, and protect the privacy and freedom of electronic communications.”

To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.

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Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S. policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.

Timothy McHugh

  • Director of Media Relations

Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets. He is responsible for providing FCNL staff with opportunities to convey our message – in print and through the airways – to the public and throughout the country. He keeps FCNL issues and staff on the collective radars of reporters and journalists nationwide. Lastly, he runs FCNL several media-focused social media channels.