The greatest enemy of the free press…

Do you ever wonder what is the greatest enemy of the free press? One might mention a few conspicuous foes, such as the state censor, the monopolistic proprietor, the advertiser who wants either favorable coverage or at least an absence of unfavorable coverage, and so forth. But the most insidious enemy is the cowardly journalist and editor who doesn’t need to be told what to do, because he or she has already internalized the need to please – or at least not to offend – the worst tyranny of all, which is the safety-first version of public opinion.

–Christopher Hitchens, Slate, 18 February 2008

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