Politics, The World

This is why Meryl Streep deserves all the awards

Streep was honored with the prestigious Cecile B. Demille Award and demonstrated pure class as she accepted it.

Even if you didn’t watch the Golden Globes Sunday night, you probably know by now that Meryl Streep rocked the night with her heartfelt acceptance speech.

Streep was honored with the prestigious Cecile B. Demille Award and demonstrated pure class as she accepted it. During her speech, she called out Donald Trump without even mentioning his name.

She spoke little of her own achievements and instead, directed her speech at bringing attention to “the most vilified segments in American society right now”–Hollywood, foreigners and the press.

“We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage,” Streep said. “That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the Constitution.”

Trump fired back on Twitter, calling Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood. Oh, and of course he made sure also call out the “very dishonest media” as well.

As a journalism student, one of the first things I was taught in my introductory media studies courses was that journalists serve as the watchdogs of democracy. It’s their constitutional right to keep the powerful in check by reporting the facts and asking tough questions. Without journalists, how would we ensure the government is doing its job?

Ever since Trump’s presidential campaign began, his rhetoric has facilitated the diminishment of journalists and the press. Streep fervidly condemned him for mocking a disabled reporter, but that is not the only time he has made fun of the press.

He has tweeted The New York Times “gets worse and worse by the day,” the Associated Press being “terrible & highly inaccurate,” and CNN for being “the worst”.” Sadly, the list goes on and on.

He also singled out NBC’s Katy Tur on multiple occasions. He told her to “be quiet” on live television, called her “little Katy” and referred to her as a “third-rate journalist.”

Tur wrote about the harassment she endured in a Marie Claire Op-Ed stating that at Trump’s rallies, his supporters seemed to feed off of him and turn on her “like a large animal, angry and unchained.”

By repeatedly bullying Tur and other reporters, Trump has normalized a hatred for the press. Low standards of journalism are not hard to find, but we cannot forget that there are journalists out there who are working tirelessly to provide constant news coverage in a competitive 24-hour news cycle era.

If we want to make sure politicians are doing their jobs, then we should not be vilifying journalists. Streep implied that the work of journalists will be more important then ever once Trump takes office and called on Hollywood to join her in “supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we’re gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists is a non-profit organization that promotes freedom of press worldwide. Since her speech, the organization has received over 1,000 donations totaling to more than $60,000, according to Poynter.

So as an aspiring journalist, thank you, Meryl Streep, for using your platform to encourage others to support, rather than denigrate the watchdogs of American democracy.