Freedom of the press is essential to the preservation of a democracy; but there is a difference between freedom and license. Editorialists who tell downright lies in order to advance their own agendas do more to discredit the press than all the censors in the world.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Interview with former Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, University of Illinois, Urbana (Spring 1958).
FDR was highly sensitive to newspaper opinions and though he had excellent relations with the working press he believed, not without evidence, that editors and publishers opposed him at every turn during the relief and recovery phase of the New Deal and when he was preparing the nation for a possible war with the Axis powers. Roosevelt was angry with press stories and editorials which accused him of seeking dictatorial powers in the fight over the Lend-Lease legislation. Perkins was treated to this outburst when she was visiting with the President on another matter.