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Last week, hundreds of news organizations around the country banded together to defend the freedom of the press. The Atlantic joined in, writing in an editorial that the Trump administration’s rhetoric is “an attack not just on individual media outlets, but on the role journalism serves in a free society; not just on specific stories, but on the need for Americans to know the facts; not just on journalists, but on the right of all people to speak their minds.”

Though it’s hardly new for the press to spar with the president, our editorial notes, this moment feels uniquely “dark.” In today’s issue, we’ll walk you through decades of attacks on the press. We’ll also share a conversation with Yoni Appelbaum, The Atlantic’s Ideas editor. A former Harvard historian, Yoni explains why this moment feels more sinister than those of the past.

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