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Dear Mr. President. Let me tell you about Dennis O’Brien.

Not sure how many of you saw this, but earlier today Donald Trump took yet another swipe at the media.

This came during his (otherwise commendable) visit to Texas when, standing before members of the Coast Guard, he said (for no good reason): “I hear the Coast Guard saved 11,000 people. Think of it—almost 11,000 people. By going into winds that the media would not go into. They would not go into those winds. Unless it’s a really good story—in which case they will.”

•••

I would like to take a moment to say, to the president, fuck you.

Fuck you.

Fuck you.

Fuck you.

Fuck you.

Or, more simply, let me tell you about my old friend Dennis O’Brien. We attended the University of Delaware together back in the early-to-mid 1990s. Dennis was a few years older, having joined the United States Marine Corps in 1987, then serving in Operation Desert Storm. By the time he arrived in school, he was damaged goods. A great guy, but … frantic. Dizzy. Hardened by experiences, yet itching for action. I imagine that’s why, come 2003, he took a job at the Virginian-Pilot, where he was embedded with a Marine unit in Iraq.

Dennis was courageous and dogged and determined to find the truth.

He also, again, was damaged.

On Jan. 31, 2004, Dennis O’Brien hung himself. He left behind a wife and daughter.

•••

We in the media are not cowards. At least not most of us. We are hard working, we are determined, we are believers in the truth. When the president suggests otherwise … when he convinces the mobs to damn us and mock us and belittle us, he is not seeking out truth and righteousness.

He doesn’t care about Dennis O’Brien.

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