You know how it always kind of feels like a defeat when you resort to giving someone money as a gift instead of finding them the perfect present? Well, Tom Hanks clearly never has that problem. In the interest of bolstering democracy, Hanks sent White House journalists the perfect gift — instead of just buying a subscription to their publications (although I like to imagine that he has plenty of those, too). And what does an overworked and underpaid protector of freedom most need? That's right, a fancy-shmancy espresso machine.
This wasn't just any espresso machine, either — judging by the brand, it's probably worth about $2,000. But for the two-time Oscar-winning actor famous for classics like Saving Private Ryan and Castaway, it's apparently a small price to pay to support the functioning of democracy. This is actually the third time Hanks has bought the White House press corps a coffee maker over the years, but the note attached to this one makes it perhaps the most meaningful one yet. "To the White House Press Corps: Keep up the good fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Especially the Truth Part," was the message accompanying the espresso machine. Judging by the photos that several journalists have tweeted, they've apparently hung the note up on the wall as a sort of reminder.
It hasn't been an easy couple of weeks for White House reporters. Some of them, from outlets like the New York Times, the Guardian, and CNN have been banned from press briefings. They've all had to watch the elevation of outlets like Breitbart News and pro-Trump blog Gateway Pundit to the same — or even higher — status than actual news organizations like the Washington Post. And then, of course, there's been the steady stream of falsehoods coming out of Trump and the people who represent him. If anyone needs a fancy coffee machine, it's the reporters trying to do their job and get the truth out this most difficult of environments.
Tom Hanks can be an inspiration for everyone who wants to do her part to support American democracy. Yes, you can donate to organizations supporting civil society, volunteer at a Planned Parenthood clinic, work to get out the vote in 2018, or show up at every town hall that your senator holds. Those are all wonderful things to do. But you can also take a leaf out of Hanks' book and get creative. If one more New York Times reporter has energy for one more story, you never know — it might be the story that saves the republic.