Local Commentary

On the Side Of the Truth

According to a report from the esteemed Editor & Publisher that has served to contribute to the health of the nation’s newspaper industry, alarm bells are being sounded not that the “media” has come under fire at this week’s Republican National Convention, but that it is taking unfair hits in almost every speech.

“Many of the 2020 Republican National Convention’s speakers have gone after the media, blaming outlets for targeting Trump supporters and bias against conservatives in its reporting,” it comments. “The many mentions of the media at the RNC illustrate that media bias remains an important theme that party leaders believe will resonate with their conservative base ahead of November’s election.”

It adds, “The president and many of his conservative allies have spent years framing the media as the ‘enemy of the people’ and the Republican Party. Those efforts have created an environment where it’s now the norm for conservative lawmakers and leaders to bash the media publicly.”

In just the first two days of the RNC convention, a generalized “the media” has been identified as the “enemy” by no fewer than 11 speakers.

This is a case where repeating a refrain often enough contributes to a dangerous dispassionate passivity. Over the years of the Trump presidency, the non-stop refrain has numbed the public’s concern for the kind of outrageous lying and dissembling that has characterized Trump from his very first day in the White House when his press secretary, the lamentable Sean Spicer, had the audacity to insist that “the media” ignore the evidence of its own eyes and ears and accept that the Inauguration ceremonies of the day before were choked with millions of adoring fans of the president.

To any honest observer, that was downright stunning, but they got away with it because there are just too many people who blew it off as no big deal. So it has led to a growing drumbeat, led by Trump himself, to discredit the media and push ahead with outrageous claims to buoy his personal agenda, even as he’s had to discredit related institutions tasked with advancing the truth against lying, such as the court system and intelligence community.

For Trump and his sycophants to insist that truth is what he says it is, without regard for any contrary evidence, is to disenfranchise and strip from every citizen a most vital precondition for justice. Sadly, enough of the U.S. population has been lulled, bullied or brainwashed into making it appear that truth is only another political football. Too much of “the media” has failed to correct this error and for too long, Fox News has been little more than a deceptive partisan battering ram against truth itself in its inordinately powerful role as an alternative to the “mainstream media.”

The News-Press, with our imperfections but a passionate commitment, stands staunchly on the side of truth, objective truth not Trump’s perversions. We urge our readers to do likewise.