Media and Politics
The following is a letter I wrote that appeared in the Grand Forks Herald on May 3, 2020. The title it was given is, "Piece about media is all about politics".
In an opinion piece two weeks ago, R.J. Ogaard claimed the left-wing media was running a smear campaign on President Trump, but at the same time, the letter he wrote was just that — a smear piece.
He would have you believe the mainstream news reporting is all highly biased garbage. Fortunately, this is just not true. Countless studies have investigated and found that news sources such as the AP, Bloomberg, Reuters, National Public Radio, ABC News, CBS news, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times generally report factual and responsible news. Some of these sources, like Politico, may be a bit liberal. Others, like the Wall Street Journal may be a bit conservative. Even so, they are reliable sources of information.
Ogaard claims that media outlets like the above are ignoring the facts and just lashing out at Trump because they don’t like him. He wrote, “Those same news sources are now scapegoating Trump, with a frame that he did not respond to COVID-19 quickly enough.” Well, it’s a fact that Trump’s response was too little too late. In late January, Trump said, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.” In late February, just when Italy was locking down entire cities, Trump declared, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.” Clearly it wasn’t under control then, it still isn’t now, and these are critical issues that ought to be in the news.
One blatant omission from Ogaard’s piece is any mention of conservative media. He writes that corporate media is after three things: “Power. Money. Status.” Does that include Fox News? What about the Grand Forks Herald? He doesn’t say, and that highlights a big problem in his letter.
He says we should distrust corporate media, except for a few companies — the ones that match his extreme political views.