Letter to the Editor: President should not be calling anyone names

Published 10:00 pm Monday, August 20, 2018

Before Trump, would you have believed that we would have a president who publicly calls reporters disgusting and liars and calls reputable news organizations and reports fake news?

It is not OK for our president, the leader of our country, to publicly call reporters names and claim every report that isn’t flattering, fake. Although not talked about as much as the Second Amendment, the First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees a free press. In addition, call me crazy, but I don’t think the leader of our country should be publicly calling anyone names.

I commend the media for reporting the facts and not backing down. News outlets are even coming together to stand up against Trump’s attacks on a free press.

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There is an irony here that I can’t ignore. When candidates were seeking as much press as possible during the primary/caucus season, Trump got over twice as much free media coverage as Clinton (which focused heavily on e-mails instead of policy). Clinton, in turn, got over twice as much free media coverage as Sanders. The Republican candidates each got significantly less, in effect being completely drowned out by Trump.

This free media coverage is called earned media. But, how was it earned? The media gave the public what they felt we were interested in, in an effort to boost ratings and readership. Statements of fear and divisiveness as well as bold-faced lies (Mexico would pay for the wall) from Trump were in the media four times more than messages of love and equality from Sanders.

Trump was complaining that he was getting unfair coverage even in those days. I agree with the president on that score. Trump did receive unfair coverage, however, not in the way he means. The volume of coverage helped him to win the White House.

To say the media got what it deserved is not right. No one deserves to be bullied. We aren’t even to midterm elections yet, but it won’t be too long before the presidential candidates start to campaign. I hope the media will balance out the coverage this round, as much as I hope our next president will be respectful toward the media (and everyone else).

Angie Hanson

Albert Lea