An Open Letter to Donald Trump as You become Our 45th President

I have stepped away from this blog for the past few weeks to see how you might change as you approach your presidency.

You haven’t.

I could have supported your presidency if only you had said, “U.S. intelligence showed me the facts. Putin tried to destroy our election and our democracy and he will pay a price so this will not continue.”

But, you didn’t. You didn’t come close.

Instead, you attacked our intelligence community. They gave you inconvenient facts. You minimized them before the world. You said other countries hack, too. True but nowhere near the point.

You didn’t stop there. You told us Putin liked you “and isn’t that a good thing”. Your being Our President is not about you or your Brand. It’s about the good of the nation. They are not the same thing.
Continue reading “An Open Letter to Donald Trump as You become Our 45th President”

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Freedom of the Press: An essential value

free-press

“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”                                                                      A.J. Liebling

Today’s headline – “Viral Fake Election News Outperformed Real News on Facebook in Final Months of the U.S. Election” – got me thinking about how we got to this dangerous place.

Many years ago, while in college, I remember a Sociology professor discussing then new statistics that showed, for the first time, more people were getting their news from TV than from newspapers. He made the point that TV news pieces were by definition brief and that the deeper analysis offered by newspapers would fade. He described this as a danger to democracy.

In those days, TV news departments were seen as a public service. As time went by, that value was decayed by networks and stations whose values shifted to profit as their business became more competitive.

Almost two decades ago, in 1999, Marc Gunther authored a report for the Nieman Foundation.  Titled, The Transformation of Network News: How Profitability Has Moved Networks Out of Hard News, Gunther opened the document with these words: Continue reading “Freedom of the Press: An essential value”

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