Letter to the Editor about the Press

July 8, 2018

The News Leader published my letter to the editor this morning. The text is below.

We need a free press; our president’s attacks are sickening

I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with you, News Leader. Sometimes, you’re biased and salacious. You occasionally abuse grammar and punctuation, and your photo captions can be so bad they should be a drinking game. I’ve been testy with your reporters for their coverage of me personally. I’ve even criticized your treatment of your employees. I call out B.S. when I see it.

I’ve always respected you, however. I’m still a subscriber. On the balance, you’re a good newspaper. Good people work there. Staunton needs you. I respect your role in society, because the News Leader calls out B.S. when it sees it.

So when there was a mass shooting in an Annapolis newsroom last week, I was greatly saddened, not only for the pointless loss of life, but for the assault it represented on our American freedoms. I hoped someone in government would feel the same way. Someone like the U.S. president.

He started well, offering the ever-worthless “thoughts and prayers” to the victims. But then, only two days later, he asked me and others on Facebook to take his Media Accountability Survey. Because you know, journalists write “fake” news. They’re the enemy of the people.

Where is the moral leadership? President Trump’s hypocrisy, callousness and tone-deaf timing sicken me. I hope it sickens others, because it’s past time we took a hard look at what we stand for as Americans. It’s not this, and it’s not him.

MATTHEW WARNER
Staunton

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