Note that the URL of this story indicates it was initially published under the title “Cowards Are Destroying the GOP.” Opinion stories that take a clear stand are a valuable part of legitimate news coverage, though of course they need to be well sourced, and a good editor will seek a balance that reflects a range of legitimate views. (So, no racism, no hate, no misinformation that could damage public health or the integrity of our democratic government, and no lies.)
I grew up reading my father’s subscription to the Washington Post, which had a completely separate “Opinions” section, where the editorials (including political cartoons) were physically separated from the news.
Because I didn’t have many in-person sessions of my news writing class this past fall, I didn’t do the activity where I require students to buy a copy of the local paper and analyze it as a physical object. So I’m not sure I ever explicitly made the point that there’s a meaningful difference between hard news (where the reporter is supposed to be neutral, which is of course not the same thing as giving fringe groups the same respect as mainstream groups), and reviews and opinion.
I didn’t ask my students to write an editorial this term, but when I do, I ask them to spend about 80% of their time giving factual information that would be useful even to people who disagree with their position, and about 20% explaining how the evidence supports their position. The idea is to keep their attention on the importance of grounding their claims in reality, rather than emphasizing their wishes/hopes/fears.
The latest piece of evidence to suggest the enduring power of Trumpian unreality is yesterday’s announcement by Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri that he will object next week when Congress convenes to certify the Electoral College vote. | Hawley knows this effort will fail, just as every other effort to undo the results of the lawful presidential election will fail. (A brief reminder for those with faulty short-term memories: Joe Biden defeated Trump by more than 7 million popular votes and 74 Electoral College votes.) Every single attempt to prove that the election was marked by fraud or that President-elect Biden’s win is illegitimate—an effort that now includes about 60 lawsuits—has flopped. In fact, what we’ve discovered since the November 3 election is that it was “the most secure in American history,” as election experts in Trump’s own administration have declared. But this immutable, eminently provable fact doesn’t deter Trump and many of his allies from trying to overturn the election; perversely, it seems to embolden them. –Peter Wehner, The Atlantic