Monday, March 4, 2024

Editorial: Trump’s lies disparages journalism

Fox News, a right-leaning news broadcast that hosts personalities such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, is currently being sued. A brief by Dominion, a voting software company, alleges that Fox News was aware that former president Donald Trump’s election fraud claims were false. Dominion is now suing the network for defamation. 

During the 2020 election, Trump lost the popular vote to President Joe Biden. Trump then filed lawsuits and motions to interview cases in several states, and went on live television claiming that there was fraud occurring, and that he had wrongfully lost the race. Since the election, several facts have come to surface: Trump was recorded calling Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to “find more votes” and threatened the secretary with “criminal offense.” Trump and his attorneys lost their suits even as they made their way to the states’s supreme courts and votes were counted and recounted to verify Trump’s loss.

During this time, Fox News’s heads and hosts regurgitated Trump’s claims of fraud. A reporter from Fox even attempted to share the truth, but was punished by having their segment stripped from them. Fox News’ legal defense claims that hosts were conducting proper journalistic capacity by asking “questions to a newsmaker on newsworthy subjects” or attempting to “accurately report on pending allegations.”

The brief, which can be found and read by anyone, shares many of the true thoughts and feelings of those who work for the company. A gem within the pages is that Carlson calls Trump a “demonic force,” although he still bats for him on television to this day. 

Fox News stated, “There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan.”

However, Ron Desantis, Governor of Florida and Fox News regular, shared rhetoric on overturning this exact legal case.

 

What can SUNY Plattsburgh students do?

 

It is clear that Fox News is attempting to spin this as a case of freedom of press for their defense. How the case is ruled upon may change journalism in the United States forever. Journalism is an integral part of our everyday lives. Being able to trust the integrity of the journalists and their sources is what keeps the profession afloat. 

It is impossible to investigate every aspect of life, which is where journalists come in. They research, interpret and explain integral information to be easily digested for the public Without truth in news, propaganda would take its place. Fox News is an example of this, for they pushed for the election fraud conspiracy for months upon years. 

Even you, reading this article right now, is a great show of trust. This is an editorial, with no author credited. Instead, Cardinal Points as a whole stands behind the opinions shared in this piece. Readers trust that the publication actually agrees with the standpoint presented and it is not altered or purposely shown deceptively. 

Fox News is an example of how larger companies of news harm smaller pressrooms. Fox News and other heavily biased news tarnishes the craft, building distrust and animosity. This has contributed to the steady decline of journalism as a whole, as social media such as Instagram or TikTok is now the preferred platform for many Americans to obtain their news. 

Support your local news. Purchase a physical copy of the newspaper. Read reputable sources and fact-check what you see on sites such as Instagram or Tiktok. If you feel that something is off, trust your gut. Write letters to the editor to interact and engage with the paper, letting the editors know you read and care for the publication. Suggest stories you want to see covered or aspects of the community you want acknowledged. 

The newspaper is nothing without its readers. Readers can become sources, writers, photographers and so much more. News, especially for smaller towns such as Plattsburgh, can be the glue that helps the community stick together. 

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