Dereliction Of Duty?

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A view of the Washington Post's new building March 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Margaret Sullivan, the excellent media critic for the Washington Post, argues that some news organizations haven’t been blunt enough in their descriptions of some of President Trump’s public behavior. She wants them to call his racist comments about several congresswoman as “racist,” and his lies - like the claim that those congresswomen “hate America” - “lies.”

“We can’t run and hide in the name of neutrality and impartiality,” she writes. “ To do that is a dereliction of duty.”

I agree that commentators should be direct. When you have someone with a long track record of falsehoods and race-baiting like that of Mr. Trump, there’s no reason to sugarcoat it.

Still, Sullivan’s notion of a “dereliction of duty” concerns me. 

It is not the news media’s duty to shape public opinion. 

It is every citizen’s duty to form their own opinions, hopefully based on actual facts.

Only the lazy or stupid would outsource that duty to someone else, a pundit, a website or a politician.

If there is anyone in the news business who thinks we’re powerful enough to sway this country in any meaningful way, they’re in for a nasty surprise. 

And so are Americans who think lies and racism are a formula for anything but a nightmare.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday mornings at :55 minutes past the hour. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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