Letters to the editor in response to “Fake News” op-ed

Letter to editor

February 2, 2018 – The Excelsior Springs Standard recently ran an op-ed, entitled There were no winners in President’s ‘Fake News’ AwardsAs an opinion piece, it did not necessarily reflect the views of The Standard.

In response, the publisher received two letters to the editor. Both are published here, in full. The Standard remains committed to providing a platform for the community, and we welcome all such letters.

Letter one came from reader Robert Devine, of Excelsior Springs:

Dear Editor: In Response to your on-site Fake News expert, Samantha Kilgore

  1. Mentioning the possibility that news can be fake makes one wonder if the OP-ED is also fake! Actually, it looks more like a biased justification of Fake News. 
  2. The revelation that GOP political websites solicit donations was shocking— shocking!
  3. Fake News winners? Maybe not. But there were losers—and those were the politicians who bought the (fake?) media stories that Trump couldn’t or wouldn’t win!
  4. Who cares where Obama was born? Were you there?
  5. 2000 false or misleading claims (you say) causing the media to attack the President, causing him to attack the media, causing…. well you get it by now don’t you?
  6. Never heard of the great Tan Suit Scandal but did hear of the fake ‘affordable’ mandatory health insurance scandal.
  7. Guess your OP-ED writer never heard of Obama’s 2013 DOJ Associated Press investigation scandal and the Fox News James Rosen scandal of the same year? Strange, in that she knew all about Nixon of 40 years ago (fake news by omission).
    8. My take: If the media reports fake news (which it has—look it up), then they should own up to it rather than keep defending it. Better yet, to regain credibility, stop taking sides

Letter two came from Jennifer Hutton, of Excelsior Springs:

Opinion is not fake news.

There is a long history of opinion pieces printed in U.S. newspapers. A dedicated page for opinions has been a staple for decades. 

Opinions are interesting. When they come from community members, they give us a window into our neighbor’s minds. When they come from experts in a field, they give us an understanding that comes from a breadth of knowledge around a topic. They can give us context that we don’t already know. Both of these viewpoints are valuable. 

When people start confusing opinion with fake news, they are shutting off paths to more understanding. They are shutting down information from anyone they disagree with. They are diminishing the free press and democracy with it.

Fake news is not a report of information that you disagree with. Fake news is a report of false information with the intent to mislead. Real fake news is atrocious. People in legitimate news sources have consequences for such action.

It is not surprising that no one in our county called opinions fake news until Donald Trump started re-branding it as such. Do you know who else used this tactic to suppress the media? Hitler. Putin. Despots around the world are now using this tactic to deny atrocities and human rights abuses. Do we want to be like them? Or do we want to be Americans? 

Citizens are a part of our government. One part we play as constituent is as a voter. Another role and duty of the constituent is to speak up when our Democracy is threatened or diminished. Let’s be good constituents. 

Jennifer Hutton

To read the opinion piece, click here.

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