Chris Quinn, editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, explains why the newspaper continues to ignore false statements and stunts by politicians, including you-know-who. This is the approach all news outlets should take, refusing to repeat lies and misinformation just because they’ve been spewed by politicians or other public figures. I’d extend the ban to refusing to re-tweet outrageously unproven claims.
Trump held a rally in Wellington a few weeks ago, and before he arrived, our political writers and editors met to talk about how we would cover him. For months Trump has been spreading a false and dangerous narrative about how the election was stolen from him.
It’s a claim so ridiculous that one wonders why he keeps making it, but then we see a portion of the population that buys that claim, eschewing their powers of independent thought and judgment to blindly follow the former president. That’s why Trump’s claim is dangerous. It baselessly undermines confidence in America’s time-tested election system with Trump’s followers.
So, we were not going to quote Trump making his absurd claims about the election. We weren’t going to quote any of his many false statements. We were not going to give them oxygen.