Oh, USA Today, this is not right. This is precisely how you don’t respond to having published an avalanche of lies and over-the-top, anti-Democratic (and anti-democratic) propaganda from the occupier of the Oval Office. From editorial page editor Bill Sternberg, and tweeted by the paper’s official account: “@usatodayopinion provides a forum for a diversity of views on issues of national relevance. We see ourselves as America’s conversation center, presenting our readers with voices from the right, left and middle.”
So if Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer decided to write that tax-fraud Trump, in his cozying up to white supremacists and love for totalitarian leaders was leading the United States toward fascism, would USA Today have printed that? In the name of presenting readers with a balanced conversation? Somehow I doubt it.
What about providing a forum for flat-out lies? “President Trump’s op-ed was treated like other column submissions; we check factual assertions while allowing authors wide leeway to express their opinions.” Who did the fact checking? Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Paul Ryan? Seriously, here’s what a real fact-checker, Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler found: “almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood. Many of these are claims we have already debunked.” He even points out that Trump’s op-ed links to one of Kessler’s previous fact-checks.
So now that they’ve been called out publicly and loudly for providing this platform for Trump’s disgusting propaganda, what are they going to do about it? “Readers are invited to submit opposing viewpoints and provide additional context, some of which will be published in the days ahead,” they say.
Not. Good. Enough. This isn’t just “any other column submission.” This is from the pr*sident of the United States, such as he is. He’s not just spinning here, he’s telling incendiary lies. By uncritically allowing him to do so, without so much as an accompanying response, USA Today has put itself in league with Fox News.