Blaming the media is an old trick of campaigns when coverage isn’t going their way.
Consider events next door in Alabama, where U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore is taking a beating after The Washington Post published what apparently had been an open secret in his hometown for years: Moore had an eye for younger women and was alleged to have pursued some of them inappropriately as far back as the 1970s.
Moore, the Republican nominee in a December special election, has denied the charges vehemently. That’s his right. His campaign has smeared The Post and insisted there are holes in the accusers’ stories. The Post has stood by its reporting.
Moore’s campaign, in the past week, has issued rebuttals to the claims against the candidate but when The Post made a request to the campaign for more information, a strategist responded with an email calling the newspaper “a worthless pile of crap.”
The Post and other newspapers hold themselves to a higher standard for reporting than what some may like to think, and here we dare include ourselves.
The reporting done by professional journalists must hold up to the scrutiny of the law — can it be defended in court, where truth is the absolute defense against a claim of libel, and do our consumers trust it?
If not, the news organization in question won’t be in business very long.
Even on the local scene, we see blogs attempting to pass off opinions as fact. Certainly they have the right to publish, thanks to the First Amendment, but they should be viewed with skepticism. Indeed, any news organization should be.
When you see a blog present details about a local project or organization, take a deep breath before believing the charges made. Often times the reporting is incomplete, or there is an ax to grind.
We aren’t promising The Covington News or any other newspaper gets the story completely right, 100 percent of the time, but that is our goal — reporting the news without fear or favor. In this hyperpartisan climate where everyone can be a publisher with the click of a mouse, voices with less admirable goals can be heard just as loudly sometimes.
All of us would do well to view stories online, particularly on social media, with a level of skepticism. Consider the source.
Thank you for your readership
Now that the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone and we are knee-deep in the Christmas season, we at The Covington News would like to say thank you to you, our readers.
We appreciate you allowing us in your home each and every Sunday, and we do not take that lightly.
Thank you for your continued support of your community newspaper.
Our Thoughts is view of The Covington News editorial board, which includes Editor and Publisher David Clemons and Managing Editor Jackie Gutknecht.