Printed in the Herald-Times, February 19, 2019.
To the Editor:
It is ironic that outgoing Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg would editorialize that the news media is not “the enemy of the people” in the shadow of the scandal surrounding the Fake News media’s smears of Covington High School, which was forced to close due to bomb threats. Innocent teenagers had their private information exposed and their lives and families threatened based on lies and fabrications.
The Fake News media certainly were the enemy of teenagers who did nothing wrong other than being harassed and verbally abused by a racist, anti-Semitic cult. They were subjected to character assassination by a Native American activist, and the Fake News media reported the lies without checking if the claims were actually true. The Fake News media is certainly the enemy of those people.
Yes, the story was moving fast on social media, and these kids would have been subjected to scorn by the social media lynch mob. There was no excuse for not actually checking facts before reporting. In a sloppy rush to be “first,” the Fake News media endangered the lives of innocent teenagers. But actually checking facts is far less important than the opportunity to smear supporters of President Trump.