Letters to the Editor

Yes, the media is the ‘opposition party.’ It needs to keep the government accountable.

Stephen Bannon, former head of the Breitbart website, appears at a national security meeting at Trump Tower in New York on Oct. 7, 2016.
Stephen Bannon, former head of the Breitbart website, appears at a national security meeting at Trump Tower in New York on Oct. 7, 2016. Associated Press File

Stephen Bannon is right! The “media is the opposition party.” (Tribune, Jan. 27) This is as it should be. Republicans control all the levers of power — the House of Representatives, the Senate, the presidency and the Supreme Court. Other than through the media, there is no systematic way for the minority party to make its views known, despite the fact that a majority of voters did not choose the man sitting as president. Stephen Bannon’s demand for the media “to keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while” violates the norms of a democracy.

It should be noted that “media” is a collective term which does not distinguish between journalism and punditry. Journalists have a code of ethics that sanctifies facts. While journalists writing for the Washington Times and The Washington Post may reach differing conclusions in their search for the truth, they start, or should start, from the same point — facts.

Commentary, analysis and opinion pieces are a step beyond simple reporting in which journalists can express their judgment of the facts. The media should identify the latter as such. “Alternative facts” have no place in journalism, nor in punditry, nor in the pronouncements of the federal government.

Max Riedlsperger, San Luis Obispo

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