The Daily Commercial, a local paper serving Leesburg, Florida, issued a striking editorial apology for its biased coverage of the Presidential race.
In an open letter titled “The media, the election and bias,” the editors apologized to its readers and observed that the paper “hasn’t done enough to mitigate the anti-Trump wave in the pages of this paper….You deserve a more balanced approach to the coverage of elections and other weighty issues.”
The editorial says in part…
…For months, the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has commanded the nation’s attention like no other story, so of course that’s what we’ve focused on as well. There isn’t really a question whether we should cover the presidential election. The question is how…. Because we have limited space and resources, smaller papers are generally limited to covering the horse race — the day in-day out happenings on the campaign trail.
…Still, we watched the national media for months as it tried to be deferential to both candidates, treating them professionally and with some measure of balance and objectivity. Then something happened along the way.It’s as if a number of national media outlets finally said the heck with it, Trump is a bad guy and we’re not going to dance around it any more.
Has the media been biased against Trump? Yes, we believe so, especially lately. Trump’s every utterance, no matter how innocuous, is now parsed, analyzed and criticized by a litany of political pundits. The wire services that the Daily Commercial subscribes to churn out stories almost daily that fact check Trump, which is warranted given his penchant for exaggeration and duplicity. Yet those same services turn out so few stories that fact check Clinton, who also has a strained relationship with the truth.
And while hundreds of stories have attempted to shed light on Trump’s feelings about women, minorities, his business dealings, his taxes and more, so little has been written about some of Clinton’s questionable decisions as secretary of state, her emails and the fact that she and Bill have somehow amassed incredible wealth during their political careers. That certainly deserves scrutiny.
Here’s the mea culpa: The Daily Commercial hasn’t done enough to mitigate the anti-Trump wave in the pages of this paper. We’ve tried to be circumspect about the stories we run, the headlines we put on them, the political cartoons we publish (we recently abandoned our usual cartoonists in favor of a service that is not so unrelentingly anti-Trump). Our editors have even re-edited some wire stories that we thought used loaded language to describe Trump. But in retrospect, we haven’t gone far enough.
To be clear, this is not an endorsement of Trump, a candidate whose brutish, sometimes childish antics are responsible for his sizable deficit in the polls. Rather, it is a recognition that you, the voter, deserve better than we in the media have given you.
There are 1,387 U.S. daily newspapers.
That’s one with integrity.