The three leading U.S. newspapers by circulation are the Wall Street Journal (2.38 million), New York Times (1.87 million), and USA Today (1.67 million). With a combined circulation of only 5.92 million it is clear that most of the 121 million American voters are getting their news elsewhere.
With the loss of paid subscriptions and advertising revenues, the newspaper industry has reduced its number of journalists, and has cut back on coverage of important worldwide and national events (Didn’t North Carolina have severe damage from a hurricane? What happened in Kansas’ elections?). Most Americans get their news from Fox News and hate AM radio. Both have served the right-wing Republican ideologues well. Facebook and Twitter also provide a vast amount of uncorroborated “news” to their users.
The facts of the last eight years of Democratic presidency are that an economic depression has been averted; the unemployment rate has decreased from 6.5 percent to 4.9 percent, more than 20 million more Americans have access to health-care insurance under the ACA, and the United States has not had another 9/11. The Iran nuclear program has been stopped for the time being. Osama Bin Laden and leaders of al-Qaeda and ISIS have been decimated.
Because of seditious Republican political behavior we have had a weaker stimulus than necessary to restore good-paying infrastructure jobs to Americans; a 2013 government shutdown; refusal to honor our nation’s debts by raising taxes and the debt ceiling; endless politically inspired congressional investigations (Benghazi, Clinton emails, IRS, Climate Science); and failure to confirm nominees to the federal bench and ambassadorships.
Congress’ approval rate has fallen to 9 percent.
Of the two presidential candidates in last week’s election:
- Hillary Clinton has had a proven record of honorable government service and has never had any record of corruption or dishonesty. Despite repeated investigations, she has never been charged with any crime.
- Donald Trump has no record of public service, no military service, no personal charitable contributions, no record of paying any federal income taxes, multiple bankruptcies, lawsuits, “birtherism” claims, lies, ignorance, racist and misogynistic behavior. Trump University has been sued for fraud. He has engaged in illegal racial discrimination in New York. He could have been charged with bribing public officials in Florida and Texas.
Only a poorly informed electorate would vote to give more power to Republican politicians at the federal and state level.
American journalists are supposed to practice ethics in their reporting of the news. The cardinal principles of ethical journalism are: truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. Nowhere is “entertainment” or “shock value” or “propaganda” or “ratings” a journalistic value.
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