Mainstream news is not propaganda

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 5:01 PM

In a letter to the Herald (“One giant, coordinated primal whine,” Aug. 23), Virgil R. Pulliam recommends that readers “Cross check Washington Post and New York Times articles and the daily rants on CNN, NBC and MSNBC with the factual information, opinion and analysis available on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity. Then decide. Anyone unwilling to do this is settling for only half of the story.”

I agree that to have an informed understanding of current events you need to bring a wide range of reading, viewing and listening to bear on your thinking process.

It’s also important to develop frames of reference, including some understanding of history, in order to distinguish legitimate reporting and responsible opinion from what is propagandistic and bombastic.

Mr. Pulliam names some prominent mainstream media entities and some prominent right-wing ones and purports to equate them – each providing “half the story” – but he reveals his personal preference, associating the former with “daily rants” and the latter with “factual information.”

There is a reason the mainstream media is called that. The New York Times, Washington Post and traditional networks have occasional lapses, but they have a long, venerable and proud tradition of upholding high journalistic standards – of seeking out and reporting the truth and publishing opinion pieces which for the most part are distinguished by intellectual integrity.

Fox News and the television personalities Mr. Pulliam names have strikingly different motives and are of an entirely different character.

Edward Packard