Decency and journalists and the Truth

An editorial in our local newspaper calling out Donald Trump for his indecent language and behavior prompted me to write them another letter…suggesting an alternative candidate people could vote for if they finally realize Trump is a degenerate. In the process, I tried to address the unfair allegations that have plagued the Clintons for so long. Herewith, the letter:

To the Editor:

Thank you for your editorial, “Question of decency.” It makes quite clear why we should not vote for Donald Trump. Of course, eliminating Trump creates a problem for voters who see Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy. I understand the concern, but I believe those who distrust her are victims of an old and dishonest political strategy.

It started around 1970. Richard Nixon and his cronies decided to attack the integrity of reporters who told the truth about their nefarious deeds. To raise doubts in the public mind, they sent out Vice President Spiro Agnew (also a crook) with the message that journalists were biased, untruthful hacks. Agnew gave us the memorable phrase, “nattering nabobs of negativism.” His charges were not true.

The research into media bias, which I have studied carefully, concludes most mainstream journalism then and now is not biased. Nonetheless, Republican hacks, like Rush Limbaugh (who lies a lot), have repeated the lies so long people now believe them. As a professional journalist working since the 1970s, I can honestly say these have sometimes been discouraging years.

Republicans used the technique again after Sept. 11, 2001, lying repeatedly to Congress and the nation until we approved an ill-advised invasion of Iraq. The cost in human lives of that lie is incalculable.

And since the 1980s, Republicans have used the strategy to hound the Clintons. They have repeated a host of ugly lies over and over, until many of us have come to believe them. Honest research into those lies reveals that the Clintons are not criminals and never were, despite the ravings of Republican attack dogs. I would encourage people to vote for Hillary Clinton, but if you reject her, too, don’t do it on the basis of scurrilous lies spread by her indecent, political enemies.



  1. Judy Williams · October 10, 2016

    I think HIllary is as honest as most politicians. What concerns me more about her is her hawkishness. That said, I’ll probably vote for her because I like the democratic platform and what it promises much more than the republican.


    • Mark Kelley · October 10, 2016

      Amen, Judy. When all is said and done (and, I hope, Hillary wins) I think we’ll be looking back at this campaign season as one of the least inspiring, saddest ones in our lifetime. Best, MK


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