I am pleased Forum Communications wishes to participate in The Trust Project, to help restore “the trusted role of the press in serving the public good" (“Our company is embracing an effort to build trust with readers,” Oct 1). Certainly it’s desirable that news providers follow the tenets of quality journalism by offering “Truthful, verified news … in a context that gives … meaning.”
As you strive to reach the project’s goals, it’s incumbent on the Duluth News Tribune to offer complete information about those in public life who spread misinformation about COVID-19 (and vaccines developed to combat it) or the “big lie” (about the 2020 elections). The public needs context to judge the merit of what these political figures say.
Point out that Republican Scott Jensen, candidate for Minnesota governor, urged people to practice civil disobedience and ignore vaccine and mask guidelines. Note that he’s been banned from some social media platforms for making claims subsequently debunked.
Point out that the newly elected Minnesota GOP Deputy Chair, Donna Bergstrom, sued to overturn her election defeat for the Minnesota Senate. She lost 68.3% to 31.5%. She claimed irregularities in the running of the elections and hacking of machines. Stress that her lawsuit was thrown out.
Point out that the current Congressional District 8 Representative in the U.S. Congress, Pete Stauber, signed on in support of a lawsuit by the Texas Attorney General, seeking to throw out the presidential election results in four states (none of them Texas.) That lawsuit also was thrown out by the courts.
As for the previous president, make certain that he’s awarded his full share of responsibility for undermining the public’s faith in the free press, our elections, and our democracy, through his attacks on reporters, his creation of the “big lie” and his continued attacks on the integrity of elections and the reliability of the 2020 results.
Eileen Zeitz Hudelson
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