Just the Facts

Dear media,

Where were you in 2015 and 2016 have you been the last 30+ years?

Congratulations! You successfully enabled a man who now declares war on you.

And you deserve it.

You have no one but yourselves to blame for your eroded credibility. For far too long, you have chased sensationalism, the ratings dollar, and portrayed the news as entertainment. So you get what you deserve. It’s tempting to jump on the Trump administration’s media-bashing bandwagon, but we need you now more than ever. You are the only check left on a complete fascist and Orwellian takeover of America and democracy. Your rights—unlike women, LGBT, black, immigrant, voting, and many other rights—are enshrined in, and protected by, the Constitution, because, have no doubt, the current administration would strip you of those rights in a rushin’ Russian heartbeat. This is what they plan to do to me, my husband, son, sister, mother, and fellow marginalized brothers and sisters. So count yourselves lucky.

Now is the time for responsible journalism. For you to vigorously exercise your rights. Take a long hard look in the mirror. Grow up. Give up the ratings dollar. To regain the public’s trust, if at all possible at this point, you must give up the money. Make your news divisions nonprofit. No more ads during the news. And if you continue to take in ad revenue, you must start and end each “news” segment with “and now a word from our sponsor,” or post a disclaimer stating that you are a for profit institution that will do anything for more viewers. (You will deny or spin this to avoid accountability, but that’s exactly what you did when you provided free airtime to every utterance and tweet of Trump throughout 2015-2016, sometimes for hours and hours without mention of any other candidate.)

You must change the way you present the facts. No more split screens or panels with opposing viewpoints in the name of “fairness.” You should be ashamed of yourselves for your propagating false balance. Facts do not have two equally weighted sides. Once you discover the facts, see what happens when you put them on the scale. The side with facts will get grounded with truth and reality while the other side will vanish into thin air with baseless claims (aka lies). And please, if you ever do find the facts, present them without the fancy graphics and orchestration. Sorry that facts can be boring.

Analyze, don’t fetishize. Think of the money you’ll save by slashing your art budget.

And, because you don’t seem to know this yet, celebrities are not newsworthy. Stop wasting our time with useless fluff about their lives. Leave that to the real journalists, Mario Lopez and Andy Cohen.

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