Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Whom do we trust?

February 5, 2018


To the editor:

The gulf between rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, and in some ways even between genders has not been wider — and more confusing — in my lifetime.

We desperately need a way to narrow these divisions. The outlook is not promising.

In my youth, the Vietnam War divided the country. I remember standing at the free-throw line as a player in a high school basketball game when the announcement was made that the war would end. With it, thankfully, ended the chance I would need to carry an M-16 through a rice paddy halfway around the world.

Walter Cronkite played a major role in changing the opinions of many Americans.

We trusted Walter. Some might debate whether his change of heart on Vietnam was correct or deserved. I am thankful that so many trusted his reporting and editorials.

He was “the most trusted man in America.”

So whom do we trust now? Whom do we respect? Who tells us the truth, even the truths we’d rather not hear?

If not journalists, then who? They may not always be right. They might be more biased than in days past. They might even generate as much news as they report, but there are none who are more likely to tell us the truth.

It is for us to determine who we should believe, just like we did in 1968. Those who turn out to be truthful and unbiased should be rewarded with our trust and respect.

That trust and respect is, after all, a most valuable commodity that we have hoarded for far too long.


Bob Smith 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Don't trust Dan "Fake but accurate" Rather.

Steve Hicks 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Well said, Mr. Klamet. And greatly needing to be said.

Nothing's more destructive of our trust for each other than the lie the ideologues push on us, that no one except those of our own opinion, especially in the media, tells the truth.

Ideologues would have us believe that no Boston sportscaster will give the true score of the Super Bowl, and that only a climate-change skeptic weatherman can be believed when he tells us it's snowing.

Fortunately, we live in a reality that provides a check on the media...and on ideologues.

Ideologues, of course, hate reality...to the extent most of them choose to live elsewhere. That's probably because a reality-check reveals they are liars.

Believing liars never has good results: in national politics, or in JW comments.

Bob Summers 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Congenital Liberals could control the propaganda in the Cronkite era. There was no transparency. There was no internet. There was "trust" in the single message. There was CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS as the sole megaphones to shout out their trusted message.

There are many megaphones today. There is transparency. This transparency via the internet and multiple news channels is why there is no "trust" in the LTE mind.

Liberals miss controlling their trusted message.

Greg Cooper 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I'd suggest, Bob, that the lack of the internet back then was a good thing. Because of that lack, people had to read and watch actual news. They had to make decisions and form opinions based on what was reported and verified. They had to use their brains, unlike today, when one can tune in to any number of idiocies that tell people what to think by telling them lies and planting misdirection. Transparency? It was impossible to hide one's identity then, so the things reported were attributed to real people and organizations, not false identities hiding behind nearly untraceable web posts.

David Klamet 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Can you define "elucidate" for us? I don't think it means what you think it means.

Steve Hicks 3 months, 2 weeks ago

No matter: it's existential bob-ness to believe things mean what they don't.

Greg Cooper 3 months, 2 weeks ago

What I made clear, Bob, was that your "thesis" is full of holes and poorly thought out. Transparency is when things are reported, not ideologically twisted to fit a particular bent, but reported, as they were, as they happened, and not as some wished they were. Unlike you, there were actually informed folks then. Sure, there were different political thoughts and beliefs, but they were based on actual things that each party worked for, with explanations, facts, figures. The Russian trolls, Bob, are not transparent. Your continual, unresponsive, unscientific raving about "liberals" is not transparent, but, like the Russians', is misdirection used for the sole purpose of not answering questions or comments but for the use of those who don't want to think. That's what I elucidated, Bob, what I made clear and explained. Maybe you just don't understand history or the English language.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 2 weeks ago

There is no transparency when people can pretend to be journalists, but make up stories and conspiracy theories.

Gary Stussie 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Trust and respect is a "most valuable commodity" ... it is unfortunate that we can no longer vest trust and respect in the MSM. Just as political biases have crept in and partially corrupted a number of our most powerful government agencies, those same biases have hopelessly corrupted most of the MSM.

You only have to compare and contrast the various news sources for a couple of days to convince yourself that skepticism is justified. Track what ABC, CBS and NBC covers and WHAT THEY DO NOT COVER against FOX News or One America News.

Take note of the way the various news outlets express headlines (including the USAToday insert in LJW) ... President Trump could walks on water, ... the Headline would be "Trump Can't Swim"!

The MSM elite are use to being able to shape/drive policy ... chaps their fannies that Trump has made that a greater challenge.

Kendall Simmons 3 months, 2 weeks ago

We watch and read news from widely varying sources. From, for just a tiny example, CNN to FOX...Breitbart to the NY Times. And why? So we can get info from a wide variety of sources and then use our brains. We don't just believe what one pundit somewhere says about something and ignore the rest...or don't bother trying to find facts and use our brains.

Skepticism certainly is justified. But reading more than one side helps with that FAR more than deciding in advance which decide to bet your life on. And never forget that the MSM does NOT include only one point of view. Not even close.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I try not to listen to pundits, left or right too much. Pundits are basically the opinion page of TV and the internet. Just give me the facts. I have a brain to decide what to think of those facts. But the pundits are the ones who get the high ratings, so they won't be gone soon.

David Klamet 3 months, 2 weeks ago

So what do you base these statements on? Why should I believe them?

Below is a site that rates the truthfulness reporting of the main news channels (including FOX).

Why do I tend to believe them? They don't show anybody as being perfect. So if they're biased, it is not obvious. Just because you don't like what they say doesn't mean it isn't true. Some people want the truth, even when the truth is not what we want it to be.


Compare the news channels and their record. If you just reject everything you don't like, the truth isn't what you're interested in.

Find another place that reports on the accuracy of the media. Tell me why you believe them. Otherwise what you're saying is just gibberish.

Steve Hicks 3 months, 2 weeks ago

" If you just reject everything you don't like, the truth isn't what you're interested in."

Amen !!

Greg Cooper 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The truth, generally, has shown a "liberal" bent, guys. Maybe that makes Regressives angry.

Gary Stussie 3 months, 2 weeks ago

"liberal bent" ... boy that's an understatement.

My thoughts are that all the info we get has a bias, one way or the other.

What concerns me more then the spin put on the "News" is the fact that many things I think are/should be important to the knowledgeable voter are simply not reported.

Ken Lassman 3 months, 1 week ago

"Generally?" Now there's a term that fits just as nicely into the following phrase: "The truth, generally, is manipulated by the right wing news sources. Maybe that makes Progressives angry."

Scott Burkhart 3 months, 2 weeks ago

What I don't understand is how certain items can be reported on one network and ignored on most of the rest? Did all the other decide it wasn't news? it wasn't true? Are they purposely not reporting something in order to further an agenda?

Steve Hicks 3 months, 2 weeks ago

All news media deal with the fact they have a limited amount of time / number of pages in which to present the news, and an almost-infinite amount of news. (Even the 24-hour news-outlets: who seem however to mostly pad that time with "commentators" and other talking heads, rather than actual news.)

All media make editorial decisions about what's most important or most relevant. It's the same decision every one of us makes about our limited time, every day.

Not all news is equally relevant at every level. The JW rightly chose to report last week's local "flag" demonstration in Lawrence. (I happened to be downtown that day and wondered what was going on, so the JW story was exactly relevant for me.)

Was the flag demonstration of greater absolute importance than the resignation of President Jacob Zuma ? No. Choosing one over the other was an editorial decision.

Perhaps if there were a substantial South African ex-pat community in Lawrence, the JW might have chosen to devote a larger amount of page-space to the Zuma news. But as it was, the JW made the right decision.

If, however, a national news outlet reported the Lawrence demonstration, along with a KKK rally in Baltimore, to back up their "news" that a vast white-supremacist movement was afoot across America...that would be an editorial decision for an "agenda."

As you say, some self-proclaimed "news"-outlets simply lie: and media of professional integrity don't repeat such "news." The New York Times didn't report that Hilary was running a child-sex ring from a pizza-parlor, for example: until that lie became necessary background to understanding a real event, when an idiot with a gun shot up the pizza-parlor.

As you also say, an agenda can determine editorial decisions on what real events to report or not report. The media aggregating scattered local real events to "prove" that "antifa" is as great a threat to America as cold-war Communism are clearly agenda-driven: "reporting" a false interpretation of real events.

The agenda of such "news"-organizations seems to be reducing those who believe them, including some JW commenters, to hysterical idiocy. It's the frame of mind you want in people you intend to deceive and mislead: the crowd some have called "sheeple."

Bob Summers 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Remember when Obama said he got his updates from the news.

Funny stuff that guy

A new batch of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page revealed President Barack Obama wanted updates on the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, according a report released Wednesday.

On Sept. 2, 2016 — just weeks away from election day — Ms. Page texted Mr. Strzok, her lover, about preparing a report for then-FBI Director James B. Comey because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”

That raises questions about Mr. Obama’s involvement in the Clinton investigation, the report said.


Gary Stussie 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Now Bob, that seems like something most would be interested in ... or that they might identify as "NEWS". Let's see what the MSM is doing ...

NBC Lead Story - "Lawmakers balk at potential cost of Trump’s military parade"

ABC Lead Story - "Trump requests Pentagon plan big military parade"

CBS Lead Story - "Meghan McCain says Trump won't attack her father again, criticizes Ivanka Trump"

No mention, that I could find, that Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham have released a heavily redacted, yet very revealing copy of their criminal referral against ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the dubious dossier. The criminal referral demonstrates that Steele was being fed information directly from the Obama State Department and from Clinton allies as well as his usual, sketchy Russian sources.

or the latest Strzok/Page text Releases:

On Election Day 2016, Page wrote, "OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING." Strzok replied, "Omg, I am so depressed." Later that month, on Nov. 13, 2016, Page wrote, "I bought all the president's men. Figure I need to brush up on watergate."

The next day, Nov. 14, 2016, Page wrote, “God, being here makes me angry. Lots of high fallutin’ national security talk. Meanwhile we have OUR task ahead of us.”

I think it is very important for some people to stay in the Echo Chamber.

Bob Summers 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder why Obama has disappeared?

He was traveling the world dissing Trump.


OBAMA: “I can guarantee. I can guarantee that not because I give Attorney General [Loretta] Lynch a directive, that is institutionally how we have always operated. I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it. I guarantee it. I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Period. Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department because nobody is above the law.” WALLACE: “Even if she ends up as the Democratic nominee?” OBAMA: “How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed.”


Steve Jacob 3 months, 1 week ago

You trust the news you want to. If your to the right, you watch Fox News, if your to the left you watch MSNBC. You know what your getting. You believe what you want to believe.

Steve Hicks 3 months, 1 week ago

"You believe what you want to believe."

That...rather than people wanting to believe truth...is the problem, isn't it, Steve ?

Steve Hicks 3 months, 1 week ago

Hi, Steve:

I looked at your link (after erasing the "index.html" on the end). It makes for an interesting contrast of media integrity.

CNN read Fox' News "bombshell" text in context...placed it in a timeline (the date it was sent there was no Clinton investigation going on; and it was right before President Obama warned Putin against interfering in our election)...and talked to "people familiar with the matter." Basic commonsense ways real journalists verify a story.

Those methods raised questions about Fox' interpretation of the text. And there was no indication Fox had talked to any "people familiar with the matter"...a major omission for real journalists.

When CNN contacted Fox news with questions about their interpretation, and if they'd sought comment from any Obama people familiar with the matter (Fox claims to be "fair and balanced," right ?), Fox' spokeswoman "declined to answer." Surprising, since real journalists are always aware their work must stand up to fact-checking.

The Fox spokeswoman also dismissed questions about Fox' interpretation of the text because "It's clear you're getting your talking points from a partisan analysis by Think Progress."

Interesting contrast. CNN asks Fox to verify its story's factuality...the standard all real journalists subscribe to: and was blown off for not subscribing to Fox' ideology...the operating standard of propagandists.

You can tell a lot about people by what kind of news (or "news") they want. Honest people want the facts. And then there are people who want to hear propaganda...

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