Admitting he hardly had all the answers, Lukasiewicz said he thought “journalism does have a responsibility to democracy. We exist in a liberal democracy, because of the rules and the understandings and the norms of a liberal democracy.”
Yes, we journalists are mostly here to serve democracy, meaning the people. They are sovereign and should have the opportunity to see the bald truth play itself out and make judgments they are capable of making without journalistic opinion always intervening. Fact-checking is terrific to the extent that’s what it actually is, and the media were soon filled with assessments of Trump’s lack of truthfulness.
What I think is really going on here with Lukasiewicz and so many others is that they are scared to death about Trump being elected president again and think that, for all his grotesqueries, his performance could trick bunches into voting for him. They think people will buy his lies and some also hate Trump’s smile and his not being locked up.
In the first paragraph of a front-page story, The New York Times summed up the Trumpian political platform more or less pronounced in the town hall meeting, saying he “suggested the United States should default on its debts for the first time in history, injected doubt as to the country’s commitment to defending Ukraine from Russia’s invasion, dangled pardons for most of the Capitol rioters convicted of crimes, and refused to say whether he would abide by the results of the next presidential election.”
While none of that is new, it’s a pretty good look at the guy even though none of the above were absolute affirmations of his positions. One of the most disgusting things about him is his obsession with the 2020 election and saying it was a fraud.
As for sticking Trump in an inaccessible basement somewhere, remember that Biden won in 2020 by hiding out in a basement.
I don’t want Trump to be our next president any more than I want Biden, but I believe public education is to some degree lost by wrongly refashioning journalism to hide national threats instead of exposing them.