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Peter Sagal @petersagal
, 4 tweets, 1 min read Read on Twitter
I have some sympathy for USAToday's editors. He's the President! Of the United States! How do you say to the President, I'm sorry, unlike every other President since we were founded, we're not letting you print your Op-Ed in our paper, because you're a liar and these are lies?
This is part of the larger problem afflicting journalism writ large -- Trump takes advantage of ethical norms -- good ones! Ones that were very useful in The Before Times! -- that he in no way honors himself, and it's still hard to adjust to it.
A number of people have responded: yes, they should have said just that. Or taken other steps to highlight that the President is lying. Perhaps they should have — but if they had, it would have been the first time that’s ever been done. It would shatter a norm. And that’s hard.
Thus my point. I said I had sympathy for their situation — not that I agreed with their choice. Journalism has long honored rules of neutrality that have served it well. It’s hard to know, case by case, when it’s time to break them.
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