Letter to the Editor

Associated Press story

Friday, October 15, 2021

I must say I was taken aback by the item on Page 3A of the Tuesday, Oct. 14, Reporter concerning Iowa's GOP leaders standing by Trump during his visit here. Issued as news coverage by the AP out of Des Moines, it used language of an opinion piece instead. It said the former president "repeated false claims" of voter fraud, noted Grassley's and Reynolds' failure to mention that Trump "has continued to lie" about the results, and mocked Reynolds for "gushing with praise" for Trump. The article went on to say that Trump "argued falsely" that he had won certain states.

Such statements may be true or not, but anyone knows that a piece pretending to be a news item should have at least said that Trump repeated claims considered false by many, and that the Republican leaders failed to address controversial claims he has made about the results. The part about gushing was sarcasm, and of course a Democratic governor would likely act the same way if Biden or Harris visited. Further, it would suffice for an objective article to say that Trump argued that he had won certain states, not argued falsely.

Here's the point: None of this would have been inappropriate for the editorial page. Commentators are free to share whatever opinion they want. But the lines shouldn't be blurred between news and opinion, even if the writer doesn't like the person they are talking about. I'm sure the AP and the Daily Reporter wouldn't find it appropriate to publish a similar article about President Biden, even though, as in the case of most politicians, things he has said have also turned out to be lies.

I don't think I've ever seen this before; bias, yes, but not something so blatant. I hope it is not a sign that we are entering a new era of yellow journalism like during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Mark Wilms, Royal