Fake news, media bias is on conservative side

Regarding the recent letter, “Journalist code of conduct needed to counter bias”:

I would like to offer a defense of mainstream journalism in response to this letter.

I was with the author 100% when he wrote “media bias … reduces the quality of journalism and it fosters distrust among readers.” Absolutely. But then in the next paragraph it became clear he was only talking about “mainstream media” bias against conservatives. That’s not a given.

The author accuses the mainstream media of “hiding behind the First Amendment.” The fact is, the First Amendment of the Constitution gives the press the freedom to root out and expose wrongdoing by those in power. That’s a job of a free press and if the facts reported make an individual or political party uncomfortable or embarrassed, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

In my experience, the mainstream media, perhaps best embodied by the New York Times and the Washington Post, adheres to the highest journalistic standards. If the Times misstates a fact, down to something as trivial as misspelling a name, it publishes a correction. If the Post calls out a Trump lie, I think you can bet it was a lie.

The writer’s case would have been stronger if he had cited some specific examples of fake news. Facts are facts and that’s what the mainstream media reports.

Contrast that with Fox News’ commentator Sean Hannity, who said President Obama was going to bring many Syrian and Iraqi refugees into this country. Even after Hannity tried to clean that up it was rated false by a fact-checker.

I think the list of misstatements and outright lies coming from Fox News is long. That’s media bias and fake news.

Gus Schick


Single-use plastic bags beat washing reusables

Recently a letter writer to Consumer Reports asked, “Should I wash the reusable bags for groceries?”

Answer — yes, bacteria including E. coli (common in feces) and other coliform (from raw meat juices) can grow in unwashed bags. Research suggests laundering can reduce bacteria levels by more than 90 percent.

But according to surveys, few people bother. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends machine washing cloth grocery bags with detergent and scrubbing plastic lined bags with hot water and soap. Cut contamination risks by reserving a bag for raw meat, poultry and fish, which should first go in plastic bags to contain leaks. And don’t store dirty grocery bags in your car because bacteria levels spike quickly in heat.

Well, with all that said, for our own health’s sake, I think it’s time to go back to the single-use grocery bags, which would never affect ecology if we disposed of all of them properly.

Joe Toomey


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