For many years we at C&L have been pushing back at false equivalence narratives in the media.
I've written entire posts here on the topic of "both sides don't." Giving equal time to LIARS just out of a false sense of "fairness" divides the country into facts and not-facts, and that has literally killed people in the age of COVID-19.
It's now a life-or-death battle, folks.
And at long last, the facts versus lies cost has hit home among the news division of NBC. Thank you, Lester Holt. His remote speech accepting the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism from Washington State University is primarily on the topic of not giving liars equal time out of fairness. [emphasis mine]
“The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in. That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention.”
“Decisions to not give unsupported arguments equal time are not a dereliction of journalistic responsibility or some kind of agenda. In fact, it’s just the opposite,” Holt said. “Providing an open platform for misinformation, for anyone to come say whatever they want, especially when issues of public health and safety are at stake, can be quite dangerous. Our duty is to be fair to the truth. Holding those in power accountable is at the core of our function and responsibility. We need to hear our leader’s views, their policies and reasoning. It’s really important. But we have to stand ready to push back and call-out falsehoods.”
Right wing media is freaking out today over this. OF COURSE.
Many of us hope Lester Holt has a chance to talk to Chuck Todd, the reigning king of "both siderism."