The headline on the Press Herald editorial on Nov. 18 (“Our View: With COVID cases surging, Congress and Trump are failing the American people”) stated that “Congress” is failing Americans in these difficult times. The headline is objectively false. It is not “Congress” or “Washington” that is failing Americans. It is the president and his Republican apologists and enablers in the Senate, where the HEROES Act has been ignored since it passed the House in May.

The media are also failing America. The propagandists in the right-wing echo chamber are not the only offenders, although their gaslighting is worse. But they are not actually in the news business. The lazy both-siderism of the mainstream media is harmful because it is neutral but not truthful. It is also uncourageous. Christiane Amanpour said (paraphrasing) that she has no commitment to neutrality because her commitment is to the truth. I would add the obvious corollary: to be neutral about truth is disqualifying in any profession.

Although others often get the credit, I believe it was originally Josh Billings who said the problem ain’t what people don’t know; it’s what they do know that just ain’t so.  It just ain’t so that everyone in “Congress” or “Washington” is choosing not to address the pandemic.

Gerald F. Petruccelli
Cape Elizabeth

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