News that really matters

It’s time our new president and the national media find common ground, stop their bickering and back-biting and find a place where they can agree to disagree. For the good of the country, both sides need to move forward, allowing each other to do the jobs they are intended to do — Trump to govern and the media to report on the facts as they pertain to that governance.

We’re not there yet, but we certainly need to start heading in that direction, and soon.

When the top news of the day is an argument over the size of a crowd at an inauguration, we’ve somehow lost sight of this country’s real priorities. And when the biggest fight we hear about in the nation’s capitol is between the president, his press secretary and the White House press corps, there’s something seriously wrong.

Yet this weekend, that’s what was happening. The president and his press secretary tore into journalists for inaccurately reporting that his swearing-in ceremony drew a smaller crowd than President Barack Obama did eight years ago. On Sunday, a top adviser said the Trump administration was supplying “alternative facts.

Everyone was in the wrong.

With the turmoil that goes on around the world every day, no one should really care how many actually attended Friday’s inauguration. And there’s no way it should be a 30-second sound bite repeated on the national news, reposted over and over on Facebook, tweeted to the hilt and editorialized in some of the nation’s top newspapers.

It’s clear, it’s a game of cat-and-mouse. The national media, furious over Trump’s disdain for the majority of them and his determination to break news himself via Twitter, is looking for anything that will embarrass a man they know has a large ego.

And Trump and press secretary Sean Spicer are intent on making it difficult for the media to do their job. Refusing to answer questions at a press conference makes no sense and is an injustice to the American people.

Many Trump supporters, still in battle mode, don’t think so, happy to soak in the president’s Twitter information along with fake news, accepting both as the gospel. The president’s detractors aren’t much better, happier to believe the alternative facts that support their thoughts rather than weighing the facts, good and bad.

The truth is, we need the media, but we need journalist to return to doing their jobs — reporting the news, sans opinion, allowing the American public to decide for themselves what they think of the facts as presented.

Our forefathers believed it was imperative that this country have a free press, one unencumbered by government. They felt so strong about it that they incorporated it into the First Amendment of the US Constitution. And no matter which side of the political fence you may sit, you should value its importance, too.

Freedom of the press is protected by the First Amendment and the clause is generally understood as a means to prevent the government from interfering with the distribution of information and opinions.

Tweets from Mr. Trump are appreciated but they should not be considered the only flow of information from a government to its people.

If the president does his job, which includes transparency to the press even if he doesn’t like those who are journalists, and the media stick to their true responsibilities, then perhaps we will get back to seeing and reading about things we truly need to know and should care about day after day.