I am a long-time Rome native and an avid reader of the Rome News-Tribune. I love that every morning I can find local news and international news all in one newspaper. However, recently I have been troubled by the paper’s coverage of the Trump presidency.
Of particular note is the front-page article on Dec, 19 (“President Trump impeached by House”) that gives legitimacy to the claim that Democrats treated Trump worse than Jesus was treated by Pontius Pilate. Though it is a quote, it is offered with little context or scrutiny, thereby implicitly legitimating it.
As a Christian, I find this kind of comparison worrisome. As many Christians are beginning to realize, Trump embodies no Christian values. He has bragged about his sexual exploits, cozied up to dictators, supported the separation of mothers from their babies at the border, and mocked the disabled. According to Politico, a politically neutral fact-checking website, a whopping 71% of what Donald Trump says ranges from “mostly false” to “pants on fire.” (Compare to 25% for Obama.)
This article makes me question the potential bias of the Rome News-Tribune. When the internet is rife with bickering and “fake news,” I come to newspapers for the facts. But when the Rome News-Tribune prints without scrutiny a quote comparing the impeachment of President Trump to the trial of Jesus Christ, I wonder if I can even trust newspapers to be balanced.
I hate that our political atmosphere is so polarized. However, that’s the reality, and that is why I think it is important for the newspaper to provide context and scrutinize outlandish comments, to present both sides of the issues, especially when the nation is divided. We may not always agree, but at least we will have a better perspective of where the other side is coming from.