Before I sat down to write this editorial, I joined many across our globe to watch the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (reportedly the most-watched television broadcast in history). I’m not an anglophile by any stretch of the imagination, but I deeply respected the queen and wanted to watch a historic event unfold. What impressed me most was the outpouring of love and respect in Great Britain and worldwide. The very fact that people — old and young — stood in “queue” for up to 24 hours (or more) to spend moments demonstrating that love and respect. There has rarely been a person who has sparked such a response, and few people are as devoted to service as Queen Elizabeth II. Unfortunately, I posit that it may be a long while before we see another.
The funeral also left me with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. The mass acts of respect and pulling together in the U.K. seemed to spotlight the divisions that continue to burgeon in this country. I had the same feelings during the solemn remembrances of 9/11 when the anniversary recalled the horrific act of terror against the U.S. and the way people in our country came together in a way we haven’t seen since.
There are many possible reasons for these divisions; I’m sure you’ve heard them and have some of your ideas.
I believe, however, that one of the most significant contributors to our division is misinformation and disinformation. No, let’s call it what it really is — lies and falsehoods. Unfortunately, many of those lies are spread by some of our own — cable media “journalists.” The right-wing cable media — led by The Fox News Channel, Newsmax, One America News Network (OAN) and Breitbart News Network — isn’t alone in spreading the lies, but this month’s cover story aims to tell this facet of the story. (And, spoiler alert — it won’t be the last.) The most distressing part of the story is that the act of spreading the lies is planned and used as fodder to push the cultural agenda they desire — most of which is hateful and intolerant. Granted, we know that it’s impossible to remove all bias from news since those who craft the news are human, but there is a difference between bias and lies. Agree with me or not; I call it as I see it.
As with all of our “Reporting on...” series and exclusive stories, the writer, Rob Tornoe, who also created our cover illustration, also offers some ideas for what you can do in your local markets to battle the lies, misinformation and disinformation. I genuinely believe that those of us who are called to news media have an obligation to shine a light on the truth and do whatever we can to confront and resist the lies and liars. My wish is that we at E&P can be part of that light. I hope and pray that it doesn’t take another funeral or terror event to bring us back together under the umbrella of truth and justice.
Robin Blinder is E&P's associate publisher and vice president of content. She has been with E&P for three years. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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