In an editorial titled, “Trump’s new beginning,” on Nov. 11, 2016, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s editorial board advises people who are frightened by the prospect of a Trump presidency to “Get over it.” That advice is highly inappropriate, coming from a newspaper editorial board, and in response, I’ve sent a version of this post as a letter to the editor. It was published this morning..
The Post-Dispatch stated in this very editorial, that “This newspaper, like every major metropolitan daily in the country, had strongly opposed the notion of a Trump presidency.”
Why then would the Post-Dispatch suddenly reverse course just days after the election? I would hope that the Post-Dispatch itself would not simply “get over it,” and would, instead, take on its proper role of closely monitoring and reporting honestly on the actions and policies of the man whom it warned against during the presidential campaign.
Everyone—especially those voters who cast their ballots for Trump because he promised to improve their circumstances—needs to be very vigilant regarding the dangerous ideas he and his advisers espouse, to hold him accountable for his actions and his words, and to cry foul as often as is necessary. [As I write this, the Trump transition team is announcing that alt-right radical Steve Bannon has been chosen as senior adviser and strategist in the Trump administration. That’s reason for concern right there, and we’re only four days into the transition. What’s next?]
Admonishing readers to be quiet, to not protest, and to unite behind a man whom the editorial board previously characterized as temperamentally unqualified, is a violation of the mission of the press.
We need newspapers like the Post-Dispatch to be watchdogs, not lapdogs.