EDITORIAL: Get real. Newspapers aren’t faking anything

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A supporter of President Donald Trump holds a sign during a rally in front of City Hall in Dallas, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

We are not fake, and neither is the news we report.

In the dangerous, mythical and deliberate alternate reality that President Donald Trump, his regime and supporters are trying to impose on America, the nation has one hope: the legitimate media.

Even before he was un-elected on Nov. 2, Trump and his campaign turned to a strategy that has been tried and true by despots in the United States and all over the world. Trump knows how other tyrants have succeeded in their grifts by attacking and trying to undermine the messenger, this newspaper and thousands like it across the country.

Using media outlets like Fox News, One America News Network, Newsmax and a growing army of social media trolls and right-wing propaganda websites, the Trump regime works to groom Americans for their own nefarious purposes. The Trump regime has provenly and repeatedly outright lied about critical and trivial matters, nearly every day.

The most recent scheme seeks to throw doubt on the American system of democracy and election. It was a goal of the Russian government, taken over with diligence by Trump and his henchmen.

It is a treacherous and vile scheme that offers nothing but danger to Aurora, to Colorado, to the nation, and to the world. Trump and complicit elected Republicans continue trying to sow doubt and distrust and hatred for the American press for the sole purpose of controlling the message and manipulating truth, reality, Congress and you. It’s a scheme so fraught with peril that the framers of the Constitution and the nation installed powerful free press rights unlike any in history.

The nation’s creators had seen despotism. They knew then just as enlightened Americans know now, only the legitimate press can keep America free from corruption and tyranny by being allowed to keep citizens informed about what their government really does and what leaders really say.

Because the provable truth of what mainstream American press reveals about Trump, his supporters, his collaborators in Congress and his regime, he has labeled us “enemies of the people.” It’s an old phrase strategically used by despots and dictators around the world for generations.

Trump’s message speaks loudly to a small but sizable group of Americans who are sympathetic to his message of selfishness, greed, intolerance and despair. He and other Republicans have not only ignored science, truth and pragmatism, they’ve turned their followers against it.

Now, the target is U.S. elections and the structure of American democracy itself. A 46-minute video posted by Trump on his Facebook account on Tuesday was a shrill, threatening diatribe completely detached from reality. By bypassing the media, Trump works to avoid accountability for his lies. American journalists are able to tell readers that complicit Republicans refuse to confront Trump publicly about his bizarre and inexcusable behavior.

Reporters, editors and photographers hold beliefs about politics, government, religion, culture and science as varied and disparate as everywhere else in the nation, because we are the nation. If there is one underlying motivation among every journalist that’s ever worked at Sentinel Colorado, or at newspapers like ours across the country, it’s the demand for justice. Journalists are bound to ensure that our work promotes justice for the poor, the rich, Blacks and whites, Muslims and Catholics, atheists and zealots, victims and criminals, the right and the left.

The Sentinel, like so many others, seeks the facts, the truth and to hold decision makers accountable to it. Journalists do this not as enemies of the people, but as advocates for the people, all of them.

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