Editorial: You won’t find your ‘fake news’ in the pages of the Vail Daily
December 5, 2017
We live in strange times, friends, when public dialog is increasing in both its sensitivity and coarseness.
For both, you need look no farther than many college campuses, where some students try to shout down speakers who may offer opposing — usually conservative — views while claiming great offense and insult as justification.
A 2015 documentary "Can We Take A Joke?" details this trend in the world of comedy. It's on both Netflix and Amazon Prime and is well worth your time. In short, the idea of the film is that the "I'm offended" types would keep comedy giants from Lenny Bruce to George Carlin and Richard Pryor from ever setting foot on many college stages. College life suffers as a result.
But you don't have to be anywhere near a college to see our coarsening, easily outraged culture.
Walmart recently pulled from its website a T-shirt offered by a third-party vendor that advocates the lynching of journalists.
That hits a little close to home, as you might imagine.
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There's been a lot made of "fake news" at the national level. And reporters, including Brian Ross, of ABC News — recently suspended for an egregiously false report about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — make it easy to level the charge.
But, like an advertising catch phrase — "dilly-dilly," anyone? — the "fake news" charge has found its way into common use. The charge is cast this way for everything from reporting people disagree with to simple spelling errors.
The "fake news" flingers won't believe this, but the staff of this newspaper works hard to treat stories as accurately and fairly as possible.
There's a reason that 90 percent of adults in this valley pick up a copy of the Vail Daily at least once a week — the kind of market reach big-city papers can only dream of. It's because people trust the Vail Daily to provide solid information. That's something taken very seriously around here — readers won't be readers very long if it isn't.
From politics to comedy to journalism, criticism can be helpful. Our country is based on honest debate.
It's easy to fling a phrase or wear a T-shirt (that, if applied to virtually any other group, would never have made it onto a major retail website). We all need less of that and more reasoned discussion — even among those who may never agree.
The Vail Editorial Board is comprised of Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Krista Driscoll and Business Editor Scott Miller.
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