The Daily Sentinel abdicates its mission, caves to Trumpism

In an editorial January 23 the Daily Sentinel announced it is giving up reporting on Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Sentinel says since they’re not going to change any minds, they’re just going to throw up their hands and give up reporting on it entirely. The paper blames readers, saying “There’s nothing rational about the way people feel about the president.” The shocker here is that the Daily Sentinel is openly abdicating its mission of disseminating information because of Trump supporters.

But it’s also a major false equivalency to say that Trumpers and those who support his impeachment and removal from office are all equally irrational.

They are not equivalent, and the Sentinel knows it.

Impeachment supporters are avid, media-savvy consumers of credible, authoritative information. They understand facts, which are the paper’s stock in trade. Supporters have read the record of Trump’s questionable phone call and understand exactly what is wrong with it. They understand Trump used gangster-style tactics to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election on his behalf. They heard Trump openly solicit similar election interference from China. They recognize that Trump is spouting debunked, Russian-created conspiracy theories while openly discrediting America’s intelligence agencies. They understand why the President’s refusal to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry is unlawful. They’ve read the Presidential oath of office and understand how the President violated it. They’ve familiarized themselves with the 1974 Impoundment Control Act and understand how the President has violated that law. They understand how the President has seized power unallocated to him by the Constitution. They listened when courageous federal employees testified about the President’s inappropriate behaviors and understand why it’s abhorrent for the President to openly and publicly threaten and intimidate these people for their bravery. And they understand why all of these are impeachable offenses and why the President must be removed for the good of our democracy.

Trump supporters clearly don’t understand any of this, and it’s the job of legitimate, unbiased news sources to explain it to them, whether readers like the facts they hear or not.

News outlets exist to fight ignorance, not cave to it

What the Sentinel is really saying to readers is that the paper is afraid to report on the impeachment because they’re afraid of alienating Trump supporters and losing subscriptions. Or maybe they’re afraid of a mass shooting at their offices, like happened to Charlie Hebdo in France.

Whichever fear they are caving in to, it’s a shame that we can no longer count on the Sentinel to provide the local public with facts in this very desperate national situation. When entire newspapers formally cave in to Trump by announcing that they giving up telling the truth about him, the entire country suffers.


  7 comments for “The Daily Sentinel abdicates its mission, caves to Trumpism

  1. Too many people are unaware that the danger that this president represents to our country and our freedom. It’s clear that the man lies about everything, only telling the truth when it benefits himself. He attacks anyone that disagrees with him, and eventually throws everyone under the bus when they confront him. It amazes me how Republicans in congress have bowed down to them, even though many of the same Republicans had harsh words for him in 2016. If he gets acquitted by the senate, he will be emboldened to cheat even more in the upcoming election. Conservatives may cheer now, but when the Social Security and Medicare go away, and when they have to work longer hours for less pay, and lose their health care coverage, they will realize, too late, that having a con man running our government may not have been such a good idea.

  2. How many times have professional entities been run by non-professionals? Take Hospitals…We now have a “career” of Hospital Administrator. A person with a degree, probably a business degree, that has never taken care of a patient or worked short-handed to care for patients. They know “business” and paperwork and numbers. But that is not how to care for hospital patient and their care. Take a newspaper, The nuances are multi-leveled and cost individual reporters a lot of personal and physical energy. The lawyer or businessman that runs a newspaper may not be committed to the ideal of truth to power if the money falls off. As with the Administrator, the Lawyer or Businessman does not have any “skin” in the game. They are NOT WILLING to do the hard things to ensure Integrity and passion are addressed with each project.
    The Daily Sentinel made a huge poor business decision years ago when they bought out the competition. Competition, even at low levels, improves products. Ancillary newspapers could have taken some of the heat off the DS. Some “business” decisions are pretty short on sight.

    • It was strictly a “business” decision to eliminate the competition for legal advertising in the county and create a state sanctioned monopoly which guarantees those highly profitable ads will be placed only in the Sentinel. It is also a handy tool to so tilt the playing field that it becomes impossible to establish meaningful competition.

      These types of ads are a 19th century anachronism when newspapers were the only means of mass communication. Today, audited self-webpublishing by a designated local government of all legal notices would be cheaper, faster and reach a wider audience than the steadily declining and ultimately doomed traditional newspaper.

      Importantly, it would open the door for alternative news outlets which might demonstrate a modicum of courage and independence from the Chamber of Commerce.

  3. Or maybe they are afraid of alienating those who write the monthly subsidy (welfare) checks for “legal notice” publications, without which there would be a run on one-way tickets back to Kansas.

  4. I totally agree with you, Anne. My guess is that it is the subscriptions they are worried about, and (considering that this is Grand Junction) I don’t blame them for being worried. The Sentinel is already struggling financially (according to them), and losing a lot of subscriptions might well put them out of business.

  5. That makes me sick. The denial and ignorance is worse here than I wanted to believe. It will be hard to support The Sentinel ever again.

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