Joint Statement by ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and CNN

For Release July 21, 2018

We have always taken with utmost seriousness our responsibility to the American people to inform them truthfully, accurately, and objectively. In furtherance of this, we have traditionally maintained a stance of partisan neutrality — even though it has always been deemed appropriate for news media to present analyses, evaluations, and opinions. Editorial endorsements of political candidates have been standard practice for newspapers.

We have ourselves refrained from such editorial expressions until now. But extraordinary times require extraordinary responses.

Our loyalty to our own traditions should not negate our loyalty to our country and to the larger principles it stands for.

Hence we now state here, forthrightly, our editorial opinion: that our country and its principles are today under assault, and disgraced by, President Trump. We will elaborate in future broadcast editorials.

We acknowledge some responsibility on our part for the sad state of affairs. During the 2016 campaign, we thought we were showing what our viewers wanted to see (and, frankly, what would attract viewers). This resulted in one candidate, Donald Trump, receiving a grossly disproportionate share of coverage and what amounted to billions of dollars worth of free advertising. This likely affected the outcome.

We will not repeat this mistake, not only because it was bad journalistic practice, but also to avoid contributing to a bad 2020 election outcome. Based on what we’ve previously said, his re-election would be bad for our country and its ideals.

There are already two major news networks that are highly partisan mouthpieces for this administration: Fox News and Sinclair Broadcast Group. We will not emulate their partisanship on the other side. But what we will do is to now adopt a code of conduct to ensure, at least, avoidance of any complicity with the administration’s propaganda efforts promoting President Trump’s political interests.

This does not mean we won’t cover the President when his actions are legitimately newsworthy. It does mean we will not give him a soap-box for self-aggrandizement and spreading his message and his lies. We will not broadcast interviews with him. We will no longer routinely cover his tweets, rallies, speeches, and statements — except to expose the lies therein. (Which actually should mean ample air time.)

Also, we will no longer participate in the daily White House “news” briefings currently conducted by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We have made a determination that they are not a legitimate information source. Nor will we give air time to the President’s other spokespersons, defenders, apologists, or propagandists; except, again, to point out lies and other scandalous utterances.

With those parameters, we will continue our mission to keep the American people well informed of all the facts bearing on the state of the world, to enable them to participate as good citizens.

The President says we are biased against him, and calls any factual reporting that doesn’t flatter him “fake news.” No doubt our statement today will be exploited by him in that vein. So be it. We have now made clear that we are indeed opposed to him, because of our loyalty to our country and its values. And, while we have thusly expressed our view, we will never lie or bend the truth in its service. Heaven knows there’s enough damning truth that our faking it is wholly unnecessary.

The independent news media is not “the enemy of the people.” It is the enemy of liars.

[Note: this statement is imaginary]


3 Responses to “Joint Statement by ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and CNN”

  1. David Says:

    If I had known this was an editorial opinion and not real, I wouldn’t have wasted my time. I try to avoid ALL opinion.

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    A blog is for opinions.

  3. djedi9 Says:

    Yeah, I wish!

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