Opinion | The Media’s Coverage of the Election

To the Editor:

As the election approaches, I am very concerned that much of the mainstream media, including The Times, repeatedly falls into the trap of focusing on President Trump — his outrageous behavior, his mendacity, his corruption and his latest tweet — while giving comparatively short shrift to Joe Biden and his agenda.

The Republican convention ended with no new platform except supporting Mr. Trump’s re-election, while the Democratic convention produced a very substantive platform. Even when media attention is paid to Mr. Biden’s agenda, all too often the focus is on how much it would cost rather than what it would accomplish.

There is a danger of repeating the mistake of 2016: heavily criticizing the Democrat’s shortcomings, while treating Mr. Trump as entertainment. An endorsement by the editorial board will be nice, but truly balanced coverage would be so much better.

Diane Sunar

To the Editor:

Re “The Towering Lies of President Trump,” by Greg Weiner (Sunday Review, Sept. 13):

As a lifelong Republican, I support many of the current administration’s policies, and I believe that much of what President Trump says really is just hyperbole (rather than “lies!” as has become fashionable in the media). But there have certainly been lies. And there are real risks in re-electing him, including his consistent promotion of misinformation, division and authoritarianism.

As an epidemiologist, I believe that the unthinkable Covid-19 death toll has been tragic and absolutely preventable. A large part of me wants to join the Never Trumpers on their moral high ground. But an equally large part of me thinks it’s silly to pretend that policy under Joe Biden wouldn’t be heavily skewed toward the left.

And so it goes. I think that Mr. Weiner mistakenly implies that support for Mr. Trump precludes “trying to make the best judgment one can on the basis of competing views.” I still don’t know whom I’m going to vote for when I get my ballot in the mail. But it’ll be based on serious consideration of arguments on both sides.

Carl Grafe
St. Anthony, Idaho

To the Editor:

Re “Can Trump Win Pennsylvania?,” by Michael Sokolove (Sunday Review, Sept. 13):

This article featured my hometown, New Milford, in rural Pennsylvania, where Donald Trump won by a landslide. Given that I grew up there, I know that: 1) this is a place where rifles are raffled off at happy hour; 2) my childhood classmates are planning to vote for Donald Trump (again); and 3) they worship him for the exact reasons the world does not.

To argue that he is offensive, crude, cocky, politically incorrect and unpresidential are actually points in his favor in their eyes — that is how they view themselves. As long as Mr. Trump continues being unpresidential, he is, in a most ironic fashion, their most desirable presidential candidate. Frankly, we Democrats would do better to paint him as a proper, well-educated gentleman — one who knows exactly which fork to use.

Ash Ambirge

To the Editor:

Re “Battleground Dispatches: 51 Days to Go” (news article, Sept. 13):

To those Wisconsinites you profiled, and other swing state undecideds who “say they don’t know enough about Joe Biden yet,” I have one word: Google. Or better yet, go to JoeBiden.com. His website is replete with detailed information about what he stands for and what he plans to do.

Then go visit donaldjtrump.com to see what he plans to accomplish in the next four years. Spoiler alert: There’s virtually nothing there. He wants your vote, but he’s not going to tell you what he’ll do for you and your family, for America. He either doesn’t want to commit to promises he’ll probably break, or he’s just too lazy to make real plans and share them in writing. Why would anyone trust that?

Rebecca Spence
New Providence, N.J.

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