The News Isn't Broken, We Just Already Know What We Want

The News Isn't Broken, We Just Already Know What We Want

The news has been critiqued a lot over the last few years, and rightly so, but the New York Times tax story is not an example of poor reporting.

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I am going to take a brief break looking at the Heritage Foundation and Welfare and look at a story which broke earlier this October. Donald Trump's Taxes. Earlier this October The New York Times released an article detailing their "special investigation" into Trump's taxes, and perhaps the biggest piece of news about it is how little it's been talked about.

In an article titled "The New York Times, Bombshell That Bombed" Politico talks about how and why the article "bombed". And honestly, given how much talk there was about Trump not releasing his tax returns, it is surprising how little this has been talked about. This is a big deal. Trump has lied about a great number of things, both to the people of the US and to the IRS.

The article, titled, "Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father" is well worth a read. It goes into detail about Donald Trump's father Fred Trump, and how he amassed his fortune, with the help of government loans, and suspect tax calculations (to say the least) and then used other dubious methods to filter money to Donald and his siblings. This happened so much, Donald Trump became a millionaire at age 8.

But I didn't want to write an article just summarizing the Times, instead, I think this article, and its contents, show us what journalism is, and what it should be.

There are two journalistic ideas here. One is put forth in the Politico article when they say "A story—no matter how long—about tax evasion is too dry to arouse the public into acts of viral chatter." And the other idea comes from the Times' article, summed up when they say that the myth of Donald Trump, and his wealth, has been "aided and abetted by less-than-aggressive journalism".

The Times' makes the argument that it has been a failure of journalism which has allowed Trump to build his persona of a billionaire, citing profiles of Trump which allowed him to portray his father's wealth as his own. But then the Politico article says that it doesn't even matter since a news story about taxes is too boring for anyone to read anyways.

These arguments reminded me of a discussion that is as long as journalism itself and was identified in the book The Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach, and Tom Rosenstiel, to be best exemplified by the journalist Walter Lippmann, and the philosopher John Dewey. They say that Lippman lamented that citizens were too ill-informed by an imperfect press, and were further undermined by their own biases, preventing them from engaging properly with our democracy. Dewey, on the other hand, felt that this idea misplaced the role of democracy. The authors say that Dewey argued that having a democracy meant people were free to live their lives as they choose and that people only acted as "'umpires of last resort' over the government".

In this context, less than a month away from the midterm elections with Trump's approval ratings at 41.8%, the Times'lack of a splash isn't truly surprising. The question you need to ask yourself is, who is still on the fence about Trump. Although we could lament along with the Politico article that more isn't being done, the fact of the matter is that most people have made up their minds, and the one thing that we can do about it, vote, is right around the corner.

The New York Times article is a great read, and I am very glad it was written. And as the Politico article mentioned there have been results, such as "both New York City and state regulators to commence investigations of their own that could ensnare the Trump family in years of consuming legal battles and force them to choke up hundreds of millions in fines and penalties." But anyone who thought that this would make a huge change to our political arena isn't acknowledging the fact that most people picked a side a long time ago. Anyone who would have read and acted on this piece has already decided they don't like Trump, and anyone who is supporting Trump has been doing so knowing he's refused to release his taxes. Now all that's left to do, is vote.

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I'm The College Girl Who Likes Trump And Hates Feminism, And Living On A Liberal Campus Is Terrifying

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

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I will get right to the point: being a conservative on a liberal college campus in 2019 downright terrifying.

At my university, I'm sure about 90% of the population, both students and faculty, are liberals. They are very outspoken, never afraid to express their views, opinions, and feelings in several ways. There are pride events for the LGBT community, a huge celebration for MLK day, and tons of events for feminists.

Then there's the minority: the conservatives. The realists. The "racists," "bigots," and "the heartless." I am everything the liberals absolutely despise.

I like Donald Trump because he puts America first and is actually getting things done. He wants to make our country a better place.

I want a wall to keep illegals out because I want my loved ones and me to be safe from any possible danger. As for those who are genuinely coming here for a better life, JUST FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK INSTEAD OF SNEAKING AROUND.

I'm pro-life; killing an infant at nine months is inhumane to me (and yet liberals say it's inhumane to keep illegals out…but let's not get into that right now).

I hate feminism. Why? Because modern feminism isn't even feminism. Slandering the male species and wanting to take down the patriarchy is just ridiculous.

I hate the media. I don't trust anyone in it. I think they are all biased, pathological liars. They purposely make our president look like the devil himself, leaving out anything good he does.

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

I mostly keep my opinions to myself out of fear. When I end up getting one of my "twisted" and "uneducated" thoughts slip out, I cringe, waiting for the slap in the face.

Don't get me wrong; not everyone at my university is hostile to those who think differently than they do.

I've shared my opinions with some liberal students and professors before, and there was no bloodshed. Sure, we may not see eye to eye, but that's okay. That just means we can understand each other a little better.

Even though the handful of students and faculty I've talked to were able to swallow my opinions, I'm still overwhelmed by the thousands of other people on campus who may not be as kind and attentive. But you can't please everybody. That's just life.

Your school is supposed to be a safe environment where you can be yourself. Just because I think differently than the vast majority of my peers doesn't mean I deserve to be a target for ridicule. No one conservative does. Scratch that, NO ONE DOES.

I don't think I'll ever feel safe.

Not just on campus, but anywhere. This world is a cruel place. All I can do is stand firm in my beliefs and try to tolerate and listen to the clashing opinions of others. What else can I do?

All I can say is... listen. Be nice. Be respectful of other's opinions, even if you strongly disagree. Besides, we all do have one thing in common: the desire for a better country.

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Dear Young Voices Of America, Stand Up, Speak Up, And Do Something

Our time is now.

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Dear young voices of America, I think we can both agree that we are sick of being told we are America's future while simultaneously being told our opinions don't matter. Now I personally do not listen to the people that tell me I'm better seen than heard; however, I know there are people that are a little timider when it comes to raising their voices. I am here to encourage you to be loud and speak up on topics that matter to you. There is no better time than the present to make your voice heard. Whether you are advocating for change in your school or the government, your opinion matters and is relevant.

We are the future of our country. How are we supposed to evoke change and reform if we can't have our voices heard? I call bullshit and I think it's time to take action. Even if you're the first or only person to advocate for your cause, be that person. Don't be afraid of anyone that tries to stand in your way. The only person that can stop you from speaking up for yourself and your cause is you. No matter how many nos you have to hear to get a yes or how many doors you have to knock on to get someone to open up, never give up. Never give up on your cause, never give up on yourself or the people you're representing, just don't do it. There is someone out there that supports you. Maybe they're just too shy to raise their voice too. Be encouraging and be supportive and get people to take a stand with you.

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about your future or to take action. But don't hesitate to say something. The sooner you start speaking up, the sooner you have people joining you and helping you, and the sooner you start to see and experience change. So get up, make that sign, write that letter, make that phone call, take part in that march, give that speech. Do whatever you feel fit to get your point across. Shout it from the rooftops, write it on your profile, send it in a letter, ignore everyone that tries to tell you to give up. Maybe they don't understand now, maybe they don't want to listen, maybe they're afraid to listen, but the more you talk about it and help them understand what exactly you are trying to get across, they will join you.

Even when it feels like you have nobody on your side but yourself, I am on your side. I will cheer you on, I will march with you hand in hand, I will write letters and make phone calls and help you find your voice. My life changed when I found my voice and yours will too.

So dear young voices of America, the time is now. Your time is now. Don't be afraid of the obstacles that you may have to face. Someone is out there waiting for you, waiting to grab your hand and march on with you. As Tarana Burke once said "Get up. Stand up. Speak up. Do something."

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