Letters to the Editor: It isn’t just Fox News. The media never could take their eyes off Donald Trump

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and then-President Trump appear at a rally in Bakersfield in 2020.
(David McNew / Getty Images)

To the editor: Thank you for Robert S. McElvaine’s essay about the media’s role in our political polarization. We can’t just blame Fox News. My friends and I have been ranting about this since 2015, when no outlet could take its eyes off the Donald Trump circus.

What the guy at the pump says about gas prices is an anecdote, not news. Selling the sizzle but no steak — the emotion but not facts — is the domain of advertising, not journalism.

We are being sold the inevitability of an authoritarian future.


Paula Goldman, Santa Monica


To the editor: It’s tragic that so many national and local news outlets treat the election like a sporting event or continue to toe the line of objectivity when it comes to favoring one party over another.

We are well past the point of worrying about appearing partisan when the party currently in power tries to solve significant problems by governing, and the other party of election deniers sows the seeds of chaos. These journalists are well aware of the fundamental differences between the two parties; they should vocalize their choices clearly, not treat the election like a horse race.

The choice is clear; the question is, do we care enough to make the right one?

Jim Lichnerowicz, West Hollywood


To the editor: Polarization isn’t the problem. Extremism on one side it.

Believing that the 2020 election was rigged, the insurrection at the Capitol, passing voter suppression laws, threatening those who do not agree with you, promoting absurd conspiracy theories that vilify opponents — this is just a partial list of what one party is doing to destroy democracy.


Republican extremists are responsible for all of this. They are taking us down a dangerous road. The economy is important, but it pales against life in an American dictatorship.

Joan Horn, Carlsbad


To the editor: Invoking the name of Adolf Hitler, as McElvaine does, is abhorrent. He was a monster of the worst kind, responsible for the killing of millions of soldiers and citizens, including one of the worst atrocities of modern history in the Holocaust.

Any writer who uses Hitler to criticize a political party stokes the fire of discord and serves to drive Americans further apart when we share more in common than we don’t.

The real enemy of democracy is a system that allows us to choose only between Joe Biden or Trump for president. It is an epic failure by both parties.

Derek L. Builteman, Riverside