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Opinion

Opinion: To pro-Trump readers, some L.A. Times news articles read too much like opinion pieces

Trump boards Air Force One
President Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland for a visit to Michigan on May 21.
(Associated Press)

So often when we hear from readers defending the president, their letters target the media and critics of Donald Trump more than they try to justify his actions. A case in point is the responses from several letter writers to a front-page piece published under a headline that they said was a too opinionated for the news section: “Trump’s plan of attack: distract, deceive.” (Online, the headline is “Trump lashes out with distractions and disinformation.”)

A few dozen readers responded to the article; most were critical of the president’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the published letters reflect. One writer who took issue with our reporting opened her letter with a question: “What is the purpose of having an op-ed section when articles like this commonly appear on your newspaper’s front page?”

Her complaint was echoed by several other readers; here are some of their letters.

Derrick Halvey of La Verne believes the coverage to be strategically unwise:

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With the Los Angeles Times having struggled so mightly to stay solvent and relevant this past decade, it absolutely mystifies me that it would continue to allow such polarizing language to be used in article after article on Trump, given that you are essentially alienating much of the suburban population who used to subscribe to the newspaper.

Your editors may believe Trump to be a clear and present danger to America, but your “in your face” editorial stand — and the resulting bifurcation of your readership base — presents a clear and present danger to The Times.

Such a shame.

Irvine resident Scott Perley says the substance of the article did not back up the headline:

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Unless the L.A. Times is actually a print media arm of the Democrat Party, this front-page article belongs on the opinion pages, not in any news section. The article contains nothing but opinions from multiple sources that track perceived fabrications, distortions and disinformation spread by the president.

Despite identifying multiple target topics, The Times provides no evidence that any of the president’s related remarks are, in fact, “disinformation” or an attempt to “deceive.” They are only a “distraction” if it is true that they are unrelated to real political or policy issues.

On only one topic — the president’s use of hydroxychloroquine — was any substantive counter-information provided, but the Times omitted readily available information supportive of the president’s choice.

Jeff Butler of Coto de Caza believes the paper never gives Trump credit:

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I can’t remember reading one positive thing about Trump since his election. Don’t give an inch, don’t give the president credit for anything — that appears to be your motto.

H. Ashton Velasco of La Verne claims we’re too easy on Trump’s opponent:

I do greatly appreciate the fact that the Los Angeles Times has given up any semblance of being anything but a rag for the Democratic Party. The difference between this article and your kid-glove handling of former Vice President Joe Biden is more than apparent.


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