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Opinion: Trump’s not president, so why can’t journalists just quit him?

President Trump waves as he boards Marine One
President Trump boards Marine One for the last time as he departs the White House hours before Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
(Associated Press)

Even when Donald Trump was the world’s most important person by virtue of his being president, we’d regularly receive letters to the editor imploring The Times to give less coverage to a man who, according to them, thrived on constant media attention. Report on the executive branch as you would any other administration, they’d say — on the judicial and Cabinet appointments, the executive orders and important political developments — but spare readers the updates on the daily dishonesty, the hateful comments and the palace intrigue that seem to amplify the lies and the cruelty more than inform citizens.

Now, Trump is out of office, but his grip on the GOP has only tightened. His name still pops up in The Times’ political coverage, especially in articles on the ouster of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her House Republican leadership post over her refusal to stop forcefully condemning the former president for lying about the 2020 election being stolen from him. The ex-president indisputably plays a central role in politics today, less for anything he does than for the continuing support of Republican officials for his deceit.

The attention paid to Trump during his presidency bothered some readers; now, with Trump out of office but still a political force, reporting that mentions Trump is continuing to irk readers. I doubt this is the last time we’ll be hearing complaints about this.

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To the editor: Just one day after I wrote to The Times asking the paper to stop giving the former president the media attention he so desperately craves and thrives on, you splashed his name in boldface on a front-page subheadline on Thursday and twice more within that’s day’s front section.

Enough already. Those of us who cherish our democracy have had to endure reporting on literally tens of thousands of the former guy’s insults, grievances and lies. Please spare us any further coverage of this narcissistic, racist, misogynistic, would-be autocrat.

He is a disgraced, defeated, twice-impeached ex-politician. Unless he is indicted, I couldn’t care less to read about anything to do with him. Just stop.

Tim Paine, Burbank

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To the editor: The continuing focus by the media on former President Trump unfairly amplifies the importance of the “former guy.”

For example, commentary often stresses his favorability rating among Republican voters. In a recent column, Doyle McManus noted that, according to polling, 81% of Republican voters expressed a favorable view of Trump. Based on the total number of registered Republicans in the country, that still equates to only 21% of the population.

How about we give it a rest and stop putting the name of person who lost the election in headlines? That assumed popularity is what got him elected in the first place.

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Sharon D. Graham, San Marcos

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To the editor: While Trump was president, we had to listen to the garbage and lies he bombarded us with because he had the power of the presidency. Now he is no more important than blowhards like the late Rush Limbaugh or Alex Jones.

I urge all respectable media to ignore the ex-president. Trump and his enablers have done unimaginable damage to our country and the world. Not printing or televising his lies would enrage him more than he already is, and it would be a welcome respite for the rest of us.

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Gregg Richard, Valencia

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To the editor: I vacillate back and forth whether news outlets should cover the former president and his antics, but I think there is a reason to do so.

This man continues to be dangerous. We must remain vigilant and continue to speak out against his lies and vitriol, and work hard to understand what it is that draws so many people to this lying, sad and despotic man. How do Republican leaders still accept him as their standard bearer and sleep at night?

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We cannot afford to stay silent when Trump’s lies continue to spread. We need courageous leaders in sports, entertainment and the media to stand strong and call him out.

We’ve effected meaningful change in this country with the #MeToo movement and Black Lives Matter. A movement of peace, love, justice and truth, if allowed to grow strong, would finally force this charlatan to retreat into history’s wasteland, where he so richly deserves to be.

Tracey Pomerance-Poirier, Chatsworth

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To the editor: Our democracy is currently under great stress by Trump and the GOP. Never in my 61 years have I felt the anxiety that I have been feeling since Jan. 6 with the worry that our way of government could actually come to an end.

That is why I implore The Times to quit soft-shoeing and referring to the language that Trump and the GOP use as “falsehoods” (as you did in one article on Cheney’s ouster). We need to call them “lies” if we are to have any chance of making it through this.

I have friends who have recently left the U.S. because of the politics here, and I’m beginning to wonder if they were right. Our democracy is not immune to self-destruction.

Mike Aguilar, Costa Mesa


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