Regurgitating a lie as fact danger to democracy


Richard Good

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

I read a letter to the editor in your Feb. 7 edition regarding our need for a wall and the statement about the wall around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home. A 30-second Google search would have revealed the fallacy of this statement.

I am constantly astounded by the ignorance or laziness of some of your contributors. I would expect anyone taking the time to write, to at least take a few minutes to fact-check themselves. Sadly, with the advent of the internet and the ability to post totally false information as if it were fact, we have lost a great deal of the objectivity which papers and conventional news sources used to bring to the news. 

We used to have reporters who served apprenticeships and learned the trade of investigating, reporting and fact-checking. They were accountable to the editors, owners and readers, and their jobs depended not only on their ability, but also their integrity. For the most part, people accepted news as factual, with the exception of the editorial page which was generally viewed as the opinion of the editor or owner. 

Now, far too many people accept fake stories as fact without first doing a modicum of research to check their sources. Policy and good governance comes from debate by people who have taken the time to at least minimally educate themselves about the issues. Regurgitating a lie as if it is a fact is not only delusional; it’s a danger to the freedom and democracy we claim to cherish.

History is replete with examples of democracy subverted by dictators, generals and oligarchs who lie and obfuscate till the truth is so obscured we either forget what the truth is, or never had the opportunity to know it in the first place. They win, we lose!

Please keep holding people’s feet to the fire when they lie, and thank you for reminding people when they have their facts wrong.

Richard Good

Elizabeth City