The Washington Post
A fitting farewell
I was sorry to learn that Margaret Sullivan has written her last column for The Post, “Good news, bad news and final takes” [Aug. 22, Style]. I’ve appreciated her insights over the years, even if I have also found her focus on former president Donald Trump less nuanced than I thought it should have been. Like others in the media about whom she wrote, Sullivan attributed the democracy-threatening ways of the Republican Party to Trump and his allies. But let’s remember that Trump didn’t come out of nowhere. Twenty years of lies by Republican leaders in the form of repeated claims intimating rampant voter fraud, mostly by Democrats, paved the way for “Stop the Steal.” Thirty years of Republicans learning to “speak like Newt,” vilifying Democrats as corrupt, unpatriotic, anti-family and anti-child, produced the Pizzagate conspiracy and false suggestions of pedophilia support during hearings for a Supreme Court nominee and made an angry minority feel justified in attacking Congress and attempting to kidnap the governor of Michigan.
When Sullivan wrote of her prescription to journalists for “more context,” I hope this is what she had in mind. Some of us are already practicing this: Heather Cox Richardson through her daily Substack posts, and we here at the American Leader.
History matters, and is very fertile ground for understanding today’s events.
George Linzer, Arlington The writer is founder, editor and publisher
of the American Leader.
I was sorry to read that columnist Margaret Sullivan has left The Post. I have religiously read her because she was the only columnist who took to task the sorry coverage of former president Donald Trump now and during his presidential campaign.
In months past, I wrote that there was more media coverage of Trump’s “rallies” and criticized former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, for not holding “news conferences” to provide answers to questions.
To quote Sullivan, “less live campaign coverage, more context and thoughtful framing, and more fearless straight talk” would have been better.
And please, stop using “Pinocchios” to describe questionable information from politicians or candidates. The term that should be used is just “lies.”
Angela Beltram, Catonsville, Md.
Thanks to Margaret Sullivan for her clear-thinking, experience-based Aug. 22 column. It will be my fact-based guidepost for reading and assessing all coverage, written and televised, of former president Donald Trump. Our precarious hold on the governing of America depends on truth and fact-based assessments. May we hear from her again as we proceed.
David Mclain, Eastpoint, Fla.