Whether the legacy media likes it or not, a dispute continues over the 2020 presidential election results. It may not be pretty, but it does exist, and ignoring it will not make it disappear. Worse, the so-called big-box television outlets’ collective determination to carry on as if nothing were happening is risky business.
These media outlets – Fox News included – are rolling the dice that people will not turn away and find the news they want elsewhere. Those dice aren’t rolling in their favor. Additionally, they should understand that omission of this ongoing controversy will not absolve them of their sins, nor will it make these numerous disputes concerning the election go away. This attitude of trying to white out many Americans’ concerns may, in fact, turn the elephant in the room into an uncontrollable behemoth.
Don’t Tell Me What to Think
News outlets like Fox can repeat the accepted mainstream news mantra that Joe Biden is president-elect all the livelong day. Nevertheless, carrying on as if the election is not being questioned by the president and the millions who voted for him will not alter that perception. Instead, it will cause Trump voters to dig their heels more deeply into what they see as an election night massacre.
The fact that the many challenges in the states and through the courts have not yielded satisfactory results thus far is of no consequence here. The issue is that millions of Americans – some polls say up to 47% – maintain something is rotten, and it’s not in Denmark, but in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Phoenix – among other cities and counties across the fruited plain. Turning one’s head away from a sore does not make it go away; rather it provides a perfect environment for an infection to grow and ooze until it must be lanced. Why not address it now, before it gets ugly and messy?
At midnight before most of the nation woke up to Thanksgiving Day, attorney Sidney Powell posted two documents she plans to file in Georgia and Michigan contesting the election in those states. As well on the evening before Thanksgiving, President Trump placed a telephone call to a Republican assembly addressing election anomalies in Pennsylvania. It does not matter whether Powell’s papers were filled with typos or whether she “had the goods” to dispute the election in those states. Likewise, whether anything productive came out of that Pennsylvania meeting is unimportant. What did and still does matter is that both are newsworthy topics.
If you watched Fox & Friends on Thanksgiving Day, you heard a lot about turkeys, but you would never have known that either event regarding a fiercely contested election had occurred. The silence was deafening, but not just on Fox News. You would have encountered the same situation on any of the other big news networks. The sound of crickets does not stop the mass of Trump voters from believing the election was stolen, though – it only serves to enrage them.
So Much For Healing and Unity
This is where we sit – one half of the nation blissfully carrying on as if this were the most normal election in American history and the other half believing it was rigged. Ignoring the various contested elements regarding the vote on Nov. 3 is not going to change this reality. Whether the challenges have merit is not the problem here. Those who feel the election was not free and fair have the right to know what is going on. They have the right at least to exhaust every avenue of adjudication of their grievances. The reality that much of the news media has become a vocal advocate for the Democratic party is not news. However, what they do not understand is that eradicating different viewpoints from the public square will not promote the healing and unity about which they have been endlessly prattling.
Emotional healing requires the right to air your complaints as well as the ability to be heard. Sweeping this election under the rug is not a way to restore our country’s deep political divisions. The truth is that getting to the bottom of it is the only medicine that has a chance of being curative. Silence from the media on as crucial an issue as who was rightfully elected to serve as the next president will not fix what ails a divided nation.
An elephant, while large and imposing, tends not to be destructive. Should it become frustrated and angry, though, it is quite capable of obliterating everything and everyone in its path. Ignoring an animal of such magnitude and fierce power is not a path to healing, peace, or unity.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.