Two points I would like to touch on this Easter Sunday with both going to the meaning of the season: humility and humanity.
The first point is a national one.
I will not say that I was inundated with calls, but I did receive a few, questioning why we did not have anything in the News-Argus on Friday about the release of the Mueller report. One caller said that after more than two years of attacks against the White House in the press, he expected to see the truth in the News-Argus.
I told the caller, “Me, too.”
When it comes to news outside of Wayne and its immediate contiguous counties, we count on the Associated Press to provide the reporting. We are an AP member, and I scoured the list of stories the AP offered to find a balanced one that I could run in the News-Argus. I could not, and that’s why we had nothing at all. It was my call.
To help others understand why I made that decision, let me give you an idea of what the AP offered on the Mueller report before press time Thursday night. These are actual headlines of the “news” stories provided.
• The 10 instances of possible obstruction in Mueller report
• Was Trump trying to silence Cohen? Mueller wasn’t sure
• ‘A good day’: Trump claims victory with Mueller report out (which seemed the most balanced until you read the lead or the opening of the story).
“WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly two years, President Donald Trump and his allies sought to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, attacking investigators’ credibility and playing down their findings. As a redacted version of Mueller’s report was finally released Thursday, Trump resorted to bluster, broadsides and falsehoods to try, once more, to frame the moment as a political victory.”
This is where “humility” comes into play. A little humility, defined as a modest or low view of one’s importance, would have led the reporters and editors to be more balanced in their reporting, to be objective, to take themselves and their viewpoints out of the news. Rather than reporting the story straight, though, the AP staffers disguised a variety of criticisms and opinions as news for papers like the News-Argus to print. The AP did not offer one objective story objectively through our paid service. Not one. I owe you, the readers, better than that, which is why there was no Mueller report story in Friday’s newspaper.
As for “humanity,” Friday’s newspaper was chockful of local examples. One report up front offered news of the Fremont police chief leaving his post after giving 32 years of his life in the service of others. Another on the front page introduced everyone to local students who were chosen among all applicants to be two of 600 students attending Governor’s School. The school is a summer program held in two locations in North Carolina for academically and intellectually gifted high school students nationwide. It’s nice when a community reaches out to celebrate the accomplishments of others. Congratulations Grace Boros and Eboni Brown.
Then, at the top of the page, with a large photo of an 8-year-old carrying donated groceries, we feature “Delivering hope to the homeless … Students donate canned goods to House of Fordham.” Ten students from Strive to Thrive collected canned goods, toiletries, blankets and other items — about 500 pieces total — and carried them to House of Fordham, which offers shelter and housing for the homeless as well as halfway houses for men and women. It is a nonprofit showing humanity to many who may believe the concept has passed them by. There, too, the children of Strive to Thrive, and their leaders, are assisting in making the mission of helping others just a bit easier.
Young Strive to Thrive member Madelynn Deleon Roblero wrote on a note nestled among donated items she delivered, “You may not know who I am, and I may not know who you are, but I want to help you because you have nothing while I have everything. Things will get better. I know my Lord will help you. You can pray to him and sooner or later you will have a home and everything you did not have, but you got to have faith he will help you out just like he helped me.”
That’s humanity and humility. Madelynn Deleon Roblero is the kind of person who should be working at The Associated Press, when she is old enough, of course.
Happy Easter blessings to all.