Accuracy in Media

Last Thursday, USA Today’s editorial board published a scathing denunciation of Donald Trump, declaring him to be “unfit for the presidency” and urging voters not to cast their ballot for the Republican presidential nominee.

However, some of the condemnations issued by the editorial board could also be levied against Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The writers call Donald Trump “a serial liar,” and state that, “Although polls show that Clinton is considered less honest and trustworthy than Trump, it’s not even a close contest. Trump is in a league of his own when it comes to the quality and quantity of his misstatements.”

Yet just a few months ago FBI director James Comey’s testimony before Congress demonstrated that Hillary Clinton lied about her emails.

USA Today also attacked Trump for refusing to release his tax returns, stating “He isn’t leveling with the American people.” The article also says, “Nor do we know whether he has paid his fair share of taxes, or the extent of his foreign financial entanglements.”

While the media should call for the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns, if they’re truly interested in researching “foreign entanglements,” they should express more interest in the possibility of “pay-for-play” corruption during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.

By citing these issues as reasons for condemning Trump, yet choosing not to condemn Clinton on similar grounds, the editorial board displays a double standard.

The board states near its conclusion that the editorial does not constitute “ … unqualified support for Hillary Clinton, who has her own flaws (though hers are far less likely to threaten national security or lead to a constitutional crisis).”

The article also notes that some board members “believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president,” while “Other board members have serious reservations about Clinton’s sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness in handling classified information.”

When both candidates warrant scrutiny on an issue, USA Today’s editorial board should apply its critique to both candidates on that issue, rather than focusing on one candidate.

Alex Nitzberg is an intern at the American Journalism Center at Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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