Media

NBC’s Holt Says We Don’t Need To Hear Both Sides To Define Truth: ‘Fairness Is Overrated’

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NBC News anchor Lester Holt received praise from liberal media figures after saying reporters don’t need to hear both sides of a story before determining the “truth.”

“I think it’s become clear that fairness is overrated … the idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in,” Holt said on Tuesday night while accepting an award at the 45th Murrow Symposium.

“That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention,” Holt continued. “Decisions to not give unsupported arguments equal time are not a dereliction of journalistic responsibility or some kind of agenda, in fact, it’s just the opposite.”

Holt then said “providing an open platform for misinformation, for anyone to come say whatever they want, especially when issues of public health and safety are at stake, can be quite dangerous,” before declaring the duty of reporters is to be “fair to the truth.”

Holt’s comments conjure up memories of CNN’s Don Lemon dismissing Trump supporters during a January rant about alleged election interference. Lemon mocked GOP lawmakers’ claims that they opposed President Biden’s Electoral College victory on behalf of millions of Trump voters and their concerns about claims of voter fraud and irregularities.

“So stop staying that we must respect Trump supporters who believe bulls— because it’s bulls— that you’ve been feeding them! The president and you, you’ve been feeding them the BS and now that they believe it, again, another self-fulfilling prophecy and feedback loop,” Lemon said.

Critics of Holt’s approach saw his comments as essentially a dog whistle to liberal reporters who see themselves as the arbiters of truth and, therefore, can cover the news from a one-sided perspective with the approval of NBC’s top anchor.

Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson didn’t think Holt’s remarks apply to t… (Read more)

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