Defending Trump’s press secretary from columnist
I have been a Times subscriber for over 40 years. I like to read local news and the Opinion page. Though I have been tempted many times to respond, this is the first I have felt strongly enough to write. Dean Minnich’s column about truth in reporting was of great interest.
I was responsible for managing several departments of one of the largest federal agencies in the US government for over 20 years. This included the Public Affairs office. I had to deal often with the Washington press corps, including many of the reporters who cover the White House. Minnich has years of experience at the county level dealing with PR and so I would value his opinion regarding those activities. However, it appears that he has no experience dealing with the White House press corps and he is either naive or stating an opinion based totally on fiction.
He states that being the press secretary for President Trump is a very difficult job. I agree. On the other hand he states that the “professional reporters” assigned to cover the president have valid and respected press credentials.” On that basis he takes Kayleigh McEnany to task. While there are many of the corps reporters who are legitimate, honest, and trustworthy, there is a growing group of dishonest “reporters” who apparently believe it is their job to make the news. They make statements that are false and one-sided in an attempt to make news or get a headline. I have personal experience with some of them and see them doing the same thing in the current White House. It only seems to be getting worse.
If the reporters would ask legitimate questions rather than stating false assumptions or playing “gotcha” they might get a better response from the White House press officer. The job of the press officer is to tell the truth. These biased, self-serving “reporters” only make the job more difficult and prevent an honest truthful exchange of information. McEnany does an excellent job of clarifying the issue and giving the president’s views considering the harassment and game playing of several of the current corps. I suggest Minnich stick to giving opinions about subjects where he has direct knowledge and leave the White House press corps review to someone who been there. Making false assumptions about this subject causes readers like me to question his opinion on other matters.
Facts missing from commissioner’s COVID-19 column
I am in awe of the opinion piece written by Commissioner Bouchat regarding the wearing of masks and the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. It seems to me that if it is facts he is looking to debate, perhaps he should take the time to educate himself on a few.
It is true that there have been more deaths from drug overdoses than COVID-19 in Carroll County this year, but overdoses are not contagious. You can’t “catch” an overdose from someone who is not covering their face while in public or in a nursing home. Comparing the rates of these two types of deaths within the county is nonsensical and one has nothing to do with the other.
Sure, you are more likely to die from a “list of deaths other than COVID-19” as stated by Commissioner Bouchat but most other types of death aren’t likely to be transmitted easily from one person to the other and easily preventable by placing a thin cloth covering over your face while out in public.
Having co-morbidities, or preexisting conditions, does not cause you to spread COVID-19 any more than having blue eyes or curly hair. It can however cause you to become more ill from the symptoms of the disease if you do contract it. Being a smoker, consumer of alcohol, overweight, etc., doesn’t contribute to spreading COVID-19 and is no more a shortcoming than being ignorant of the facts behind the spread of COVID-19.
The only real self-control, as so implored by Commissioner Bouchat in his opinion piece, would be for everyone to wear a mask, stop being so selfish and educate himself on how the virus really spreads — through ignorance of the facts and ignorance of mind.