What a disappointment. It seems as though New Times is drifting further to the right with each passing week. First is your insistence upon running frequent columns by Al Fonzi, a veteran whose barely readable screeds present a jumbled version of Fox News and right-wing talking points that meander so illogically that attempting to follow his arguments becomes as trying as walking a night patrol through the jungle in enemy territory. Then there is John Donegan, a "retired attorney" whose cutesy, self-satisfied columns also defy logic to the point where one wonders how he ever made it through law school.
Donegan's latest column is as baffling as it is pointless. He begins by smugly presenting the "Let's go, Brandon" phenomenon, a frat-boy level inanity not even worth mentioning in serious discourse. Donegan then makes an astounding leap from this "instantly disprovable lie" to constructing a shameless attack upon mainstream media such as "CNN, MSNBC, CBS, etc.," conveniently failing to mention the dangerous deceptions offered daily by the likes of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity concerning Trump's bogus claims that the election was stolen or that the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was somehow a left-wing setup or a tourist stroll through a federal building.
Donegan then continues his attack on the media by mentioning a few well-know examples of overreach such as Dan Rather's 2004 use of forged documents and a fabricated story in Rolling Stone from 2014. While these historic examples may be noteworthy as instances of shabby reporting, their relevance to Donegan's assault on present-day media sources is tenuous at best. But Donegan, not to be silenced, charges forward, claiming that recently, "we have seen the industry repeatedly dissemble on COVID-19 and the pandemic to serve their agendas." What sources is he talking about and what, exactly, were the lies he seems so outraged about?
Donald Trump called the press the "enemy of the people," a dangerous statement that attempts to discredit both a right enshrined in our Constitution and our most valuable tool in keeping would-be tyrants and demagogues in check by holding them accountable for their deeds and statements. Donegan's column, convoluted as it is, clearly sends the same message to his readers, and New Times, in continuing to publish his columns, is perpetuating the destructive myths Donegan obviously wants to promote. It is fine to present alternative viewpoints, but from my perspective New Times continues to favor the amateur ramblings of extremist commentators such as Fonzi and Donegan over the more reasoned commentators you occasionally print.