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Monday, February 20, 2017

The Record: Columnist misses the point about growing protests of Trump policies

Cartoons by Rick McKee of The Augusta Chronicle, above, and Darly Cagle of Cagle.com explore President Trump's attacks against federal judges and leaks about his campaign's contact with Russia.



What's the point of drawing parallels between the growing protests against President Trump and the "tumultuous late 1960s," as Columinst Mike Kelly does on Page 1 of The Record today?

Kelly claims that experts "are now looking to the late 1960s and early 1970s for insights and possible lessons" (1A and 7A).

It's much too early for that, seeing as the protests began with the Nov. 8 election of a candidate many saw as unfit to hold the office of president.

They continued during the transition, and escalated 30 days ago, when Trump was inaugurated and began signing executive orders to bar Muslims from entering the United States, roll back environmental protections and take other actions.

His Cabinet appointees also have elicited widespread condemnation, and his national security adviser resigned after he lied about contacts with Russia during the campaign.

Just politics?

The news media might do better reporting that the widespread protests against Trump are unprecedented in the modern era against a sitting president.

The Record and other media have insisted for years all of this is grounded in partisan politics -- just Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives butting heads.

No. Issues matter, too.

As the Environmental Defense Fund says, "Nobody voted for more pollution."

Obama's 'lesson'

If we need to look for "lessons," President Obama provided a big one before he left office: Elections matter.

Tens of millions of Americans didn't vote, and that threw the election to a billionaire businessman who many say is mentally ill, a pathological liar, a racist and more.

At a press conference last Thursday, Trump claimed in comments to an Orthodox Jewish reporter, "I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen."

To me, that sounds like he acknowledges his anti-Semitism, but claims it's no big deal.

He also asked a black reporter, a woman, to set up a meeting for him with the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Fethullah Gulen


The danger of running this banner headline on the front page today is that many readers won't care, even if they attempted to plow through nearly three pages of a related "special investigation" in the Sunday edition. 

One thing notable about the investigation is the byline of Jean Rimbach, who managed to hold onto her job despite being the least productive staff reporter at The Record in the past decade. 

Food trends?

Somehow, Staff Writer Sophia F. Gottfried researched and wrote a long Better Living cover article today on food trends without ever mentioning most of the fare served in restaurants is raised on industrial farms with harmful antibiotics and growth hormones, and fed animal byproducts (bits of dead animals).

Many cattle raised for beef are fed chicken-house waste mixed in with their feed, according to Consumer Reports magazine. 

That fattens the bottom line of restaurant owners, who have lagged behind supermarkets in offering organic or other naturally raised or grown food to their customers.