It is we who should be thanking The Post

Finding my name in the online edition of the Post caught me by surprise.
Screenshot of a page in Tuesday's electronic edition of The Washington Post.

As a career reporter and photojournalist, I have been proud to have my name in papers like The New York Times or Washington Post. Both have published my photos over the years, particularly on Sept. 11, 2001, when I covered the terrorist attack on the Pentagon during part of that dark day in history.

Even during my questionable sabbatical from journalism to work on Capitol Hill and as a political operative, I was covered by both papers. The Times examined political action committees in a Page One story and focused on the largest in Washington along with me, the vice president of political programs for the National Association of Realtors in the late 1980s and the Post featured my work on creating what is not the oldest political news web site in 1994 after I had returned to reporting and news photography.

But my name is showing up again in the online Post, but only when I’m reading the site through my subscription to the publication.

“Thank You Doug Thompson,” says the headline and the note underneath it adds:

Your subscription supports journalism that matters. If you have questions about your subscription, please contact us any time.

Nice marketing ploy but you should expect that from a newspaper that is now owned by Jeff Bezos, the man who started Amazon and is now one of the world’s richest men. His success with Amazon shows he understands the value of marketing. I suspect any and all subscribers to the electronic edition of the Post gets the same treatment and comment that normally follows the end of a news story.

I hope that what I give The Washington Post does support “journalism that matters.” Such journalism, sadly, is fading and is under attack from those who are exposed by the reporting that matters.

A newspaperman, legendary Chicago newsman Finley Peter Dunne said should “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

Marketing is a necessary part of the fight for newspapers to survive. The Floyd Press does a variation of such marketing in each weekly issue. A box on the front page thanks to a subscriber for reading the paper. The reader’s name is on Page One is every paper that a reader of the Press gets each week. It gives us a glance of who in our community supports the efforts of our local newspaper.

I bet Donald Trump doesn’t get that kind of treatment by The Washington Post. For one thing, he doesn’t read papers. He watches Fox News almost exclusively and then tweets the partisan web site’s most outlandish lies with his own embellished falsehoods added.

Trump ordered the White House to cancel subscriptions to both The Washington Post and The New York Times. “Fake News,” he claims when talking about both papers. He probably doesn’t read Time Magazine either, even though fake copies of him on the cover of Time hung in each of his golf resorts until a newspaper discovered they were his “fake news.”

Whenever one of the many “fact-checking” services that have thrived since Trump became president, he immediately starts calling enemies “liars.” That’s one of the oldest recommendations of Hitler’s propagandists: Attacks others to divert attention away from himself. Trump calls many people lies but he tells ore lies than any president in modern — and perhaps all — times. He repeats lies so that people will become so used to his falsehoods that many will start to believe them.

“Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America,” Trump said on November 21, 2019. That was odd, because the plant opened in 2013, more than three years before Trump moved into the White House. It is a lie he repeats over and over along with the thousands of other lies he’s told since becoming president. Research by The Washington Post found 13,435 false or misleading claims by Trump in 993 days as president.

The Post should thank Trump for giving them so many ways to prove he is a liar and a disgrace to the presidency, the nation, and the world. He is the epitome of fake news.

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