Opinion: Potsdam man offers lesson in fact versus opinion
To the Editor:
There was a recent rant printed in This Week ("Left-wing is normal, conventional, mainstream") where the writer took issue with claims made in a report on the NCPR website. The report in question suggests that the right-wing media has blinded its followers to the facts of Russian interference in U.S. elections.As a rebuttal to this claim, the letter writer makes childish accusations of NCPR being communist sympathizers and attempts to belittle the notion of Russian interference by snarky references to the Steele Dossier. In doing this, the writer shows that he is, in my opinion, blinded by the presentations of right-wing media on this issue.
It is a fact that an inquiry conducted by the US Senate (when Republicans held a majority in that chamber) concluded that Russians did, in fact, interfere in 2016 with the intent of aiding Donald Trump. There is no link connecting the Trump campaign to the interference, but that does not change the fact that Russians did interfere. Dozens of Russians were indicted in the Mueller probe, and Mueller's investigations brought in more than $28 million in fines and settlements. Several Americans associated with the Trump campaign, including his campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen, and Michael Flynn, who would later become Trump's National Security Advisor were all convicted for lying to the FBI about their involvement.
I offer this letter as a lesson in fact versus opinion. While the previous paragraph is a list of facts related to Russian interference, my inferences about the impact of right-wing media's influence, or the previous letter-writer's claim about left-wing advocacy on the part of NCPR are opinions. Calling your opinion a fact does not make it one, and using a strawman argument about the Steele dossier does not make up for all the facts the writer was willing to set aside in an attempt to vilify a respected news organization.