A Response to Christopher, Who Says We Are Fake News

Hi Christopher, 

You've written a message to me that is similar to messages I've received from others, so it felt like a good time to respond. Since you take the time to listen to every single podcast of ours (understanding that you are not a fan), I'm going to take the time to respond to every point you've raised here. 

Let's start with your subject line: "you are fake news." Actually, Christopher, we aren't news at all. We are two people expressing opinions on the news. Separating opinions from fact is really important. We do our best to discuss the news as responsibly as possible based on all information available to us, but we are doing so from disclosed positions of bias. 

I'm not sure what false narratives we are putting out like clockwork the days after they are debunked, but I can assure you that is not our intention. Certainly, the news changes and situations evolve between the time we record our podcasts and the time they air. But, we are never trying to espouse information that is false. If you also take the time to look at our show notes, we link to sources we are citing for the propositions we're discussing. I'm making an assumption--perhaps an unfair one--that the sources we cite, such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Politico, Vox, and the National Review, all qualify as fake news in your mind. We cite those sources because we believe the journalists at those outlets check their sources and do their best to print accurate, if not always unbiased, information. It's the best we feel we can do. 

Christopher, listen to this point because it's very important: it crosses my mind on a daily basis that all the things that create fear in me about President Trump are exactly why you voted for him. I'm not confused in any way about that. 

I assume on the "known criminal" point you are referring to Hillary Clinton and that the deaths that you're citing refer to Benghazi. While we are discussing debunked false narratives, maybe you'd be interested in checking out this, this, this, and this. I don't like what happened in Benghazi. I grieve for the loss of life, and I am saddened by the failures that contributed to this tragedy. I also do not agree with your characterization. 

Let's talk about Russia. We believe there is ample evidence that Russia aided in a propaganda campaign designed to influence our election. We believe there are concerning ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. We have not talked about it recently because the FBI is investigating the matter quietly, as is appropriate. The House has not held public hearings. The Senate is working out the staffing and resources it will devote to an investigation. We will talk about it again when there is something for us to discuss. Again, we aren't reporters, so we are not in a position to provide updates on ongoing investigations until those stories are written by multiple outlets.  

We also recognize that there is tension between the Trump administration and the Russian government over certain foreign policy issues. That Russia could have wanted Trump to be president and have tension with President Trump can both be true. As a listener, you might be familiar with this kind of theme from us--nuance is our deal. I'm not sure to whom or for what you think we should apologize, but we're not going to be doing that. We will provide updates on this situation as more information is available. I sincerely hope that those updates will sound something like, "actually everyone, there WAS lots of smoke but no fire." That would be best for America, and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Finally, if two women talking politics from the houses in which they raise children, pay taxes, and contribute to their communities as well as they can is "irresponsible and dangerous to our nation," I have to question what kind of nation it is that you're interested in living in. Regardless, we share it with you. So, I'm acknowledging your views, and you can continue to acknowledge mine. Or not. That's the beauty of America. 

Take good care,

Beth