BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - When we're called out for a lapse in judgement, I'll stand up and say – "you're right." When I feel we should defend our decision, that's my job. Comments sent to KBTX and those from me – are simply – opinions, nothing more, no right or wrong. On a regular basis, we receive e-mails like this:
Mr Wright: I found your station Newscaster to be disrespectful when reporting on President Trump by addressing the President as "Mr" Trump instead of President Trump. The Newscaster did this multiple times. I do not tolerate organizations (including the media) being disrespectful to the President - this is an absolute turn off and if it continues, I will no longer support your station. Please remind your Newscasters when reporting on the President of the United States, that they report as President Trump and not Mr. Trump.
Here's another one from D-S:
If the news anchor continues to address President Trump as mister you will lose me, my family and anyone else I can reach as listeners. I expect respect from your reporters as should you. Thank you.
Once again, I researched this issue to be sure. KBTX has been rock-solid journalistically when addressing the President, consistent with those of all organizations and style guides including those from institutions of higher learning.
Establish that person as President. Following that, Mr., The President or Trump is acceptable, we prefer to use Mr. as second reference. Some write and say "you always referred to Obama as President." We didn't. We've been consistent with Presidents Obama and Bush – establish them as President, then – as Mr.
There is usually anger associated with these e-mails, threats they will never watch again, overlooking the good KBTX has tried to do in service to this community since 1957.
I did some extra homework. On the day of the complaint, the only network or news outlet to not use the term "President"? It was in a story on Fox News about President Trump and Russian ties. Here are some partial sentences:
"The Trump administration is confronting Russia on several fronts…"
"…Allegations that Trump associates helped Moscow…"
"…Ways that even former President Barack Obama avoided."
"Obama had considered sending lethal weapons to Ukraine…"
"Mr.Trump's decision comes after the State Department signed off..."
From CBS the same day:
"President Trump kicked off his holiday weekend…"
"…Mr. Trump directed those comments to friends…"
And finally from CNN:
"…Some of the most ferocious critics of President Trump's foreign policy…"
Being clear, I'm using these only as examples. As for KBTX, we remain respectful of the office. Will we slip up and perhaps not use President at some point? Anything is possible as long as there are human beings writing these stories.
I just doubt that the one source that tries to loop all media like KBTX in with the term "mainstream media," failed to use the term "President." I wonder if they will get the same threats from those who threaten KBTX. Doubtful, but sadly I expect a little backlash from my response on this topic.
I'm answering as best I can with facts to back up the response.
Be in touch anytime, I do care about your opinion, and will always care enough to respond.