Daily Herald opinion: Readers weigh in on level of Trump legal coverage

Looking at the prospects of ongoing news coverage of Donald Trump's legal problems, Christine McCurdy of Warrenville is almost beside herself.

"I myself suffer from such overwhelming, nearly debilitating, Trump fatigue," she says, "that I may need to toss out my television set, cancel my internet and never open any newspaper again."

After Trump's formal arrest in New York earlier this month on a criminal indictment relating to an alleged hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels, we posed a question to Daily Herald subscribers: What advice do you have for the press on how to handle the coverage?

Emails flooded in. Some from Trump supporters expressed doubt the news media would be fair. Many, no matter their allegiances, called on the news media to focus on the facts of the case rather than getting sidetracked by the blather.

But a lot of the emails echoed McCurdy's sense of exhaustion. Some said they think Trump coverage simply has become tiresome. Some complained that incessant coverage gives Trump political advantage.

"I propose to the media a Trump Free News Day every week until Trump becomes relevant again," wrote Tom Peterson of Elgin. "This can be a news day chosen by the editor or news director of every news organization once a week and publicized as Trump Free that day."

Gilda Karu of Arlington Heights suggested, "Unless there is a development or anything of significance between now and the next court date in December, I would keep it out of the paper and not give either the prosecutor or Trump free publicity ... We do not need this in our face every day or even every week, and it's definitely not front-page worthy."

Mike Bruno, an alderman in Geneva, wrote to advise, "The wall-to-wall coverage is overkill."

Marti J. Sladek of Downers Grove said the hush money case appears less significant than other allegations against Trump.

"If the media coverage uses up all the oxygen on this," Sladek asked, "what will be left for the more important and far-reaching cases?"

Most readers responding to the request for advice emphasized the traditional tenets of objective journalism.

"My comment would probably be better directed to radio and television coverage," Jim O'Connor of Hoffman Estates wrote, "but either way, the coverage should be straightforward, unbiased, neutral and most importantly, should be limited. Not everything said or done by the participants needs to be reported. Rhetoric is not news and the media needs to stop filling space with reporting things that are only intended to sway opinions."

That type of comment was echoed over and over in emails about the kind of coverage readers would like to see.

"The press should handle the indictment in a professional, matter-of-fact way," said Mary Kay Arndt of Arlington Heights. "No opinions, no embellishments, just plain facts of what was said, who said it, their demeanor, etc. No one should be glorified, glamorized, belittled or shamed. The press/media should be our eyes and ears in the courtroom since no cameras will be allowed."

"Cover it honestly, thoroughly and completely," Cindy Johnson of Downers Grove advised. "Please do not tease us with incomplete stories that rouse up your audience."

Some readers made it clear they have little faith the news media will be fair to Trump.

"The press should report it fairly and honestly," Bill Hoidas of Cary wrote, "but most of the msm (mainstream media) including the DH (Daily Herald) won't, as they have become sheeple perpetuating socialism."

"Most of the press will handle the coverage fairly," Joe Jandrisits of Bloomingdale said, "but both The Washington Post and Associated Press will not even report it like news, but only their left-leaning opinion."

• John Lampinen,, is retired Daily Herald editor and a member of the Daily Herald Editorial Board.

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