“Are we gonna be a media system which is vetting and holding standards or are we going to be bullied as a country by a right-wing media, which peddles fears and slanders," asks Nation Editor and Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel. The Today Show‘s Matt Lauer says that media bias has been happening for years. "This is not about media bias," she replies. "It’s about the mainstream media with a few exceptions." To put the media in its place, the White House should institute procedures and “get a spine,” as vanden Heuvel says. "It is feeding the zealots of our system by not standing tall and confronting the forces of hate and fear in a country that has a lot of economic pain.”

Lauer thinks that if you say the word "race" or "racism," it immediately elicits fear in people, which makes them do unreasonable things because they are worried about being associated with those words. Vanden Heuvel says that there are media organizations doing good things like the Atlantic Journal-Constitution and CNN, while FOX News hasn’t retracted their story at all. "This was a ginned-up, fabricated story,” she explains. “And this country can’t afford this kind of fake journalism.”

—Melanie Breault