Foxx's Statement on U.S.-Russia Summit
Washington, July 17, 2018
WASHINGTON – As one of democracy’s most important defenses, the press must be protected to report freely, yet be held to high standards. So, it’s unfortunate to have to call into question a paper’s accuracy and fairness, especially on the issue of Russia’s malicious attempt to influence the 2016 election. Late last night, the Winston-Salem Journal failed to meet these standards with its willfully uninformed editorial on the Helsinki Summit. Instead of focusing on its position criticizing the president, the editorial board attacked members of congress for allegedly failing to respond to the summit. That charge was leveled in spite of the fact that the Journal never reached out for a statement on the summit, as several other local media outlets did. The outlets that asked received the following statement at 4:41 p.m.:
“The findings of our nation’s intelligence agencies and the House Committee on Intelligence leave no doubt that Russia maliciously attempted to influence our elections. The U.S.-Russia Summit was an opportunity to hold Putin accountable for his attacks on our country’s interests and to put him on record for his indiscretions. His disregard for American values and tyranny precludes a relationship necessary to achieve diplomatic goals. This was an opportunity for the president to take a strong stance for American interests and condemn the actions of a foreign adversary.”
Several hours later, the Journal’s editorial claimed I said nothing, while at the same time other media outlets were reporting my statement. Regardless of its view on my positions, the Journal has a responsibility to its readers and the Forsyth County community to report honestly and to allow them to draw their own conclusions. Recently the Journal, unlike other local media outlets, also failed to report on the visit of a federal cabinet secretary, U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, to Winston-Salem where he had important conversations with the Second Harvest Food Bank, Forsyth Tech, local contractors, and an opioid addiction recovery center. Readers deserve better than this pattern of malpractice.
While I cannot ensure the media always lives up to its standards, I can and will continue to ensure constituents are able to hear from me directly through personal correspondence, social media, and the many public events I attend.