Gowdy on media distrust: When the ‘referee is biased,’ you wonder whether fairness is a virtue worth pursuing

“Sunday Night in America” host Trey Gowdy sounded off at the media over the weekend, delivering an impassioned monologue on the importance of “fairness” and “respect” as the country’s trust in mainstream media organizations hits record lows.

“Our framers realized the need for a free press,” Gowdy began. “It was so important they put it in the First Amendment,…the Constitution said that the press should be free – but it doesn’t require media to be fair. We however should require that. We should insist on that. Because there is little use in having a free press if the public doesn’t trust or respect that press.”

America’s trust in media is the second-lowest ever recorded, Gowdy emphasized, noting that less than 10% of adults in America say they have a great deal of trust in media organizations. Break it down by political party, and the numbers are even more staggering, Gowdy explained.

“Democracy can survive with a media we don’t like, but democracy cannot survive with a media we do not respect. And that’s where we are,” he warned.

Gowdy recalled his time-serving in Congress, when “folks back home assumed the most difficult part of the job was working with colleagues on the other side of the aisle.”

“But it was not even close,” he said, “The most frustrating part of being in D.C. was the media headwind. I believed then and now that the referee is biased. When they are biased or unfair, you begin to question whether fairness is a virtue anymore, whether it’s worth pursuing when others don’t seem to.”

FILE -  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

FILE –  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The country needs an entity to “speak truth to power, but to all power, not just one political party or the other,” Gowdy said.


He added, “We need an entity to doggedly pursue the facts, but they should pursue all facts. We need an entity to ask hard questions, but they should ask hard questions of both Republicans and Democrats, with equal vigor.”

“I do not want to live in a world where fairness is no longer worth pursuing and practicing,” the host concluded. “I still believe fairness is a virtue. Maybe there is a market for unbiased news, or maybe there is not. But let’s try it and see. After all, it’s only the republic that’s at stake.”