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Speeches

C. Hurt: Address to World Summit 2022, Session IV

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022

 

I can’t tell you what an honor and a pleasure and a privilege it is to be here. I’m particularly happy to be here in person, despite all of the obstacles of getting here. But it’s worth being here with you.

This is such an inspiring event. I guess I’ve been here for three or four of the past years, and I always learned something new. I’m always humbled by the tremendous devotion of everyone in this room and everybody watching virtually, the commitment to peace on the peninsula. And every time I come, I go home with a renewed admiration for this tremendous effort.

I thought I would just very quickly run through a couple of things. Obviously, as an American, and as we heard from Vice President Pence earlier today and Speaker Gingrich, the world is a much better place when America is strong and peace has a much better opportunity to thrive when America is strong.

I can understand why some people would be sort of troubled by everything that’s going on in Washington these days. There’s a lot of upheaval in Washington. I would say there’s a tremendous political realignment going on in Washington right now. Quite frankly, a lot of people in Washington are the most upset about it because they thought things were just fine the way they were going. It turns out that the American people felt differently. Along comes a guy like Donald Trump who sought to overturn the status quo in Washington. Obviously, we had some great statesmen, and I would say that Vice President Mike Pence is one of them, who realized the potential in President Trump for that American strength.

One of the most disturbing things about this political realignment that we’re watching right now is the role of the American media, which has been quite embarrassing. I say that as somebody who has been worked at newspapers all over the country. My entire professional career has been working for newspapers and I am ashamed to have seen what my colleagues [portrayed] in our print, television, across the spectrum. They decided that they didn’t like Donald Trump and they would do anything to get rid of him. It’s been a very sad couple of years watching that.

A wonderful exception to this has been The Washington Times. We have been around for 40 years. Tom and I were just talking about this, and I guess I hadn’t realized how old I got.

But I personally have been part of The Washington Times for about half of that time. I’ve been hired three different times at The Washington Times. My first time was about 20 years ago. And as Tom said, I’m now the opinion editor. The importance of a newspaper like The Washington Times in our nation’s capital is that it is obviously fact-based. It seeks the truth. It does not believe in censoring opinions that we disagree with. That is vital to a free republic. It’s why, when our founders drafted the Constitution for the United States of America, you had the three branches of government, and then you had the fourth estate because they believed that a free, vibrant, open exchange of ideas, a free, open debate was that vital to a republic. You cannot have a free, democratic republic without a vibrant press that is unbowed and unwilling to censor people that they disagree with.

I would like to say to Dr. Moon how incredibly grateful I am, not just as a journalist or reporter and now an opinion editor for The Washington Times, but as an American that we have that vitally, important voice. And we have had it for 40 years.

Today, so much of the media has become splintered because of the Internet. There’s a lot of wonderful things about the Internet and a lot of wonderful things about more people getting a voice to report the news. But you still have to have newspapers with editors and reporters who know how to expose wrongdoing and tell the truth. If you don’t have that, your freedom will fade away.

I’m also thankful to the president of our paper, Chris Dolan, and Dr. Jenkins, who I think is here somewhere, as well as Tom. One of the things that I’ve really enjoyed in recent years about these trips, we’ll come over here and we’ll do these fact-finding trips where we go and we talk to people and we hear and we learn about this issue of the state of peace on the peninsula. It’s hard to say what the exact answer to this problem is. I certainly don’t propose to know the exact answer, but I know the way there and the way there is through a free, open exchange of ideas, which you can’t have without a free and vibrant press. So I am profoundly grateful for that.

I am so pleased to be here today and part of this. I look forward to coming back again in the very near future. Hopefully, it will be easier to travel for all of us to get here. But the fact that you all came here, despite those obstacles, I think, reveals how important this mission is and more importantly, reveals how devoted each of you is to the cause of peace. And for that, I’m very grateful.

Thank you very much.

Tom McDevitt:
We have a little time, and I want to break the mold here a little bit. I see you on Fox News at least two, three, four times a week. I saw you on Gutfeld a couple of weeks ago. That was great. And I always wanted to ask Charlie what’s it like to go on television and Fox News? You’re talking to 20 million people. And how do you prepare for that as a journalist?

Charlie Hurt:
Well, it’s interesting because actually writing for a daily newspaper where you have to churn out the news every single day, does so much more to prepare you for doing television segments, for example, than anything else. You can’t really study for these things. Either you are paying attention—and quite frankly, I think that this is an important reason why so many people were surprised in Washington by the rise of Donald Trump and what occurred over the past four or five years with the rise of Trump, and this profound political realignment that is going on. We see it across the spectrum from economics to issues of military engagements overseas such as Ukraine, that realignment.

I don’t think that realignment was a particular surprise to The Washington Times and the reason is because we feed the fire of the news every single day. More important than anything, I think, is we are based in Washington and most of our reporters are there but we don’t consider ourselves as a newspaper just for Washington. We consider ourselves a newspaper for America and for regular voters and therefore, we put a lot of effort into making sure we cover the stories that normal, regular Americans care about, not just the gossip and palace intrigue that goes on in Washington. That’s really quite irrelevant to us.

It’s far more important to us to inform and educate and demand answers from leaders for those people out in the country. I think that’s a big reason why we have weathered the last few years as well as we have. That and the fact that—I feel like I’m being kind of harsh to my colleagues in the media, but honestly, I would be harsher if I could be—our devotion to telling the truth, no matter what, has served us well. A lot of my colleagues in the press and other newspapers, better-known newspapers, gave all that up in their pursuit to hurt Donald Trump and to get him out of office. I think that they did grievous harm to themselves but also a great deal of harm to us as a country.

 

 


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