I am in the midst of reading “Don’t Think of an Elephant” by George Lakoff — this was originally published in 2004 and has a second edition from 2014.
The author’s fundamental points are around your point exactly, and written before these current times of egregious and repeated falsehoods.
Especially in the months before the election, one could look at the front page of any paper and see article, after article, after article with the word “Trump” right there in the headline.
If all journalists and headline writers could follow your advice the world would be (would have been?) a different place.
I do think, however, we need to acknowledge that even journalists are in a state of shock. I remember watching PBS after one of the Trump/Clinton debates. All of the panel were clearly, visibly stunned at what they had witnessed. David Brooks, one of the most calm and sober pundits out there had moments during which he was simply speechless.
So if journalists fell for Trump’s remarkable, brazen, absurd showmanship winning him headlines and coverage, perhaps we can forgive them.
It’s a new game now. Your advice is absolutely prudent, deliberate, careful and essential. We must take back the voice of America.