Letter: Drumbeat use of “raid” in Tribune’s report paints the FBI’s search as something unwarranted

(Saul Martinez | The New York Times) Protestors against former President Donald Trump hold signs near his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Fla. on August 9, 2022. An FBI search of the property, according to multiple people familiar with the investigation, appeared to be focused on material that the former president had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago from the White House.

“What Utah’s members of Congress are saying about the FBI raid on Trump”: That’s the headline on Bryan Schott’s Aug. 9 Tribune report. The word raid is repeated in the subhead and then nine more times after that.

Was the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago really a “raid”? No, it wasn’t.

A “raid,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is “(1) a surprise attack by a small armed force; or (2) a sudden forcible entry into a place by police.”

Neither of those definitions applies to this case. It was neither a “surprise attack” nor “a forcible entry” of any kind. Rather, it was a long-overdue, pre-arranged, perfectly justified action by the FBI following U.S. Justice Department protocol.

Yet the drumbeat use of “raid” in The Tribune’s report paints the FBI’s search as something unwarranted, even nefarious. It thus supports how ex-president Trump and his allies are falsely depicting the event.

The Salt Lake Tribune is a quality newspaper, winner of a Pulitzer Prize. It should not be peddling Trumpist propaganda, no matter how inadvertently – especially at a time when threats of political violence from the right are on the rise.

Tom Huckin, Salt Lake City

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