If the White House were truly, then, as it seems to be suggesting, to exempt itself from its unifying role—if it were to continue along on its Fox-o-phobic path—it would be doing a grave disservice not only to the huge swath of Americans who watch Fox News, but also to Americans more generally. It would reinforce informational divides, rather than narrow them. It would implicitly reject the notion of an American community itself, abandoning the promise of togetherness that electrified so many on election night in favor of the pettiness of partisanship. It would choose prose, as it were, over the country’s great potential for poetry.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.