The Media: With Friends Like This

We may, for the sake of argument, assume that the “press” is not an enemy of the people although they seem to act that way all too frequently. We can also stipulate that they are no friend of the people either.

Would a friend share only a bit of the information they possess; the bit that supports their position or argument and consciously withholds information that negates their position or argument? Would a friend attempt to manipulate you in that manner? That is what the media does each and every day. They, the press, know you’re busy, they know you don’t have the time to absorb and/or chase information the way they do.

They rely on you not being able to acquire the information you need to figure out what they, the press, left out of the story. That doesn’t sound very friendly but that is what happens each and every day. The editors will argue that they have time or space restrictions. But when you watch an hour of CNN or MSNBC (they had to strap me to a chair) and they essentially spend an entire hour on a single incident or story it belies the excuse they offer.

It’s also not so friendly when the press reports narratives as opposed to news and facts. When, where, what, who has become an archaic standard when it was once the journalistic gold standard. Once upon a time: when, where, what, who was the first thing you heard in Journalism 101.

When your friend is or does something wrong, if they truly are your friend, they admit it. When the press is wrong they bury it. The front page headline error finds its correction below the fold on page 25.

Speaking of unfriendly; CNN appears to be on a crusade in the person of Oliver Darcy to punish, threaten or deny access to platforms that support internet free speech. Mr. Darcy has already had some success with Alex Jones and Info Wars so if you believe success breeds success CNN will drift ever farther from accomplishing any semblance of credibility. And yet they soldier on as if a horrible reputation and sinking ratings is somehow a good thing?

But fear not the unfriendly hordes will continue to “stage” the news recalling the reporters who ran around Indiana until they found a pizza maker who misspoke casually about catering a gay wedding and we’re off to the races and that one incident was used by our ‘friends,’ the journalists, to paint entire masses of people with the brush they are ever so offended by when anyone attempts to paint them with a broad brush.

If you’re not white or a man, or a moderate or a conservative the new contributor to the New York Times editorial page is a friendly figure; if you are any of those things, she’d just as soon see you dead.

Chris Cuomo of CNN held out that the violence demonstrated by those friendly folks from Antifa is justifiable. CNN reported on the hundreds of Antifa supporters in Charlottesville last week but failed to mention that the ‘white supremacists’ numbered about 24. Given the absence of white supremacists to harass they turned on the police. Way to go Chris; the sad part is we’re not surprised, not even a little bit. And while we’re on CNN, what about the ‘town hall’ after the Parkland shootings? Was that news; or just another in a long series of “news organizations” pushing a political narrative? Dana Loesch is, I believe, still waiting for an apology.

As 300 people-friendly newspapers nationwide enter the realm of groupthink against President Trump’s statements about the press the actuality is that the truth hurts, and the press is hurting, they just seem not to know it as their behavior doesn’t change. There is fake news; there is conscious and specific engineering of the news to support a political narrative. The media was and always has counted on us not being able to keep up, disinterested or driven to apathy. It’s not working! Not even a third of the population has even a “fair amount” of trust in the media.

If only my research assistant hadn’t gone on vacation we could have had another 5,000 words on mis-reported stories and another 5,000 on Obama stories that were not told.

All of that being said, I do wish the President would begin to put a bit of nuance into his attacks on the press. He has been, nearly, single handedly educating many of us to the bias, narrative building, politically tainted and exclusionary reporting we see everyday.

It is just fine for the media to give a voice to those who scream: treason, sexism, racism, misogyny, mental incapacity and so on, day after day week after week, month after month. It’s just fine for our ‘truth friendly’ media to breathlessly declare that “this is the end of Trump, this is it, he’s done now.” They’ve been doing that for nearly two years and Trump’s still standing.

Another bit of the truth that hurts; “we’re just not that into you.”

Mr. President, I have a suggestion. Set your communications shop to work releasing a weekly “Fake News” report. I can just see the exploding heads now. Make it real, factual in so far as you can address the non-factual with the factual. Do the same with commentary. You don’t have to get your hands dirty with this every day save yourself for when it’s really important and bears some potential impact. Perhaps if tens of millions of people sign up to get they’re copy of the “Fake News” weekly report it might have some impact on our ‘friends’ in journalism.

But, probably not! As we stand now, you are left with the impression that if Trump cured cancer tomorrow the narrative would be “why didn’t he do it last week.”