Some People Just Can't Admit 'Fake News' Is A Problem
Almost no one disagreed with the president when he kicked off his return to the White House with several tweets on the "very dishonest Fake News Media."
The liberal press instead used Trump's "fake news" tweets for headline clickbait and don't seem to argue the premise behind the tweets. For example:
- At thehill.com, the "dishonest Fake News reporting" headline tops a short summary of the prior week's events. No discussion of the premise of Trump's tweet there.
- At politico.com, the "Fake news media is 'out of control'" headline leads to an account of Jerry Falwell's support for Trump. No discussion on the premise of Trump's tweet there, either.
- And cnn.com quoted Trump's tweet that "Fake News needs the competition" in a headline over a column devoted entirely to the "ouster" of Steve Bannon and Bannon's return to Breitbart. CNN would be hard pressed to argue the premise at this point after many so months of Trump calling the network out for "Fake News."
While almost no one at this point argues the premise of Trump's ongoing "Fake News" tweets, there is always the exception, as reported at politico.com:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday undercut one of President Donald Trump's most-repeated claims, telling a group at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce that "most news is not fake."
McConnell goes on to explain that he looks at "a variety of sources" and that "he has no trouble finding reliable sources." But just as controversy surrounded McConnell's "excessive expectations" comment, his statement that most news is not fake news flies in the face of what most people seem to believe.
Sharyl Attkisson at thehill.com reminds us that "[t]wo-thirds of Americans believe the mainstream press publishes fake news," and she adds that media reporters have "only ourselves to blame" for the perception that "the mass media" is full of fake news:
Firewalls that once strictly separated news from opinion have been replaced by hopelessly blurred lines. Once-forbidden practices such as editorializing within straight news reports, and the inclusion of opinions as if fact, are not only tolerated; they're encouraged.
Attkisson notes that rather than reporters getting to the facts at the bottom of a story, "we're willing repositories for all kinds of narratives."
To fix the problem, Attkisson says, "[w]e must correctly identify (and admit) our problem, and then take steps to correct it." She adds that "[w]e have yet, as an industry, to take step one."
Ms. Attkisson's reflection indicates that the media industry doesn't argue the premise of Trump's "Fake News" tweets because its members can't admit the problem.
Wayne Allen Root, writing at townhall.com, says the liberal media's blurring of fact, opinion, and omission amounts to fraud, whether or not the media can admit they have a problem:
The Mainstream media determines the headlines. And since 99.9% of the people who run the media are either liberal Democrats, or crony capitalists in bed with the DC swamp, they purposely choose headlines to confuse you, distract you, or sadly, outright mislead you. That's called fraud.
Mr. Root compares the media coverage of the depressed Obama economy with the lack of coverage of the Trump turnaround in economic growth.
Observing that eight years of the Obama economy produced 1.3% "combined" Gross Domestic product (GDP) growth, exactly the same as combined GDP growth during the 1930s "decade of the Great Depression," Mr. Root says the "Obama Great Depression" was "never reported" to the American people, adding:
Barack Obama destroyed the US economy and killed the entire American middle class with his obsession with social justice, green energy, open borders, big taxes, big regulations, Obamacare and big government.
Yet instead of reporting any of this, "the media used the words 'in recovery' thousands of times during Obama's eight years."
Root contrasts that with the failure to report good economic news during the first months of the Trump economy, most notably that the Atlanta Fed last week predicted that "3rd Quarter GDP growth will be 3.7%," which Root labels "explosive growth," akin to "the Reagan years."
"President Trump has changed everything in only seven months," says Root "just by cutting a bunch of regulations" and creating "hope" in the business community. Root adds:
Donald Trump is a magician. He proved that with the right attitude towards business, you can erase eight years of disaster and failure and misery, in record time.
And Root's punch line:
But has this been a headline in the news? NO. It's nowhere to be found.
As for last week's fake news dust-up over Charlottesville, Root contrasts the "tragic murder" there with the "9 murders and 33 shot on the streets of Chicago" that same weekend.
So why does the former become the "Great Nazi Panic of 2017," as Kurt Schlichter, also at townhall.com, says, while the latter goes drearily underreported week after week, year after year? Or as Mr. Root wonders, "[w]hy is the mainstream media committing fraud?"
While the mainstream media may be "willing repositories for all kinds of narratives" at best, and "committing fraud" at worst, apparently neither Senator McConnell nor the media industry itself can admit there is a problem with "Fake News."