Cover image from @prageru on Twitter
By Bob Shanahan
American journalism is dead and has been for at least the last ten years. It used to maintain a semblance of objectivity and at least tried to report on the facts on the news of the day without politics distorting everything. But bias and editorializing have polluted our newsrooms for some time now and it is only getting worse. The mainstream media has become a fake news propaganda machine.
It seemed to take a turn during the Bush administration when the media attacked him for everything he did. The liberal mainstream media, containing upwards of 90% registered Democrats, have called everyone from John McCain to Mitt Romney to George W. Bush the modern-day Hitler, leading to the accusation meaning nothing today when leveled on the current president. Though the media had much to plenty of controversial material with Bush 43 and the war in Iraq was perhaps the biggest foreign policy blunder in our nation’s history, the news became an untrustworthy party in a multitude of ways. The mainstream media (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NYT, WaPo, NPR, etc.) have become a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party and are today suffering from a serious case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Truth be damned, we gotta take down the Donald!
American journalism is dead and the information bubble is real
Saritha Prabhu is a freelance writer and part-time opinion columnist for The Tennessean of Nashville. She is a liberal but agrees with the Trump-can-do-no-wrong conservative Fox News pundit Sean Hannity that American journalism is dead. For years she consumed her news from CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times, switching over to Fox News occasionally to see what the conservative crowd was talking about. Living in an information bubble, she, like all who dwell in that bubble, did not know what kind of warped reality she was a part of.
Scott Adams calls this phenomenon in his book on why Trump won, Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter, “confirmation bias.” This concept is one of many that is imperative to comprehend if you want to understand American culture and the direction of its media and politics today. Confirmation bias “is the human tendency to see all evidence as supporting your beliefs, even if the evidence is nothing more than coincidence.” We all seek out news outlets that we know will be speaking through from a certain point of view and one that we almost always agree with. We look for outlets to confirm our point of view and seek facts to fit our reality just as the media picks certain stories to fit into their manipulated narrative.
In 2016, Prabhu’s awakening began as the media continued to defend the crooked, criminal, and corrupt Hillary Clinton. Once she became aware of this rampant media bias, it was impossible to not be aware of it. The media chooses which stories to cover or not cover and regularly writes their headlines in a misleading and deceptive way.
The Knife Media, a news site dedicated to analyzing other news sites and revealing their spin and bias. It applies scientific standards that discover how the media is trying to frame a story in a certain direction. “Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, there has been heightened global emphasis on the need to detect inaccurate reporting and fabricated news stories,” The Knife Media’s mission statement reads. They regularly decipher how the media spins a story and portrays opinions as if they are facts.
For example, in its most recent collection of the top 10 distorted headlines of the week, The Knife Media shows us one of Politico’s: “DOJ, Trump strike murky deal in FBI informant spat.” Notice how this is inserting opinion into the headline, calling it a “murky deal” when Trump is trying to get more information from the FBI about a spy (not an informant!) in his campaign. The DC-NY based major media outlets will do anything to paint Trump in a negative light. “A take on this headline without the spin,” The Knife Media says, would be: “DOJ agrees to provide Congress, Trump’s legal team memos on FBI informant who contacted 2016 campaign.” How hard is it to just write that as the headline!
We cannot trust our mainstream news sources anymore for an honest view of today’s political, economic, cultural, or even international events. There is no more objectivity, no more dedication to the truth, and no more fair-minded analysis of the facts available without taking sides.
Politics takes priority above all else.
The prominence of fake news during these “Trumpestuous” times
Throughout the monumental 2016 presidential campaign, Prabhu “watched with increasing trepidation what was happening to American journalism. Many media organizations decided to suspend normal journalistic practices to save the republic from Donald Trump.” The New York Times wrote anti-Trump pieces on a daily basis and dismissed Hillary’s actual crimes like they were nonexistent. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lost her credibility with her insufferable partisanship, throwing away all her journalistic standards in an concerted effort to stop Donald Trump from getting elected.
Image from citizentruth.org
And since Trump has entered the White House, it has only gotten worse.
We witnessed a recent onslaught of fake news that was picked up by the never-Trump outfits in an attempt to show the president as a heartless enforcer of immigration law, blasting out a picture of detained children and shouting about how Trump “lost” 1,500 migrant children. All of this despite the fact that children are lost all of the time because they enter this country illegally and then meet up with their relatives who are already here and don’t show up for their court dates. Oh yeah, AND THE PICTURE WAS OF DETAINED CHILDREN FROM 2014 DURING BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY!!!
President Trump attacked the detached from reality Trump-hating crowd, tweeting out on Tuesday: “Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama’s term showing children from the Border in steel cages. They thought it was recent pictures in order to make us look bad, but still backfires. Dems must agree to Wall and new Border Protection for good of country…Bipartisan Bill!”
All you have to do to find out how fake a news story is is to look at its promoters or its source. One of the Dems who shared the photo was Jon Favreau, a former Obama speechwriter. He tweeted on May 27: “Look at these pictures. This is happening right now, and the only debate that matters is how we force our government to get these kids back to their families as fast as humanly possible.” He has since deleted the tweet.
Why no one trusts the media
“Americans don’t trust the media, and for good reason,” Sharyl Attkisson’s headline declared in a piece on The Hill last August. Trust in the mainstream media is at an all-time low and two out of every three Americans believe they publish fake news. Attkisson bemoans that they only have themselves to blame.
Gone are the days when news and opinion were separated. No longer forbidden are editorialized comments embedded in what is meant to be a straight up news story. Opinions are stated as fact and they “are not only tolerated,” Attkisson writes, “they’re encouraged.” The downfall of the media has been their own doing. Reporting errors are now commonplace in the quest to get their message across, which is usually something along the lines of “Trump is Hitler” or “Trump is a fascist” or “we’re a nation of immigrants and what about the children!”
Newsrooms have sadly become dumping grounds for the government or corporations or political action groups or other special interests to plant a damaging story on their opponents or to insert their propaganda throughout the country. Essentially paying “journalists” to write their “news,” our media no longer requires ample due diligence or asks the tough questions or remains skeptical enough of those with power (except for Trump of course).
Millions and millions of Americans want their news straight up. Without spin. Without bias. Without slant. But will we ever have that again? Did we ever?
Image from @Cernovich on Twitter
Earlier this month, CNN’s Don Lemon said it was his “obligation as a journalist” to call President Donald Trump “racist.” I present this without comment because the statement speaks for itself.
— Variety (@Variety) May 4, 2018
Elon Musk, the distorted truth, and who owns the media
Just over a week ago now, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk declared that “The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them.”
Musk later tweeted, “Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda ….” And the media’s response comments only further made his point for him.
The mainstream media “distorted their coverage with sensational language, one-sided reporting, and faulty reasoning,” according to The Knife Media. The coverage of Musk’s dedication to holding the media accountable for their lies was met with an inordinate amount of spin, slant, faulty logic, and inaccurate data.
Image from The Knife Media
Joshua Topolsky, founder of The Online, asked Musk on Twitter, “Do you think it’s in the interest of powerful people to A: support a free press that exposes their lies, or B: tear it down so their lies are easier to tell?”
Musk responded with, “Who do you think *owns* the press? Hello.”
The Tesla CEO has been accused of anti-Semitism for making quite clear that the powerful Jewish lobby and its banksters and connivers own the divisive and corrupt major media in this country. Though he was non-specific with his tweet, he opted not to answer dozens of follow up questions from Twitter users or respond to or condemn the flurry of anti-Semitic responses.
It’s also important to also note the accelerating consolidation of America’s media. Today, six companies own basically all of the country’s media. They are: Disney (ABC, ESPN, Marvel Studios and Comics, the History Channel), TimeWarner (CNN, HBO, Time, TBS, TNT), Comcast (NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, DreamWorks), News Corp (Fox, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, New York Post), Sony (a plethora of television, film, and music assets), and National Amusements (CBS, Paramount, Showtime, Viacom, Comedy Central). Their total value is $430 billion. If these six companies were a country, they would be the 26th wealthiest in the world.
It’s time to tune out. It’s time to turn off those alphabet networks. It’s time to find your own truth because you can no longer rely on the mainstream media. Alternative news sites are popping up all over the place and provide much more fact-based journalism without slant, bias or deception. Bookmark Investment Watch Blog, read ZeroHedge everyday, check out Citizen Truth, and visit The Knife Media!
American journalism is dead today because our news reporters and commentators have let their ideology get the best of them. The mainstream media is on its way out and there’s nothing they can do about it because they can’t even admit there’s a problem.
It’s long past time to blow the whole thing up.
Follow me @BobShanahanMan
Bob is a freelance journalist and researcher. He remains forever skeptical of the mainstream media narrative and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Bob writes about politics (in DC and CA), economics, cultural trends, public policy, media, history, real estate, Trump Derangement Syndrome, and geopolitics. Bob grew up in Northern California, went to college in Southern California, and lived 4+ years in Seattle. He now lives in sunny Sacramento. His writing also appears in Citizen Truth and has been posted on ZeroHedge.