Collusion…But Then, As The Times Reminded Us, “These Are Not Ordinary Times,” So It’s OK

collusion

Over the weekend as the  2016 campaign’s first Presidential debate loomed, four news organizations published major stories pronouncing Donald Trump a liar, and essentially conferring on the Rationalization #22-ish Hillary “She’s not the Worst Liar” endorsement.

This was a new maneuver in the mainstream news medias full and open opposition of Trump that has left objectivity, neutrality and American journalism ethics in the dust. First came the The New York Times attack—the Times, as the flagship of U.S. journalism, had already given its blessing to biased coverage—with its “A Week of Whoppers“on Saturday. Politico, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times all followed the leader in short order. (Or followed orders in short…never mind, that doesn’t quite work.)

Contacted by a curious but gullible Brian Stelter, CNN’s biased but maybe a little less biased than he might be “media watchdog,” publication editors who were involved swore the timing was, as John Travolta says in “Face-Off,” “a  coinkydink!” Marty Baron, the executive editor of The Washington Post, told Stelter indignantly, “We don’t coordinate coverage with anyone else!”

“The four stories were welcomed by the Clinton campaign,” Stelter wrote.  “Aides cited the statistics in television interviews on Sunday.  However, there is no indication that the Clinton campaign was involved.” (That’s my emphasis, if you couldn’t tell.)

NO indication? No indication??? Isn’t a media watchdog required to know what reporters do and how they are supposed to do it? Stelter made that statement exonerating the four liberal-biased outlets without doing any of his own investigation, obviously, for here is what I’d call an “indication”:

On Friday of last week, one day before these remarkably similar articles appeared, Hillary Clinton’s campaign website published  “Clinton Campaign: Trump Cannot Pass Debate Test If He Repeats These Debunked Lies.” The entry documented 19 pages of Trump statements rated lies by liberal-leaning “fact check” outlets like PolitiFact and the considerably more trustworthy FactCheck.org

It sure appears that the four news media took their talking points directly from the Clinton campaign and lied about it. Stelter, who works for a news organization whose own pro-Hillary bias has been consistent and at times embarrassing, complicitly stated that the Clinton campaign had nothing to do with their anti-Trump articles, suggesting that either he asserted this  without doing his due diligence research–how hard would it be to check the Clinton site?— or was lying himself.

As an American citizen, do you consider this a fair, open, transparent, objective and healthy way for our Presidential campaigns to be covered? Are you willing to accept a system where journalists decide who should be the President, and then use their power and influence to make it so? Really?

I’m not.

Even if you honestly and foolishly believe that Hillary Clinton is fit to be President, this is an indefensible attitude.

Meanwhile, none the four publications possessed even the minimal integrity to include in their posts, “Information provided by the Clinton Campaign was used to prepare this article.”

…because, you know, that might have made people think that collusion was going on, and that the coverage of this campaign is rigged.

Surely the NY Times, the Post, Politico and the LA Times don’t want anyone to think that.

_________________

Pointer: Hot Air

Facts: CNN

Graphic: Getserialkey

15 Comments

Filed under U.S. Society

15 responses to “Collusion…But Then, As The Times Reminded Us, “These Are Not Ordinary Times,” So It’s OK

  1. E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

    “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” They really are out there, aren’t they?

  2. Journalism is FUBAR!

    I can’t trust a damn thing I read or hear from national news media outlets anymore, none of them, it’s all propaganda that’s been packaged specifically for the dumbed down public in a clear effort to dumb them down some more. There is no measure to how intelligent, resourceful and creative Americans can be; but, there is also no bottom to how dumb, ignorant and stupid Americans can be.

    We have blithering idiots graduating from High Schools and many that are so damned ignorant that they can’t even do that. We have blithering idiots that graduate from college that are so “smart” that they don’t know their idiots. What the hell are we going to do when the majority of the masses are so damned dumbed down that they’ll believe anything they read or hear – oh wait – it seems like we’re already there. Did Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt actually nail the problem, in more than one way?

    How the hell are we going to fix this mess?

    Is it even fixable?

    • E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

      You know, I’m beginning to think not. More and more people with ideas that diverge from those in power are hiding their heads and despair of having any impact if they get involved with established political parties. (Or the media. Or education. Or… )

      Lenin needed an actual bloody revolution to establish his totalitarian state. Hitler needed the unfair Treaty of Versailles, the big lie, and effective scapegoating of the Jews to create his particular form of totalitarian state. (He was “elected,” remember.)

      In the US, it has been a liberal war of accretion… (I looked up the word to be sure I was using it right: defined as “the process of growth or increase, typically by the gradual accumulation of additional layers or matter.”) The corruption of the political process, the worse corruption of the news media, widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens, illegal harassment of ‘chosen’ taxpayers by the IRS, the devolution of educational institutions (at all levels) into agit/prop centers… the list goes on.

      This has been so gradual that the fact that some are noticing it now is only testament to the egregious and blatant machinations of the Democrats and knee-jerk liberals during this election process. (The corruption of education, for example, has been much more gradual.) I myself have noted in the past that the print media especially has been corrupt for as long as they have existed, especially since the days of the ’30s yellow journalism, but it’s different now. It’s more than an individual newspaper publisher trying to get his candidate elected: it’s the organized use by the ruling party — running scared — to use its own government agencies, the press, educational institutions and others to advance their ideology in a much more pervasive and frightening way than ever before.

      Britain is in worse shape. So the two bastions of democracy have managed, in one generation, to effectively shed the primary freedoms they fought so hard to maintain.

      Fix it? I’m open to ideas, but not hopeful.

      • I don’t know how much of this trend can be outright reversed, but with incisive questions, clear communication, and compelling answers, we can shape what comes next. I’m making my move. A blog that pulls together the best materials on thought I’ve ever encountered, and a life coaching project within an organization dedicated to helping people think… Now that I can maintain my own momentum as I make incremental progress in drawing the entire world into my field of influence, we’re going to see some interesting things in the coming months.

        But enough about my arrogance… Here is one of the first weapons I have against the establishment: ripping the veil off of politicians and voters alike (generally speaking). Let’s hear a politician tell it like it actuallyis, in the voice of Barren [sic] Blauschwartz:

        It’s great to be here in the great location of wherever we are. It’s great because you’re here, and you want to feel like you’re great, even though you’re complacent. That’s why I’m here! I’m here to tell you that I validate your complacency! I’m going to do whatever it takes to make sure that you never have to find out you’re wrong, that you never have to develop new skills, and that your world will never get less pleasant, and I’ll scapegoat anyone who stands in the way!

        Vote for me, because I am all things to all people whose particular brand of complacency I enable. I will ensure that your current, meager level of maturity will last you the rest of your lives, by torturing the rest of the world with laws and propaganda until it accommodates your weakness. You are special, so you deserve it. The scapegoats are not special, and while we’re making all these laws, we don’t care about what they want or how they feel, because it would most likely conflict with having your goals and feelings catered to.

        Remember, we’re us. They’re them. Your comfort is more important than their rights. Don’t pay them any respect; rather, pay them contempt, to make it easier to forget the possibility that they’re right, or at least, that you’re both wrong. Don’t forget, wrong people will never be right, so they deserve no kindness. Just use them and any work they do, white collar or blue, to fill in the cracks of your idyllic world, like so much spackle.
        Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll take some money from some corporations and special interest groups, who are complacent just like you, to make laws that will support their complacency at your expense. I’m still fighting for you, though, because I want their money, but I need your votes. My opponent, however, takes money from corporations without pursuing your votes. Fear my opponent. My opponent and their followers are evil because they’re busy validating their complacency instead of yours, and they are scapegoating you. They are disrespecting you, and ignoring not just your valid concerns, but your complacency as well! Vote for me so that you win and scapegoat them, instead.

        Remember, no one else will validate your complacency, and if they say they will, they’re probably horrible people. Be afraid to vote for anyone else! And above all, don’t become independent, proactive, or willing to take responsibility for your own lives. If you do, then you won’t settle for the illusion of change and/or security I’m working so hard to give you, you won’t overlook my crimes and gaping character flaws, and you’ll demand that I actually accomplish positive goals, which is a lot harder to do right, since reality can’t be convinced that I never made a mistake. It’s much easier to fight a forever war against your fellow citizens along divisions brought on by poor communication skills, insecurity, and lack of understanding.

        Now, I’m not saying you don’t have some valid concerns, but if you didn’t have any concerns based on ignorance or on vices like cowardice, you wouldn’t be voting for me, because you would have no reason to convince yourself I’m not lying to you. So remember to check all the boxes for the Democrepublibertariagreen party!

  3. Almost two years ago now there was an online movement called GamerGate that ostensibly was pushing for ethics in games journalism.

    On one hand you had the gamers that said that games journalism ethics was trash and needed to do better, and they were right. On the other hand you had games journalists saying that online gaming culture was toxic, and it’s hard to argue against that when you see some of the shit people said.

    I’m going to focus on a couple of early GamerGate controversies, because while the topics are different, the underlying drama isn’t.

    GamerGate started when a snubbed ex-boyfriend aired his dirty laundry online. Normally, there would be a couple of snickers, and inappropriate remarks, but this airing caught a little bit of attention because beside the allegation of multiple infidelities, there was also alleged and later confirmed, that the men that his ex were sleeping with later went on to provide mewlingly positive press coverage to what was a blatantly sub-standard game (User reviews were awful and despite the coverage it had abysmal sales numbers).

    What followed was obvious collusion. Chat logs leaked from a Google Group (gamejournopros) showed that because of the sexual connotations of the dirty laundry, several journalists from major games journalist sites deemed the story taboo and worked together, agreeing not to give the letter coverage, and attempted to convince other sites not to cover it either. This was, in hindsight, a perfect shitstorm… Obvious corruption coupled with sexual scandal. One should have been reported on immediately, and one shouldn’t have been touched with a ten foot pole, but because of the details of the case, the two facets were impossible to separate. Gamers, being an obnoxiously petulant demographic when they want to be, started en masse bitching to games media outlets, and called for the heads of the journalists mentioned in the letter, and weren’t dropping the issue no matter how forcefully they were told to. This was a failing of the media… Their job is to provide information, not to tell people how to think, but apparently no one game them the memo, because not too long after came the “Gamers are Dead” articles. 19 different articles were posted to gaming media websites in less than 24 hours. Apparently if your audience won’t listen to their marching orders, you pretend they aren’t your audience and go fishing for a new one.

    There was more to this, and I don’t think I could adequately explain everything short of writing a novel, but the point to tie it all together is this:

    To this day, despite the obvious appearance of collusion and the history of collusion the games media found with the gamesjournopros list, no proof of collusion has ever been found in the 19 “Gamers are Dead” articles.

    This aggravated GamerGate for the longest time, “OF COURSE there was collusion, we just haven’t found it yet!” People’s Emails were hacked, chat logs were combed through, metadata was sifted, people involved joined GamerGate and gave their information to the internet… It was a modern day inquisition. But aside from a couple of short communications between a couple of people, nothing substantive was found.

    My theory? It wasn’t necessary.

    What do I think happened? Someone posted the first story, the story was shared, and then 18 other people took the cue and because of the nature of online journalism, and the degree of conformity of thought, collusion wasn’t necessary… The journalists were angry with the gamers who were calling for their heads, which made this an easy call. The releases were staggered by delays in writing and editing, but still made it to post within a day.

    My point?

    Bleach all that internet drama down to the very core concepts and apply it to the rest of the world. I wonder if Clinton’s campaign isn’t actually actively colluding with the media, despite the appearance of collusion. Perhaps the media isn’t even colluding with other media, they’re just waiting for Clinton press releases and tripping over themselves to print the “right thing”.

  4. Is it possible that they independently used fact check stuff (there are multiple ‘sources’) that all agreed with the Clinton campaign’s assessment and then ran the stories? I’m asking a real question, because I think most of us can agree Trump lets fly with whoppers almost every time he opens his mouth… Maybe they started from the campaign thing, and then decided it was all true enough to print? Or it’s all coming to a head right when I want to literally hide my head in a hole like an ostrich before the debate starts?

  5. Glenn Logan

    This was a new maneuver in the mainstream news medias full and open opposition of Trump that has left objectivity, neutrality and American journalism ethics in the dust.

    “New maneuver?” It seems to me I’ve been seeing this kind of thing in the media for years now. In fact, it feels so common and widespread that I didn’t even notice.

    No matter what you think of him, Brent Bozell wrote about this very thing back in 2012. I have seen similar examples since the 2000 Election.

    I think what’s really baked your noodle here is that the press no longer bothers with the fig leaf most of the time. They deny it, just as they assure us that they are being unbiased when covering the candidates even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, but that’s just for the sake of being able to deny claims of overtly helping Clinton.

    They now think Trump gives them a way to come clean about their biases in the name of saving the republic. To be fair to them, Trump provides the perfect foil for that blatantly unethical argument. If you buy into “the ends justifies the means,” it’s a short trip to nearly anything if your country’s fate is on the line.

    Last time, the media collusion was present, but they didn’t try to sell us the idea that electing Obama over Romney was life or death for the country, because they knew it wouldn’t fly. Now, they think it will fly, and are willing to risk being wrong for the “correct” result.

  6. Chris

    It doesn’t strike me as hard to believe that four different newspapers would publish articles about Trump’s long record of lies the weekend before the debate, without having spoken to each other or the Clinton campaign. Trump lies a lot. Most reporters could come to the conclusion that this is important information for the public to have before the first major presidential debate, without any kind of campaign meddling or collusion.

  7. Isaac

    How could anyone actually think that media outlets would accept talking points from a political party! That’s crazy conspiracy talk.

    Oops, this unrelated link just appeared again:

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