From The “Is The News Media Trying To Destroy Any Credibility It Has Left, Or Is It Just Too Biased And Stupid To Help Itself?” Files: The New York Times’ “Fact Check”

who-can-you-trustIn July 2016, Donald Trump said, in one of his more accurate public statements:

Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent.

In July 2016, “Last year” meant 2015, as absolutely everyone understood. Homicides in D.C. did increase by 54 percent in 2015, from 105 in 2014 to 162. The statement was accurate.

Now, however, it’s 2017. This means that “last year” doesn’t mean 2015 any more, but 2016!  Figures on the year just completed show that homicides in D.C. fell in 2016 to 135. Thus the New York Times–you know, that flagship of trustworthy American journalism—through its reporter Emily Badger, decided to “fact-check” that statement by Trump from July, and found that he deceived us. Again. Badger wrote:

“Another end-of-year fact-check, while we’re at it: Mr. Trump claimed during the campaign that the homicide rate in his new home in Washington rose by 50 percent. In fact, it fell by 17 percent in 2016.”

There he goes again! Lying his head off! Citing fake statistics! But trust us, folks, we’ll be right there at the ready for the next four years, so he can’t get away with this constant deception!

Notice how the Times uses “claimed” to imply that Trump was making stuff up.  But he wasn’t making stuff up. The Times was making stuff up by “claiming” in this fact-check that Trump  misstated the facts, when he did not.  He wouldn’t have even been wrong, as Eugene Volokh points out, if he had been comparing 2016 to 2014, the year he was comparing 2015 to in July. The homicide rate in D.C. rose by  28 percent from 2014 to 2016.

‘Trump falsely stated that crime rose in Washington D.C.’ is a lie. It is fake news.

Writes the law professor, using far more restraint than I would (or will):

There’s a lot to be said for not focusing too much on year-to-year changes in homicide statistics, which can be volatile. Even a rise over two years doesn’t tell us that much, though it’s troubling. And we should indeed remember that homicides and other crimes have generally declined sharply from their 1991 peak (though of course we want to be watchful for any reversal of the trend). If the argument is simply in favor of caution about reading too much into yearly statistics, I’m all for that.

But the New York Times “fact-check…” suggests that Trump got his facts wrong (he “claimed” one thing but “in fact” it was something else), and I think it misleads readers into missing the fact that, even counting the 2016 decline, the homicide still rose sharply from the reference year Trump was using — 2014 — to the present.

I’ll be more blunt: the Times intentionally misled its credulous, mostly Democratic readership to allow their confirmation bias to allow them to conclude that Trump was lying, when in fact it is the Times that is  deliberately misrepresenting the truth in order to deceive.  After conservative blogs flagged this flagrantly dishonest journalism, the Times, caught, did not announce a correction but quietly changed the text, which now reads,
Another end-of-year reality check, while we’re at it: Mr. Trump claimed during the campaign that the homicide rate in his new home in Washington rose by 50 percent, apparently citing the previous year’s crime statistics. At the time, though, the rate in the city was already falling, and by year’s end, it was down by 17 percent.
Oh, he was still “claiming,” was he? No, he was stating a fact. “Apparently citing the previous year’s crime statistics?” Trump was obviously and unambiguously citing the previous year’s statistics, and accurately. That’s why he said “LAST year.” Knowing this, the Times deliberately tried to challenge his statement as false by magically pretending that “last year” meant 2016 in 2016, as if he were making the same statement in the new year.  Just yesterday, we looked at a CBS radio report that intentionally manipulated its presentation of the facts in the Chicago racist torture case to suggest that white Trump supporters had tortured a handicapped black teen, when in fact CBS knew that four black assailants had tortured a white teen. This was not a mistake; it couldn’t have been a mistake. It was deliberate deception. So is the Times fact-check. Only deliberate animus and a desire to misrepresent the President-Elect could have motivated such a fabricated gotcha in a professional newspaper with trained reporters and editors.

If major news organization will do this, if their determination to undermine the new President is so deep and so hostile, why should Trump ever subject himself to their judgment? Why should any member of the public trust such dishonest journalists or their pundits about anything?

I am frankly stunned. It has been getting bad for many years, more than a decade, but I assumed that respected and professional figures within the journalism profession would stop the free fall before it got to this point, because at this point, the United States has no objective, non-partisan journalism to rely on.

One of the desperate, tangential justifications for supporting Trump over Hillary Clinton I heard from “Never Hillary” types was that at least with a Republican in the White House, the news media would begin doing its job again, actually reporting critically and not being afraid to oppose an administration when it was wrong or inept. (The presumption for the Obama Administration has been that it was never wrong or inept, or if either, it was all meant well, so give the guy a break).

But setting out to be an unprincipled partisan adversary that will mislead the public to protect Democratic narratives and malign the President is not the news media’s job in a functioning democracy, though our journalists  see it that way.

Now what?

36 Comments

Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

36 responses to “From The “Is The News Media Trying To Destroy Any Credibility It Has Left, Or Is It Just Too Biased And Stupid To Help Itself?” Files: The New York Times’ “Fact Check”

  1. charlesgreen

    …”setting out to be an unprincipled partisan adversary that will mislead the public to protect Democratic narratives and malign the President is not the news media’s job in a functioning democracy, though our journalists see it that way.”

    Really? Can you cite one news media representative who says their job is to be an “unprincipled partisan adversary that will mislead the public to protect Democratic narratives?” Just one?

    And if you can’t, then how can you claim “our journalists see it that way”?

    What you’re really saying is “I believe them to be saying X.” But that’s not what you wrote. You said that they too share your belief that they are saying X.

    But they don’t.

    Is this too “fake news?”

    • I don’t understand, Charles. CBS and the Times are the top of the prestige tree for supposedly trustworthy journalism. If those two entities, and there are many, many examples elsewhere, can even attempt reports as flagrantly dishonest as the color-reversed report on the tortured kid and the time-traveling fact-check, then this—…”setting out to be an unprincipled partisan adversary that will mislead the public to protect Democratic narratives and malign the President”—is the only objective explanation possible. Do you have another one? These actions have only one possible meaning and send one message.

      Please don’t argue that either 9f these are “mistakes” or accidents. The CBS report is carefully crafted, and the Times gambit is outrageous. They scream bias, not incompetence. So unless you have a plausible explanation that doesn’t defy credulity—and maybe you do—then my conclusion is the Holmesian mandate.

      • charlesgreen

        Jack, if all you said was what you said in the comment above, I’d grudgingly admit you have a damn good point.

        But you didn’t start with that. You did one of the things you accuse others of doing – in this case literally putting words in the mouths of others that they never said.

        You don’t get to pick fine points on the one hand and beg off fine points on your hand. You WROTE that “our journalists see it that way.” I challenged you to cite ONE journalist who actually claims to “see it that way,” and I haven’t seen a response.

        This is because, I suggest, there are none who DO ‘see it that way.’ Which would mean you wrote something inaccurate.

        Now, what’s the difference between doing that and CBS and NYT and anyone else correcting an early inaccuracy or unclarity on race in the horrible Chicago case? How can you make the distinction? (By the way, I was away from the news when that story broke, and I never did see a single MSM which DIDN’t accurately describe the racial situation; not saying they didn’t happen, but if so it got corrected pretty quickly).

        • Again, I don’t understand. Actions speak. The persistent actions of the news media prove beyond the shadow of a doubt for anyone without a reason to delude themselves that this IS what they believe. Oh, in more virtuous sounding terms, but that’s the essence. (And I’ve quoted journalists who have admitted it. The New York Times was admitting it when it announced that its reporting would now be aimed at defeating Trump. Are you really saying—I find this hard to believe that you would—that the Times was NOT aiming its reporting at electing Barack Obama, re-electing him, passing Obamacare, and so on, just because they never came out and said they were slanting the news to advance their own partisan agenda? You don’t see a partisan bias when the Times reads an almost empty “report” with no evidence and calls it “damning”?

          All of the cumulative conduct by the news media for years—with Fox News doing the same thing in the opposite direction, show that journalists now see their role as winning the side of an ideological battle they favor. Examples of fair and objective stories that threaten those objectives become fewer and fewer, if they exist at all. There’s no integrity—I see none, and I’m looking. As I said with the Snopes piece, you can’t trust a source that is sometimes honest and objective,

          Actions speak. As long as fair and intelligent people like you are willing to excuse absolute breaches of journalism ethics toward partisan objectives as “mistakes” or “isolated incidents”, the profession will never be forced to reform.

          • Other Bill

            Jack. Charles is deploying what I’ve come to believe is a common tactic these days among people intending to shut down intelligent, thoughtful discussion: pedantry. Charles is saying, “Jack, you said newspaper people have declared they are going to be biased.” You actually said that newspaper people have repeatedly and unambiguously demonstrated they are going to be biased. So he tries to delegitimize your entire well made point by screaming: “Show me a newspaper person who’s actually SAID they are going to be biased.” Chris tends to use this tactic as well. It’s just pedantry and weaponized literalism attempting to muddy the waters and essentially, make you look as if you’re a liar. This is an extremely counter productive tactic, to put it as mildly as I can. I think it’s also rude.

    • Charles,
      The results of how journalist see their role is put in your face in the newspapers, on the news shows, and everywhere online on a daily basis. It really makes no difference where you look, the media is partisan corrupt they’re nothing but willing tools of their political leanings. If you don’t know that it’s almost all propaganda by now, you’re blind, deaf, and stupid.

      Leftist journalists (political hacks and political attack dogs) have either been misleading the public by intentionally LYING to promote the Democratic anti-trump narratives or they are completely incompetent “professionals” , they’re journalistic imbeciles, and should be removed from their positions of preparing or presenting the “news” to the public. Journalist writing stuff like this anti-Trump DC murder rate crap proves either their intentions or their stupidity; either way it show us that they have destroyed any credibility they has left.

      If you are seriously going to argue that these so-called journalists are not “unprincipled partisan adversary that will mislead the public to protect Democratic narratives” then you are directly implying that a wide swath of professional journalists are incompetent idiots, and I do mean incompetent. As I see it there is no middle ground here, provide your proof that these professional journalists are incompetent idiots or their words prove that they are by default tools of the Democratic political machine, they’re willing political hacks and willing political attack dogs.

      Give this a day or two and there will a Trump photo of some kind turned into a Liberal hack meme talking about this very subject of DC murders and it will be pasted on Facebook and other social media sites as truth. This lie won’t die. Why does this immoral behavior happen, it’s because Progressive Magical Thinking truly exists.

      The media is driven by the ends justify the means and you cannot be full of journalistic objectivity or integrity when your motivation is narrowly focused on the ends.

      • Wayne

        This is an interesting term you have created with the acronym PMT. I would change it a bit to PMS, meaning of course “Progressive Magical Shit”! You could substitute PMHS which would be understood in Texas.

    • “Really? Can you cite one news media representative who says their job is to be an “unprincipled partisan adversary that will mislead the public to protect Democratic narratives?” Just one?”

      This is a fairly stupid question Charles, one that begs an answer while ignoring reality. Of COURSE we won’t be able to name an entity that overtly states that as a mission statement.

      But what the hell does that matter? The KKK bills itself as “America’s oldest Christian group with a focus on the family.” Nothing about racism there, right? I guess we can stop maligning those poor family values Christians with strange fashion sense.

      OR… OR…. We can understand, as thinking, logically driven individuals that there MIGHT be more to an organisation than their mission statement. That actions speak louder than bumper stickers.

      You can’t possibly be that stupid.

  2. Phlinn

    Sadly, I think it’s been shown that the media will cry wolf so easily that any willingness to confront trump will fall on deaf ears.

    • Inquiring Mind

      When major media figures broke bread with, among others, the chief strategist of Hillary’s campaign, when they ran their stories by the campaign?

      Maybe some folks (Limbaugh, for one) have been right about those media outlets for a long time…

      • Glenn Reynolds’ tag line is “Think of them as Democratic operatives with by-lines, and it all becomes clear.” I have to ask–Charles?—while this is hyperbole, how much hyperbole?

      • [Reply to Inquiring Mind Jan 9 at 7:55 pm]
        I have missed eavesdropping on Rush Limbaugh for many weeks. Even when I have heard him in the recent past, I thought I heard him refer to “the minitrue” as “state-run media.” With the Apprentice about to take office, and with so many Republicans in Congress, I have to believe Rush will have to call the komprog media outlets something other than “state-run.” I have long hated how Rush uses the term “liberal” – more annoying to me than komprogs’ presumptively rebuttable use of “racist” to smear every dissidence against Obama. The was-U.S. press is still essentially free, albeit corrupted by ideological near-homogeneity. So maybe some new modifier, like “lefgilante,” is in order – something, anything, to counter the inevitable “reichsprop” and “GRUpies” smears that will be coming against any favorable coverage of the Trump regime’s doings. Urban Dictionary authors, start your engines!

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    I remember saying something like that last phrase – one of the few things Trump had going for him was that the media would morph back into real journalists and not let him get away with stuff that he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with. By that I meant asking tough but fair questions, following legitimate leads, actual fact-checking, and so on. I also meant dealing in facts presented in a fair and understandable way. I didn’t mean deliberately presenting facts in the worst possible light or in a way that was hard to understand correctly at a glance. I also didn’t mean leaving critical facts out that change the meaning of a story. I definitely didn’t mean pandering to a liberal base by feeding their biases.

    At least waaaaaaay back in September 2004 the media had enough integrity to blow the whistle on CBS’s attempts to lead the American electorate wrong with a phony story about GWB’s National Guard Service. I don’t doubt that now other networks or journals would continue to defend the story, or stay quiet on it, or drip details out in the hopes that the electorate’s attention would start to wander, all in the hopes of running out the election clock and increasing the chances it would go their way.

    The fact is that most of the mainstream media has had it much too easy for the last few years. All they had to do was duly reprint Obama’s press releases, throw softball questions, print human interest stories that boosted progressive policies while ignoring those that didn’t, and once in a while look hard at any Republican legislator who started to get uppity or Republican governor who started to gain traction. That was it, it was a nice arrangement, and they liked it.

    It started to unravel, though as Obama’s policies started to unravel. All of a sudden American forces were back in Iraq. No biggy, these are just the JV team…until more and more Americans had to join the fight and more and more allies sent forces too. All of a sudden five cities were burning in riots and police were being assassinated. It was all on the cops, right? Hands up, don’t shoot, right? Black Lives Matter, right? Wrong. Finally Obamacare was admitted to be sold with lies and premiums rose like rockets. There was no covering up or slow-footing that.

    However, it was very close to the end of Obama’s time anyway, and America was going to love the progressive narrative of electing the first female president right after the first black president, right? And her opponent is this orange whacko with a terminal case of loose lips? Great! This is going to be easy, right? Grab ’em by the pussy, right? This guy has a snowball’s chance in Hell, right? Four, maybe even eight more years of press conference love fests, rubber stamping press releases, and printing stories about a lesbian mom who finally got needed health coverage because she could marry her partner, right? This might even become a permanent arrangement, right? Hmm, the numbers seem unsteady. Let’s make sure they don’t slip, after all, he’s a special case, right? Eh, another indiscretion by that pervert Weiner won’t matter, right?

    Wrong.

    November 9th they were all scratching their heads. What the heck happened? How did this hater, this pig, this racist, this xenophobe, this…this latter-day Hitler get elected? How didn’t we see it coming, and why didn’t our relentless beating the drums stop it? Now we look like idiots, and it’s all that monster’s fault. Well, we said he was a special case before, and that hasn’t changed. We gave up our objectivity to try to stop him, and there’s no getting it back. The only thing to do now, is to make life hell for him, any way we can.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ said, “At least waaaaaaay back in September 2004 the media had enough integrity to blow the whistle on CBS’s attempts to lead the American electorate wrong with a phony story about GWB’s National Guard Service…”

      About that; there are anti-GWB lefties that still to this day believe that that story is true and will not relinquish their biased beliefs on the topic.

      Herein lies the real problem; the unethical partisan driven major media outlets (primarily left leaning) know that in today’s instant gratification world people can get their news instantly, and once a phony story is presented to the public it starts to spread online via biased individuals and websites and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it, retractions are nice when they happen but they have little to no effect on the phony story continuing to spread. This is how a modern day political propaganda machine functions, it is Progressive Magical Thinking.

      In the next four years, we’re going to be chin deep in anti-Trump propaganda, finding the actual truth is going to become increasingly difficult. if not impossible, that IS where the unethically biased and totally corrupted media has taken us to. Propaganda is king now.

      • P.S. What the media has been doing for years is to steer people to be “against” instead of “for”.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        “About that; there are anti-GWB lefties that still to this day believe that that story is true and will not relinquish their biased beliefs on the topic.”

        Unfortunately this is true, even today, 13 years after the fact. Never heard the expression Progressive Magical Thinking, but it definitely fits.

        The other side to being chin deep in anti-Trump propaganda is that by now everyone knows damn well that it IS propaganda, including the folks in the center who are the ones who need to be persuaded for the left to get anyplace. Propaganda is frankly worthless if the listener knows the writer or speaker has an agenda and what that agenda is. Now there’s not even a question that the media has one or what it is.

  4. maxgazeley

    Too many dark alliances for objective reporting these days.

  5. Glenn Logan

    If major news organization will do this, if their determination to undermine the new President is so deep and so hostile, why should Trump ever subject himself to their judgment? Why should any member of the public trust such dishonest journalists or their pundits about anything?

    Indeed. At some point, it would be easy for Trump and his administration to simply ignore legitimate complaints, like the one about the obvious plagiarism of Monica Crowley. The media have become implacable partisan foes of his administration, engaging not in legitimate news, but in overt factional attacks that deliberately dissemble, like the instant case.

    Instead of defending Crowley, the Trump administration could simply point to the obviously one-sided and corrupted nature of the media outlets pointing out her ethical problems, shrug their shoulders, and say, “Who cares what the other side thinks?” Because let’s be honest, it’s obvious from this and other examples that the news media is the “other side,” and Glenn Reynolds construction of them as “Democrats with bylines” has never been more apt.

    The American people already distrust the media, but even if every Democrat comes to love them for their overt partisanship, it’s certain that the other half of America will come to reject them, even their actual journalism (if they haven’t already), and they should. This will not only further divide America, but make it effectively impossible for anyone to hold the Trump administration accountable for anything.

    I wonder if the Times et. al. realize just how wrong this whole thing could go. I also wonder if it isn’t already too late for them, and us.

    • Glenn Logan

      Correction. Reynolds’ construction was “Democratic party operatives with bylines.”

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        I don’t think the TImes, et al ever gave much thought to what they would do if the whole thing went sideways, because they never thought anything would happen other than a Hillary win and another Democratic president they could boost with minimal effort.

        The situation as it stands now didn’t happen overnight, as I discussed above. It had its seeds in Clinton’s final days, when the press repeatedly ran interference for him and tried to create an underlying culture that believed character didn’t matter and that the chief executive using his position and skills as a master beguiler to obtain oral sex from a woman not his wife, in the workplace, was no big deal. Thankfully it was close to the end of Clinton’s second term, and all they needed to do was keep running interference until his chosen successor followed him into the White House…except he didn’t.

        I’m not going to rehash the full history of GWB and the press, but the main points are: The press didn’t push back against the “selected, not elected” line and then fell into line for about 2 years after 9/11 when the tide of patriotism was irresistible. The minute the occupation of Iraq started to run into problems, they jumped all over every single one of them, whether real (the nightmarish handling of Abu Ghraib) or trumped up (the Valerie Plame non-event). Although CBS failed to sink him in 2004, the media finally managed to get an angle against GWB that worked with Hurricane Katrina’s near-ruin of New Orleans and the response that was poorly handled at all levels, not just the Federal (but how often do you hear that Kathleen Blanco didn’t dare run again or that Ray Nagin went to jail?). GWB was playing defense from there on out, and after the 2006 election, nothing he did got decent coverage, as the media decided it was time to turn the page and focus on Nancy and Harry.

        The story of Obama and the press is even simpler: there was an industry-wide push to elect him, every day in 2008 they led with yet another poll showing him way ahead of McCain. Nothing he did got much bad coverage from the mainstream media: not the stimulus that put billions on the nation’s already-stretched credit, not the ramming through of the ACA without a single GOP vote and the disaster it turned out to be, not the undeclared wars in Libya and Syria that undermined what progress GWB did make in the region, not the huge oil leaks in the Gulf of Mexico that did who knows how much damage, not Hurricane Sandy, which was fraught with issues of its own, not police officers getting targets painted on their backs by race hucksters, not half-a-dozen acts of Islamic terror inside our borders, and not his focus on soft issues like Chicago’s Olympic bid and small ones like Trayvon to get easy good publicity.

        The mainstream press woke up to ding the mostly honorable Mitt Romney with lines that stuck but were mostly nonsense (“war on women,” “binders full of women,” “47%”), but otherwise continued to sleepwalk, mostly ignoring the Democratic Party’s catastrophic losses down ticket in 2010 and 2014. They finally decided it was time to get up about halfway through 2015 and have a good laugh and some good ratings by pushing Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. He was amusing, he got viewers, and he had not a prayer in the world of beating Hillary. Once they’d given him so much free publicity he was going to definitely be the nominee, they turned right around to tear him down by pushing Hillary, the president they’d wanted all along, and dredging up behavior of his more than a decade old that wasn’t even on the level of Bill’s sexcapades. Once it looked like the needle might move, they pronounced Trump a “special case” and threw any pretense of objectivity to the winds, from there to the end it was all Trump-hate all the time.

        Here’s the thing, though, they lived and worked on the presumption that American voters lived and worked day to day, didn’t remember all of what I just wrote, and those who did remember, didn’t care and would happily follow their lead to the inauguration of the first female president and four more years of Democratic domination. In essence, they treated the American people like they were docile, unimaginative, and maybe not too bright. The American people were none of the above, and a lot resented this patronizing approach. They also lived and worked on the premise that American voters were easily shamed and bullied by vicious attacks on one candidate that were, in some ways, unfair, so they engaged in these themselves, and whipped up their supporters to engage in them. The American people were also not that way, and they were in no mood to explain their choices in a way that might get them unfairly attacked, so a lot of them kept their choice of candidate to themselves for polling purposes.

        The result was a true “silent majority” that almost no one saw coming (yes, Michael Moore did, but I think that’s more the case of the blind squirrel stumbling on an acorn than any great insight on his part), and the press being stuck like the UK paratroopers in Arnhem having gone “a bridge too far.” They can’t go back to even pretending to be objective, the entire nation knows they aren’t and they know the nation knows it. There’s really very little they have to build a bridge back with, the days of anchors who could pronounce “that’s how it is” and have most of the country believe it and coastal elite newspapers entitled to automatic deference while they dusted their journalism awards are over. What’s more, half the nation is in no mood to allow them that way back, because they just spent a year insulting, belittling, and bashing that half. The only way forward for the media is to continue their strident attacks on Trump in the hopes of bringing him down and reestablishing cozy links with another Democratic administration.

        • Glenn Logan

          I don’t think the TImes, et al ever gave much thought to what they would do if the whole thing went sideways, because they never thought anything would happen other than a Hillary win and another Democratic president they could boost with minimal effort.

          I get all that. But it failed. No matter what they wanted, hoped, or assumed, it failed, and they had an opportunity to reflect and rethink that, and clearly did to some extent. What the NYT in particular did is write a navel-gazing column wondering how they could’ve ignored half of America, and assuring their readers they’d clean up their act, then promptly resumed their Trump derangement as if nothing ever happened as detailed by Jack above.

          They, and at least some of their more respectable (and I use that word advisedly) counterparts could’ve actually taken Sulzberger’s advice and tried to stop the blatant factional warfare, but apparently decided that it would be better just to go all-in. Surely, they understand that thinking people not in the tank as anti-Trump warriors are going to conclude that they cannot be trusted now, or ever again.

          As to your point about them not giving it much thought, I suppose that’s right despite the column I linked above. Either that, or they gave it some thought and decided to hell with it, we’ll just try to line up half the country against Trump (as if they need more convincing) and hope for the best. At least, that’s how it appears to me.

    • Yes. I’ll be posting more on this topic when I return from this morning’s seminar. If I can convince Charles Green to concede that news media bias is this pervasive and undeniable, I will not have lived in vain.

      • Other Bill

        Charles is a very smart guy. He’s just engaging in debating rope-a-dope, trying to wear you out. He knows there’s a problem with the media, he’s just fencing.

      • Matthew B

        More than once I’ve gotten downright angry in an argument exactly the nature you’re having.

        When you respect the intelligence and integrity of who you’re debating, at some point it makes you wonder if they think you’re stupid enough to be fooled and they’re trying to play you.

        • I regret that it has been happening to me more and more, though more in the abstract. Honestly, I find it astounding that so many of these issues break down into partisan divides. Astounding. The Hamilton cast attack on Pence, episode, for example, or the attempt to flip the electoral college. These aren’t partisan issues, unless simple honesty, fairness and respect are suddenly partisan. The repeated statement that “Obama has had a scandal-free administration” makes me furious—Tom Brokaw said it again last night. It’s Orwellian. If someone tries to defend that statement to me, and I don’t believe they’re an idiot, then I have to think they are lying to me.

          • “…I have to think they are lying to me.”

            Idiots or not, those defending the Orwellian statements are, in a sense, lying to you, because they are lying to themselves first. (Some time ago, in 2016 I believe, I wrote a long mail to you about lying to self.) Perhaps it can be said that there are no liars more honest than those who lie to themselves.

  6. E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

    I’m getting really sick of this. I have long understood the left-leaning approach of the major media outlets (and their representatives), but the campaign meeting of journalists and the Hillary campaign moved this ‘leaning’ into outright conspiracy. If journalists had no compunction about doing that, why is their current behavior such a surprise? Like any other elite or protected group, they are sorry for their mistakes only for a brief period of time before reverting to their old established behavior.

  7. Oliver K. Manuel

    Regretfully, I agree with your assessment, Jack

    Worse yet, lock-step consensus bias now dominates the output of public funded research.

  8. Neil Dorr

    Jack,

    I was going to post this in the comments of a plagiarism-related post, but I wasn’t sure how often you check/are notified about old comments and I thought you’d find this interesting (if you didn’t already know):

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/01/08/ghanas-president-plagiarized-clinton-and-bush-word-for-word-in-his-inauguration-speech/?utm_term=.e952f8b726f2

    (especially after the fiasco with Trump’s wife last year).

    Hope you’re well.

    -Neil

  9. “because at this point, the United States has no objective, non-partisan journalism to rely on.”
    I agree totally about what you are saying REGARDING the mainstream news outlets. I do, however, get a large amount of objective, non-partisan journalism every day that I can totally rely on. The problem here is that I can’t give you the sources I use daily without plugging their sites, and I know you don’t like that sort of thing. But even if the places I attend to get my news only have followings of 120,000 or 150,000 viewers, or even less in some cases (in some cases more), the fact is that I have learned from experience that I can trust the content to be factual, and on most of the sites, non-partisan. The truth is, and it’s the same truth that I’ve been trying so hard to spread, this is the future. With so much government and corporate control over the large news outlets, the only place left to get the truth is at the small independent sites. And they’re being attacked as we speak. Facebook is now actively suppressing their videos, including the notifications to their viewers of new releases, and Youtube is “demonetizing” (they refuse to place ads on) any and all videos that include virtually anything the government, or the corporations (such as Google and Facebook) find objectionable. Just as an example of how harshly the YouTuber’s are being treated, the new rules that came out which listed the videos they would no longer get paid for (and this list was retroactive) included any videos that contained “any depiction of violence of any kind, including animated” and “anything that was politically controversial”. That must have come as quite a shock to the several locations I frequent that are based on Political News. Still, these young, dedicated reporters insist on putting out videos that they aren’t even making any money on, and they also keep finding any way they can to keep their viewers up to date on new releases. So it definitely is no longer in the realm of conspiracy theory. We really are in the middle of a War on Information, So to quote a smart man I heard once…
    Now What?

  10. Isaac

    “Just yesterday, we looked at a CBS radio report that intentionally manipulated its presentation of the facts in the Chicago racist torture case to suggest that white Trump supporters had tortured a handicapped black teen…”

    We all remember how NBC doctored the George Zimmerman police call to make him sound like a racist…but what went under the radar was the fact that, according to his “manifesto,” Dylann Roof’s slide into the world of white supremacy weirdness started as a direct result of this incident. He learned about the truth behind the Zimmerman story online, and couldn’t believe that a major news organization could deceive the whole country like that…and it convinced him that there was a nationwide conspiracy against white people.

    And since the NBC deception was REAL and not just a conspiracy theory, it opened that kid up to accepting all sorts of dumb conspiracy theories.

    As his addled brain put it, “It was obvious Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly, this prompted me to type in the words ‘black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.”

    And here they are at it AGAIN. I’m not saying that they’re responsible for what unhinged people on both sides of the new Race War are going to do in the future…since those kooks are responsible for their own actions…but there still remain the facts that A. this kind of crooked behavior by respected organizations breeds racial insanity among those on the fringe who already feel marginalized, and B. these organizations don’t seem to care and are still boring full speed ahead.

    If a the body count rises past just dozens and into thousands, I still can’t see a scenario where news providers and their parent corporations even CONSIDER their role in it. Introspection isn’t really their thing.

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