Has any maligned phrase ever been shown to be more truthful than “fake news?” At least in the political world? Over the past five years (and many before that, but things have escalated), we’ve been subjected to all manner of false stories from supposed non-biased news sources. From the avalanche of Russian collusion stories to the Covington Catholic nonsense, it never seems to stop.
Yesterday, delivered another example, with news outlets from CNN to The Washington Post being shown to be liars. A “bombshell” story on Russian bounties that was used to malign President Trump for months was shown to be false despite the Post and others claiming they had “confirmed” it at the time. That should leave everyone asking exactly what passes for confirmation in our stalwart news industry.
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) April 16, 2021
But it didn’t stop there. Facebook and Instagram decided to censor a story on Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrice Khan-Cullors real estate binge, claiming it violated their terms of service to show pictures of the house (the address was blurred out), something that has been done to target Republicans more times than I can count.
Recap of yesterday:
1) Twitter suspends James O'Keefe, after he publishes series of videos deeply damaging to CNN.
2) Facebook & IG follow Twitter censoring stories critical of BLM.
3) Months later we find out the Russian bounty story, hyped endlessly by Dems & media is fake.
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) April 16, 2021
As Tom says, there was more, though. James O’Keefe got suspended from Twitter for publishing undercover videos embarrassing CNN over their admissions of shaping coverage to oust Trump from office. It’s not enough that these news outlets are biased trash. They have their big tech bro allies to cover for them the moment they get exposed. It’s quite the racket, right?
Take Brian Stelter, for example. He’s ostensibly CNN’s media reporter, but in actuality, he just spends his days whining about Fox News and making up excuses for bad behavior by the media he deems pure. He also claimed the Russian bounties story was vetted when it clearly wasn’t.
>> @peterbergencnn: "Trump has termed the richly reported stories that the Russians paid Afghan militants bounties to kill US soldiers based in Afghanistan a 'hoax.' But the real hoax is how White House officials are covering up for Trump's incompetence…" https://t.co/I0suMKSyun
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 3, 2020
So were any apologies forthcoming? Nah, of course not. The Washington Post put a correction at the bottom of their four-Pinnochio “fact-check” of Trump calling the bounties story false. Their evidence – that a bunch of other outlets had claimed to have confirmed the details. We now know that wasn’t true, which gives the game away. It’s was the same “source” going around to all these different outlets telling the same, fake story, but the media pretended like they had gone out and found a second, third, and fourth source to validate their reporting, thereby “confirming” it. There are no actual standards in journalism, just political enemies to attack.
Despite all that, they still show themselves to be the least self-aware demographic on the planet.
New research shows a troubling disconnect between core journalistic values (accountability, transparency, giving a voice to the less powerful) and the American public. My column breaks it down https://t.co/iDnqTNVlR2
— 💫 Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) April 14, 2021
What accountability? Did anyone get fired over this latest bout of fake news? Perhaps I missed that, but I don’t think I did. The truth is, the credibility crisis within the news industry is totally of their own making. No amount of hand-wringing about how it’s the fault of the American people is going to change that. The Times, the Post, CNN, MSNBC, etc. are dumpster fires. They aren’t legitimate news outlets, and they should never be treated as such.