Big Media had a really bad day yesterday — even for them — and I thought a brief roundup of just some of the freakouts they had to immediately retract would be useful. Not that I think it will actually shame the worst of them . . . but maybe some of the better ones, looking at all these things in one place, will start to stage an intervention with the rest.
In this post I will list four different absurd, patently ridiculous stories that could have been avoided with even a modicum of skepticism:
TRUMP ADMINISTRAITON CHANGES SANCTIONS TO BENEFIT FSB
Culprit: Peter Alexander, NBC News
Note how the truth of the second tweet is just lacing up its shoes while the first, false tweet has already raced around the world.
GORSUCH SUPPOSEDLY FOUNDING “FASCISM FOREVER” CLUB
Culprit: Alana Goodman at DailyMail.com
Alana Goodman at the Daily Mail Web site was responsible for the claim that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch had founded a club in high school called “Fascism Forever.” She based her bogus story on a single yearbook entry.
Just one problem: Other journalists actually conducted interviews and applied common sense, and revealed that there had been no such club. It was a wry joke by Gorsuch in the yearbook, made in reaction to over-the-top accusations by lefties.
TRUMP RENAMING BLACK HISTORY MONTH AS THE SAME THING IT WAS ALWAYS CALLED
Culprit: John Haltiwanger at Elite Daily
Charles C.W. Cooke called this “a story in four parts.” Once again, it’s self-explanatory. Just read the tweets in order.
Joe Cunningham covered this in this post, showing how it spread throughout Big Media.
GORSUCH OP-ED CRITICIZED EVEN THOUGH IT WAS WRITTEN BY SOMEONE ELSE
Culprit: Corky Siemaszko of NBC News
Corky Siemaszko of NBC News was responsible for trumpeting an op-ed supposedly written by Gorsuch in which (Siemaszko claimed) Gorsuch “opposed military recruiting on campus precisely because it discriminated against gays and lesbians.”
Just one problem: It was someone else’s op-ed. Two op-eds had begun on page 6, one by Gorsuch, and one by another student who was a considerably inferior intellect and writer. When the pieces jumped to page 9, the names were reversed for the continuation. Does that let the reporter off the hook? Not at all. Not only were the subject matter, writing style, and tone different after the jump, but the sentence that went across the jump made no sense whatsoever. If the reporter had actually read the op-ed, as opposed to scanning it for stuff he could rush out to embarrass Gorsuch, the reporter would have noticed this.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Yesterday, Allahpundit at Hot Air — writing about another bogus media freakout, having to do with President Trump’s call with the Australian Prime Minister — had this important observation:
American politics increasingly feels like a novel whose events are retold by two unreliable narrators, Trump being one and the media being the other. The truth, or something close to it, is in there somewhere between the two of them.
I am immediately skeptical of anything coming out of the Trump administration, headed as it is by one of the least honest individuals in politics during my lifetime. And I realize that it has been a goal of the Trump administration to delegitimize the media, which would make it easier for their own false narratives to be accepted by the citizenry.
But damned if Big Media isn’t doing a hell of a job walking directly into that trap.
I am not going to write off all big media journalists because of this type of irresponsible reporting. It would be unfair to write off, for example, ABC’s Jan Crawford — a solid reporter who had the scoop on the Gorsuch nomination for days while the rest of Big Media was chasing its collective tail — because of these stories yesterday, written by other so-called journalists. In the same vein, it would be unfair to reject me or other RedState writers because we publish our posts in the same medium as the fact-challenged, exclamation-point-loving, Trump-approved propagandist Jim Hoft.
Therefore, my approach will be to pay attention to who the offenders are. To name them and shame them. I hope this post helps contribute to that effort.