Liar Liar, Media Pants on Fire
Media trust is at an all-time low, a majority of Americans believing that, “Most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.” An Axios commissioned survey found that only 46 percent of Americans trusted traditional media, the lowest number ever recorded in the 20 years of this survey.
Gallup found similar distrust of the media, with only 40 percent of Americans having “a great deal” or even “a fair amount” of confidence that the media reports the news “fully accurately, and fairly”. The low point was a 32 percent level of trust in 2016 when Donald Trump was elected president and he correctly labeled the media as “fake news”. 20 years ago, media trust was much higher, in the mid 50 percent range, despite Dan Rather at that time, a major network news anchor, lying about George W Bush’s National Guard service.
In other words, the media is lying to us and we are catching on to the lies.
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Watch any cable news show or read any of America’s prominent “newspapers of record” today and see that they are peddling fiction, stories based on anonymous phantom sources or else totally fabricated, designed to influence elections and public policy in a manner that Joseph Goebbels would envy. Let’s look at a recent example.
U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died in early January after the Washington, D.C. Capitol rally. Despite not knowing anything, the media was quite certain as to the cause of death.
On Jan. 9, the forensic pathology experts in the New York Times newsroom assured readers that: “He dreamed of being a police officer, then was killed by a pro-Trump mob.”
The normally sensible New York Post was certain in their headline: “Video shows Capitol rioter hit officer with fire extinguisher.” The video showed some police officer, identity unknown, being hit in the head, but the Post was quite sure the officer was Sicknick, as they reported, “Who died at a hospital Thursday after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the melee.”
CNN, also now experts in forensic pathology, told their audience: “Brian Sicknick died after he was injured while physically engaging with pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol.” If CNN reported it, then it must be true. After all, they are the self-proclaimed “Most trusted name in news.” That’s a whopper on par with President Obama’s claims, “If you like your insurance/doctor, you can keep them.”
This reporting served as a basis for Trump’s impeachment, accusing the president of “incitement of insurrection.” In a pre-trial memo, Democrats claimed: “The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.”
The lies worked. Trump was impeached again with the reliable assistance of a few linguini-spined Trump-hating so-called Republicans, and the accusations sent the rest of the GOP hiding under their beds rather than supporting Trump in his electoral fraud claims and standing up to fake news. They might have well just said Trump himself whacked Sicknick with the fire extinguisher.
It turns out, now revealed when it makes no difference, that Officer Sicknick died of natural causes, specifically a series of strokes the day after the attack, with zero evidence of him being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher. But the damage was done, and the media is now happily driving by to the next story, having accomplished their mission of tarnishing their political nemesis, Donald Trump.
Anyone who challenged that narrative was labeled a heretic and banned from social media and polite society. Questioning the media lies was considered a “truther movement on the right.” Any mea culpa now from the media? Was anyone fired or ostracized for getting the story so wrong? Was it media incompetence or deliberate? Or did they just want the story to be true, and that was enough for the fact checkers to sign off that it was “verified news”?
This is only the most recent example. One can harken back to years of breathless reporting from cranks sitting at CNN and MSNBC anchor desks on Trump-Russia collusion, how the “walls are closing in,” only to have that blow up like an exploding cigar when even Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his merry band of partisans, with two years and an unlimited budget, couldn’t find any evidence of said collusion.
And let's not forget another recent whopper from multiple press outlets, the non-stop reportage claiming that Russians had placed bounties on the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan as President Trump stood by indifferently, which was a last-ditch campaign-linked effort to persuade voters to turn agains President Trump. About a week ago, the Biden administration admitted that its intelligence community found that claim faulty.
It has been going on for decades: NBC deliberately edited the George Zimmerman 911 call during the Trayvon Martin shooting to portray Zimmerman as racist. This false reporting birthed the BLM movement and served to escalate racial tensions in America that continue to this day.
CBS did the same last week, deceptively editing the recent shooting of Adam Toledo, cropping out images of him holding a gun, instead jumping to his “hands up don’t shoot” stance as the bullet was already heading in his direction, to further their preferred narrative that police are target shooting young unarmed and innocent black kids.
The Washington Post falsely reported on a post-election phone call between President Trump and the Georgia Secretary of State. This reporting also served as a basis for the second Trump impeachment, yet the Washington Post waited several months before issuing a massive correction, “Admitting it wrongly attributed multiple quotes to Trump based on an anonymous source.”
“Hands up, don’t shoot”, claimed about the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO, also never happened according to an Obama Department of Justice investigation. Nevertheless, this narrative was repeated by most Democrat politicians, media, sports, and Hollywood, despite it being a lie. This falsehood was the basis of subsequent BLM protests, including the riots and destruction in many American cities last summer.
Just before the Derek Chauvin verdict, another shooting occurred in Ohio. Rather than waiting and reporting the facts, the liars of record blurted out incendiary headlines.
A few hours later they were forced to walk back their headlines as body camera video showed the black teenager had a knife and was attempting to stab two other black teenagers. That sure changes the story.
An alternative headline could read, “Brave police officer stops stabbing of two black teenagers.” But rest assured, the media will drive by to the next big lie.
NBC News has already begun that, deceptively edited a video of a 911 call from a woman claiming that "grown girls" were "trying to stab us" in the recent police incident in Columbus, Ohio, attempting to make the perpetrator of the attempted stabbing into a martyr.
The media doesn’t care about Brian Sicknick or George Floyd. Or Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown. They are simply props, collateral damage in “the resistance”, the media pushing a political narrative, defining truth as something that helps advance their agenda.
Journalistic principles be damned, as long as their preferred political agenda and their Democrat party is perpetually cast in a favorable light, facts to the contrary smothered and buried, and all opposition shamed, silenced, and banned from public discourse. This is the tyranny falsely predicted under a Trump presidency but instead is the new normal with Democrats running the country.
As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” This is the message to the media and their allies in Hollywood, sports, academia, and corporate America. We don’t believe you. Their lying pants are on fire and the flames will spread, burning down the entire country.
Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., is a physician and writer. He is on sabbatical from social media.
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