September 19, 2021

September 19, 2021

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Fake News Deserves Criticism

by | Aug 14, 2018 |

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“Methinks the lady doth protest too much”, as I paraphrase from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, it would seem to be an appropriate comment when talking about the traditional news media in America nowadays. Much of the news media has come under a great deal of criticism from President Trump and his supporters since even before President Trump took office. Regularly being called “fake news” for their reporting on both candidate Trump and now the Trump Administration.
And now according to ‘news’ reports, the Boston Globe has enlisted more than one hundred newspapers from around the country to publish editorials on August 16th fighting back against President Trump’s repeated attacks on the media.
Sadly the so-called “mainstream media” – which it really isn’t mainstream at all since it is so far removed from the common folks in America – seems to have gotten their panties in a twist and intend to throw a group hissy fit. They will be calling out President Trump for referring to them as “fake news”, and for other disparaging comments he and his administration have made regarding the ‘Fourth Estate’.
Perhaps it’s time to take a look at these ‘paragons of virtue’, the American news media, and to call them out for what they really are. Not just for being the PR branch of the Democrat Party and the liberal left in America, but also for quite often reporting false stories, the so-called “fake news”. And for not reporting what truly is news if it doesn’t fit their political philosophy.
Example after example of slanted, distorted, and outright false news reports have been made over the years by supposedly reputable news outlets, both in the print and broadcast media. There are simply far too many to list here.
But let’s look at just a couple of examples, kind of a sampling of the baloney that’s been reported as “news” over the years, often by so-called ‘respected elder statesman’ of the American press.
Case in point, “Hands up don’t shoot” was widely reported by the American news media following the shooting of black eighteen-year-old Michael Brown by the white Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. While there was no evidence of any such thing happening and with the police investigation in the very early stages, this lie was quickly broadcast and printed around the world, initiated by irresponsible news reporters.
What was the net result of the news media’s irresponsible behavior in reporting an obvious lie as “news”? Rioting in the streets of Ferguson for months on end, people killed, police officers injured, and a community destroyed. There’s a strong argument to be made that the subsequent deaths of many police officers since the Ferguson riots can be directly attributed to the lies told by the news media covering Ferguson.
Then there’s “Operation Tailwind”, a report about supposed chemical weapons being used and other “war crimes” committed by U.S. forces during an incursion into southeastern Laos in 1970 during the Vietnam War. A CNN/Time Magazine report narrated by host Peter Arnett eventually had to be retracted after it was proven to be a false story. Unfortunately not until after the report was broadcast around the world tarnishing the reputation of the soldiers involved and the U.S. military in general, and providing propaganda-rich material for our adversaries overseas. Both of these are perfect examples of the “fake news” that President Trump often talks about.
Any retractions are usually buried in the back pages of the publication that first printed the false stories, usually in small print where one needs a magnifying glass to be able to read it. And always far too late to stem the damage that has already been done. Often times the retraction never reaches as many people as the original story did. Former Secretary of Labor Ray Donovan during the Reagan Administration famously said “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back ?”, after he was acquitted of criminal charges that had been ballyhooed in the press.
“The Gray Lady”, the New York Times was once a respected publication, a leader in the industry. Nowadays it’s a shell of its former self with its circulation and advertising down, as is true of many of the large metropolitan newspapers. CNN’s television ratings have fallen below the children’s programming channel Nickelodeon, yet they continue their attacks against the Trump Administration unabated. If it weren’t for the airports CNN might not be watched at all ! 
The American news media for years has been recognized as controlled predominantly by those espousing a liberal agenda. Editorial staffs are almost exclusively made up of liberals, conservatives need not apply. All one has to do is take a look each election to see which candidates from what party the newspapers are endorsing. It’s pretty obvious what their political persuasion is.
And Americans simply have had enough. A large percentage of Americans don’t trust nor believe the American news media anymore. And it’s not President Trump who caused it. Americans aren’t as stupid as the news media must think we are. We don’t need President Trump to tell us about “fake news”, we can figure it out for ourselves, and we have been for years. Long before President Trump coined the phrase.
So yes, to paraphrase ‘the Bard’, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much”.  

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Dennis Santiago is an author and commentator on national policy and global stability issues. His subject matter expertise was developed during the Cold War as a strategic warfare systems analyst, missile defense architect, and arms control analyst. He is the author of the US Imperfect Defense Theory of Strategic Missile Defense. Dennis has worked on conventional warfare, nuclear warfare, and asymmetric warfare. His expertise includes combat aircraft, ordnance, electronic warfare, command and control, campaign design, and game theory.

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