Irresponsible Journalism Posing As Legitimate: Worse Than #FakeNews

I don’t like the term ‘fake news.’ I certainly understand why President Trump describes the media that way, but it is somewhat of a misnomer that doesn’t quite capture the seriousness of what is truly transpiring.

Fake news is something along the lines of Weekly World News. It isn’t meant to be taken seriously. It’s humor/satire. If they wrote an article saying President Trump flew to Mars to negotiate a Peace Treaty with the Klingons no one sane person would take it seriously because it’s preposterous. It’s fake. It’s harmless.

What isn’t harmless are major news outlets who hold themselves out to be legitimate sources of news, consistently reporting events in an extremely biased fashion. That can apply to both left-leaning and right-leaning news sources who don’t specifically state any affiliation. Sites like CNN, Fox News and other supposedly objective news sites, in theory, should be impartial. How many articles appearing in supposedly impartial news sites actually report the news without interjecting opinion? More often than not, facts are skewed or omitted so they either condemn or glorify the persons involved.

Journalism has devolved to the point where it’s basically unheard of to see an article that is well-researched, let alone one that impartially provides relevant historical and political context so one can better understand why events unfold in a particular manner. We are rarely if ever, presented with all sides of a story, only selected parts of it.

Journalism in general has stopped adhering to ethical codes of conduct. A profession is only as good as its code of conduct and the way news is now reported is disturbing beyond belief because it’s completely and utterly reckless. Furthermore, it has reached a point where even journalists/reporters themselves aren’t immune to the monster that they helped create.

I think a good way to gauge just how sinister something has become is watching how it treats its own. When an institution has no qualms about turning on its own members if it furthers the larger agenda, we are left with something that clearly doesn’t represent democracy, let alone something capable of defending and preserving it.

I despise any kind of sexual misconduct just like any normal human being. It is a very serious matter and should never be taken lightly. Adding to the severity of this type of crime is the difficulty in proving it. Call me crazy but there is no way I’d go around telling the general public that someone is guilty of or implying that they engaged in sexual harassment if my only ‘proof’ is the word of someone else who may or may not be telling the truth.

Take the case of Tom Brokaw. If we wanted to convict him of being a liberal, there is no shortage of evidence. But when it comes to him supposedly engaging in sexual harassment 20 years ago, if I’m the editor of a news organization I wouldn’t report it.

Why? Journalistic integrity.

First, why would the victim wait so long to come forward? Second, what proof does the accuser have that this occurred? I’d only report it as news if charges were actually brought against Brokaw by a prosecuting attorney and even then I’d be careful what I said because I really don’t like things like slander and libel, it today’s social media sounds tends to render those concepts hard to enforce.

It really wouldn’t be hard to write up something that appears to be a legitimate news article and share it on Facebook. Sadly, it really would be difficult to distinguish something written by a mainstream news organization and a story written someone who made the whole thing up. If something appeals to you, it will probably appeal to most of your friends…birds of a feather.

How many people even bother to check whether something is even true? If something supports your point of view why would you try to disprove it? I’ve seen many things shared on social media that have no basis in fact. I find the way people interact with one another on the internet, especially over political issues, to be vulgar and absent of any decorum or respect. Civility is thrown out the window. Most discussions that I see quickly devolve into childish name calling and arguments that are extreme, incredibly misinformed, or just plain nonsense. Usually, everyone ends up looking like a fool.

I don’t think it’s a crisis of fake news as much as it is a crises of irresponsible news. Reporting the news is now secondary to trying to make us think a certain way. There is an overall agenda and that agenda is dangerous. If you look at the big picture, here is the agenda:

  1. Most news is aimed at blasting someone. It follows a fill-in-the-blanks pattern:
    “_________ denies allegations of _________ or Accuser claims _________ did _________.”   The chief aim of this pattern is to put Trump’s name in one of the blanks as frequently as possible.
  2. Why so nasty and negative? The overall goal is for us to associate all these negative stories with the Trump Administration. Most of them have nothing to do with Trump at all but the general objective is for us to associate the decay of society with Trump taking office. They want us to think ‘things really started getting nasty’ once Trump took office. Moreover, Trump is always blamed for every bad thing that happens. Who knows what sets off a mass murderer but if someone goes on a shooting rampage it’s Trump’s fault…presumably because he hasn’t abolished the 2nd Amendment? I don’t see the connection.
  3. The Trump Presidency is the target. MSM dropped any pretense of impartiality during the 2016 election and it cost them everything. They bashed Trump non-stop yet he won the election. They lost all credibility. What they reported clearly didn’t match reality. Therefore, to them, the only way to regain ‘credibility’ is to bring Trump down by:
    a) Reporting everything he does and says in such a manner as to make it appear Trump is setting new and dangerous precedents each and every day when it comes to his decisions and comments. The reality is this: It would be virtually impossible to accuse Trump of anything, good or bad, that hasn’t already been done by at least one and usually a majority of his 43 predecessors. He isn’t an aberration or lunatic.
    b) Discrediting the legitimacy of his election by furthering the Russian interference narrative. I have to hand it to the Russians. Clinton had the full support of virtually the entire American MSM but it wasn’t enough to thwart the dozen or so pro-Trump Russians that placed ads on Facebook. The entire Mueller probe is a thinly veiled crusade to pin something on Trump or to provoke him into doing something that could be labeled ‘obstruction of justice.’
    c) Emphasizing the #MeToo movement. The ultimate goal is to find a way to persuade people Trump did something at some point in his life that puts him in the same category as those who have rightfully been punished. The movement doesn’t seem to be aimed at helping average people fight against non-famous perpetrators. This is a big game hunt and Trump is the biggest game.

I get sick of all the negativity. The MSM wants us to believe we live in a country hopelessly divided that is led by a dangerous man. Their solution is to remove Trump at any and all costs even if it means turning on their own. They want everyone, even Trump supporters, to get sick of all the negativity.

However, there is one thing we must never forget:  Our loyalty to America should be based on our loyalty to the Constitution that governs it. The Constitution is the one thing that can never be sacrificed. Our Nation’s existence depends on it. The Constitution says Trump is the duly elected President. You don’t have to like him but don’t cross the line and try to overthrow him. Presidents come and go and this country has endured.

What America can’t endure is the destruction of the Constitution. Make that mistake and there is no turning back.

Michael Russell

A native, of Indiana, Russell has always been interested in politics. He is a Libertarian and strong supporter of conservative causes. He has spent the last 20 years as an investment analyst. Russell and his wife Ginger have 3 children.

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