False News – A Different Perspective

Like most of what Donald Trump says, there’s a grain of truth in his claims about “false news,” and it’s a grain of truth that most reputable news organizations are essentially ignoring, and by doing so, are acting against their own best interests… and the best interests of the rest of us.

That grain of truth is that too many news media people are acting and reporting on rumors and rumors of rumors all too often before coming anywhere close to reporting hard facts.

Why? There are two reasons. First, to call a spade a spade, a large percentage of mainstream media analysts and reporters dislike him, and that intense dislike blinds them to the fact that they’re often cutting corners and not getting all the facts. Each time they print an incorrect rumor or incorrect charge, they’re reinforcing Trump’s contention that they’re printing “fake news.”

Second, news media has been captured by the profit motive, excessively captured, so that getting the first scoop, whether correct or not, too often trumps [pun intended] accurate and factual coverage.

Part of this need for speed comes from a realization that the public attention span is so short that by the time the actual facts surface, most of the audience has lost interest. But news media are supposed to make money, or at least not lose it, and waiting until facts can be confirmed costs circulation and ratings… and money. And money trumps accuracy, these days, in every way.

Most people have forgotten that the time between the Watergate burglary and the time Nixon was forced to resign was two years and three months. Even the Woodward and Bernstein article that revealed the scope of the Nixon campaign in the burglary wasn’t published until October 10, 1972, almost four months after the burglary, and it took almost two more years for all the depth of White House involvement to become public and for Nixon to be charged with impeachment by the House.

So let’s hear it for profit at any cost, regardless of what those costs are.

3 thoughts on “False News – A Different Perspective”

  1. Sam says:

    Here in Australia our national broacaster – the ABC – has a program called MediaWatch that’s been on air for decades and points out factual errors in the news media – deliberate or accidental.

    I started watching it about 10 years ago and it quickly became apparent to me that the idea of objective journalism is a fantasy. Even when they aren’t outright lying journalists are selective in the facts they choose to present that support their own personal biases.

    Perhaps even worse than individual journalistic bias is corporate and government imposed bias. So that journalists end up toeing the party line in order to keep their jobs and in the worst case careers even if they personally disagree.

    Another problem is that almost nobody has the time to fact check everything they are presented with so they either end up relying on the news they are fed or end up trusting none of it.

  2. Suunnaton says:

    Sam says:, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  3. Liset says:

    Sam says:, thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

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