IF MEDIA OUTLETS DO NOT WANT TO BE CALLED OUT FOR REPORTING FAKE NEWS, THEY NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF AVOIDING TRAFFICKING IN IT
Congrats to the entire news media for taking President Trump out of context and implying that he was calling all illegal immigrants “animals.”
The news of what the president supposedly said spread through social media like wildfire, with all the usual “Resistance” types losing their minds as if they had caught the president committing murder.
Except it was all based on a lie. A lie of omission, but a lie nonetheless.
President Trump did refer to certain illegal immigrants as “animals” but it was not all illegal immigrants. In fact, he was specifically referring to members of a dangerous criminal gang known as MS-13.
Shockingly, CNN was just about the only news outlet besides Fox that did not make this mistake. And the news outlets who got it wrong let it sit there incorrectly for hours and even an entire day in some cases.
Unfortunately, we have seen many similar cases during the Trump presidency
For example, last year, a story circulated that Orrin Hatch had said on the Senate floor that CHIP — the health insurance program for low income children — needed to go because he was tired of funding programs for people who refused to help themselves.
Except as even Ezra Klein of Vox — who is no fan of Republicans — pointed out, Hatch was not talking about CHIP when he made those comments and even said he would see to it that CHIP got funded.
But do not tell that to all the people making fun of Hatch for disparaging “free loading” children.
There are many more recent examples of this, but you get the point.
I understand the media honestly gets stories wrong sometimes — we are all human. But when you report stories like this and get them wrong — repeatedly — it damages the media’s credibility in a significant way. Major news outlets have to do better than this and those who follow their lead do, too.
The social media age has certainly made things worse. In the old days, a news story would not be instant because you were waiting to air it on the 6PM news, or if you were a newspaper, get it into tomorrow’s edition.
But now? Gotta get it out there first and break the scoop on social media. Nuance and thorough checking be damned.
Like it or not, this is why it is easy for so many people to believe President Trump when he points at certain news outlets and yells “Fake News!”
Put simply, the media has to be better than this. We need to know that outside of some rare mistakes, reporters and publications — at least ones that don’t claim to purposely push a specific point of view — are generally on the level when they break a story.
These kind of major mistakes actively keep that from happening.
Trust is a key component of any news/viewer relationship. Without it, the viewer may as well be watching an episode of Jerry Springer.
And entertaining as Mr. Springer’s show is, it is not news.
But then again, neither is what we are seeing reported as news now.