Monday, November 28, 2016

Post Truth and the Death of Real Journalism

On Thanksgiving,  there was a story that made the rounds in social media and picked up by news sources that somehow a cable company had broadcast porn on the CNN channel on Thursday evening.  Twitter led to various other sources repeating it including CNN that blamed a local cable provider.  Days later it turns out that this was not true.  In fact it might have been one person's cable box.  But now we will hear stories of CNN broadcasting porn as fact moving forward.  Because today news is not about facts.  Journalists are more interested in repeating hot stories than they are about digging deeper and being accurate.  That is sad.

It isn't like this hasn't been an issue in the past.  We all remember the McDonald's coffee story where an elderly woman was severely burned and initially was given $2.7 million in damages.  What you don't hear is that the amount was reduced to under $700.000 and settled for a different amount. Other stories like Al Gore saying he invented the internet (he never said it) or colonies of alligators in the New York subways to go back even further.  But something is different now.  It seems like every day there is a lie that floats out, often from sources that are suspect at best or down right nonsensical and they are uncritically reported and promoted by others and picked up by news sources.  Today is not any different.  But in the past

Donald Trump has tweeted that there are millions of illegal votes for Sec. Clinton in the election and that is why she won the popular vote by 2 million votes.  The winner of the election for the Presidency of the United States, the most important and powerful job in the world, is saying the election was fraudulent even though he won. His source?  A website that questions things like whether we went to the moon in the 60s and 70s and calls all major attacks in recent year false flags. That is right, Trump is quoting a website that suggests that 9-11 was an inside job done by the government, that the Sandy Hook massacre was fiction.  Think about that, the President of the United States is finding his information from a site that makes up crazy conspiracy theories, while, oh by the way, he is not getting his daily intelligence briefing.

This is a serious issue but what we don't get a real investigative approach from the so-called journalists.  In fact what we get is discussions of Trump's tweets including a story and who actually types them and of course more recently the internal transition problems. Instead of questioning some of Trump's connections to the conspiracy nuts and the white nationalist movement, people are obsessing of Kelly Anne Conway's tweets about Mitt Romney being considered for Secretary of State.  We will now spend the day talking about Trump being angry at her for going rogue and just ignore the serious issues of a President-elect questioning reality and simply not learning the job he will take over in a month and a half.  In fact we are hearing that he doesn't understand how national security works, at all.  He honestly believes that what he hears on these websites are how things work.  Oh and by the way, he is turning his back on all his campaign rhetoric and basically turning the White House into a a money making effort for him and his family.  But Kelly Anne is speaking out of school so we have to talk about her.

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