Why is the Mainstream Media committing seemingly intentional suicide?
By Lary Coppola
On the day this was written, CNN carried no fewer than 16 blatantly anti-Trump headlines on the opening page of its website. MSNBC had restrained itself to a modest nine, and the Huffington Post a mere four. On the other hand, the Fox News web page only had two headlines mildly critical of the President, and several of the Trump stories had companion pieces with equally benign headlines. Now no one politically aware is going to consider this “breaking news” any more than considering the stories themselves realistically unbiased. However, when viewed as the partisan echo chambers media outlets have intentionally become, they are a reflection of just how polarized we are as a nation.
The Fox News stories could be considered critical of the president, but the headlines didn’t scream hot-button prejudicially negative words like scandal, indicted, sentenced, bribe, torture, risky, red-handed, or chaotic as CNN, MSNBC and the Huffington Post all did on this particular day. And therein lies the conundrum for the consumer of today’s news. Based on such inflammatory headlines, why would you believe the media is actually telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Which also begs the question, is the President actually right about “Fake News?”
Is there really a concerted effort by the left to drive the President from office, with the mainstream media leading the charge? Exactly how tightly aligned with the Democrats and the extreme left is the mainstream news media anyway —and why? To quote an old tagline from what has always been known as a sensationalist and less than credible news source, “Inquiring minds want to know…”
The long, slow, and painful death spiral of the printed news media is reflective of the age health, and dwindling numbers of its primary readership — Baby Boomers. Like your uncle who lived to see 100, dinosaurs like the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and L.A. Times are still alive – albeit with much weaker, smaller, lower paid staffs..
For the most part, the printed word has been replaced by the internet, replete with news media smartphone apps, its own cult of personalities, and the introduction of the term “infotainment” into our lexicon. It has created online superstars like Jason Zengerle, and Bill Nye the Science Guy on the extreme left, as well as Tomi Lahren and Matt Drudge on the right.
The real question though is, do any of them tell the truth? Yes — all of them, to the extent it fits their politically partisan narrative. The more ethical reporters and bloggers build their stories around a set of facts that underscore their partisan talking points, often leaving out the things that don’t. However, the less than ethical on both sides play fast and loose with facts, giving credence to Trump’s fake news charges.
Journalism 101 teaches that there are six questions every news story must answer: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? From there, it should be up to the reader to make up his or her mind about the story being told. Journalistic ethics dictate that opinion belongs on OP/ED page – not on the front page and certainly not as a part of any news story. The reporter is supposed to be an unbiased observer, sharing unvarnished facts answering those six questions — and untainted by inflammatory terminology, personal or institutional bias. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Also taught in Journalism 101 is that every news story should have a source and corroborating source — someone who, by name, provides information on the record, and a second source, who by name, confirms what the first source said took place. However, today’s media reporters attribute way too many “facts” to that infamous “anonymous source,” that are corroborated by that “person who declined to be quoted for the record,” and/or, “spoke on the condition of anonymity.” For all we know, these people could be your favorite barista and the guy you called to unclog your toilet.
So obviously, journalistic ethics — along with honest answers to those six basic questions — have seemingly gone the way of the printed word. When was the last time you actually read a mainstream media political news story that wasn’t as much or more opinion than fact? Today perhaps?
The left, led by Democrats like Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and of course, Barack Obama, are feverishly working towards brokering a seemingly peaceful surrender of America to Socialism. In concert with them is not only the media, but the educational establishment as well. They no longer teach actual history, but a revisionist version that vilifies everything that made America that shining light for people from other nations. They don’t teach, as much as indoctrinate liberal philosophy into our children, beginning in Kindergarten.
The recent student march calling for increased gun control and vilifying the NRA for the Parkland tragedy — coupled with relentless media coverage parroting that view — underscore this point. The NRA didn’t kill anyone in Parkland any more than General Motors did when an illegal immigrant drunkenly drove a Chevy into a crowd of children in California. Yet you didn’t hear anything about that from the mainstream media.
Except for right-wing online news sites, there was almost nothing in the mainstream media about the armed School Resource Officer who shot and killed 17 year-old student preparing to shoot up his classmates in Maryland just days after Parkland. And since she wasn’t a white male using an AR-15, you barely heard anything about the Persian leftist, vegan, animal rights activist woman who shot people at YouTube’s headquarters before taking her own life. Since those incidents don’t fit the left’s anti-gun, pro-illegal immigrant, Socialist narrative, they were systematically ignored. But are they any less newsworthy?
Another example of agenda-driven news coverage is the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, nearly two years ago? The media’s narrative was forced to change when new details were revealed during the trial of the shooter Omar Mateen’s wife. While the media repeatedly trumpeted the attack at the gay club as “undeniably a homophobic hate crime”, the actual facts are quite different.
Prosecutors in the case of Mateen’s wife confirm the club wasn’t his original target — it was the nearby Disney Springs shopping plaza. Mateen allegedly asked a security guard at Pulse why there were no women there when he arrived, and suspicions about him being a closet homosexual were never confirmed.
So while the media has framed the attack as an anti-gay hate crime, it’s now become apparent it was more about Islamic-style terror, which Mateen saw as an act of revenge against the U.S. While the motivation doesn’t make the mass shooting any less tragic, it’s just another example of agenda-driven media narratives wildly distorting actual facts. But have you heard this wasn’t a gay hate crime?
Meanwhile, 17-year old David Hogg has become the de-facto spokesman for the anti-NRA crowd, and has publicly — with unrelenting help from the media — called for a boycott of conservative media pundit Laura Ingraham’s Fox News sponsors. The blatant hypocrisy here is that the self-absorbed Hogg wasn’t a student at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, didn’t witness the tragedy there, and wasn’t anywhere near there when it happened. But the mainstream media won’t tell you that either, and has led you to believe the exact opposite.
Underscoring this bias further, is the fact, the left-leaning website Politico recently published a meticulously researched and fully-sourced investigative piece by Josh Meyer detailing how the Obama administration secretly sabotaged US law enforcement efforts to shut down an international drug-trafficking ring run by the terror group Hezbollah to placate Iran, and ensure the signing of the nuclear deal.
Why wasn’t this front-page news in the NY Times or Washington Post? Why wasn’t this the lead story on CNN or MSNBC? Where’s that George Soros-funded programmed outrage from the left?
Observing the standards set by Journalism 101, this scandal should have ignited a massively widespread firestorm of coverage dwarfing Watergate, and eliciting absolute fury from media pundits and editorial boards alike. But did you hear anything about this? Probably not. However, what you have heard about daily for more than a year and a half is the Russian “collusion” investigation — which in all that time has yet to uncover any actual criminal activity by Trump or his campaign.
In fact, days after the Politico story broke, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC News — who boast a collective 20 million viewers between them — nor CNN or MSNBC, had been able to find time in between harassing Trump about Russia — to report a major story about potential collusion between the former President and a terror-supporting state. Other than Fox, mainstream media outlets largely ignored this major story.
Now take that very same story and change “Obama” to “Trump” and “Iran” to “Russia” and imagine the fireworks those revelations would ignite in the mainstream media. Can’t you already hear Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, et. al. pontificating 24/7 on every TV, online and print news media outlet that Trump should be immediately arrested for treason? But since it was Obama, not a peep from the media, and certainly nothing from the Democrats.
The few outlets that did run this story typically covered it as an afterthought, with headlines like NPR’s which read, “Politico Reporter Says Obama Administration ‘Derailed’ Hezbollah Investigation.” “Derailed” doesn’t even begin to explain the depth of what actually happened. This was a 14,000-word, diligently sourced, document-heavy deep investigative piece written by a well-respected journalist at a major media outlet — one that tends to lean left — complete with all on-the-record sources as per Journalism 101.
However, if your news comes mainly from NPR, you’d never know that. Makes anyone who lived through Watergate wonder where the Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of today’s media are hiding.
According to Politico, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) began this classified investigation into Hezbollah in 2008, learning that the Iranian proxy had laundered nearly a half a billion dollars and was moving cocaine to the U.S. The Obama administration not only road blocked investigators, but failed to prosecute any of the major players as well.
What makes what can only be described as an intentional media blackout so blatantly reprehensible is that this story is not a partisan hit piece. However, ignoring and/or diminishing intentional wrongdoing and furtively dubious dealings by Obama isn’t at all new. In fact, Obama administration officials arrogantly bragged to the NY Times Magazine how they’d purposefully created an echo chamber, banking on the ignorance, inexperience and partisanship of reporters to communicate their intentional lies to the American people.
Another example of the selective nature of the information you receive from the mainstream media disguised as “news” is the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica fiasco. While the media was highly indignant over Cambridge Analytica’s use of 87 million Facebook members’ personal data for Trump’s 2016 campaign, do you recall hearing anything about the Obama campaign being given the exact same kind of data directly from Facebook in 2012? Or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying, “We did it because we liked him (Obama)? Of course not. Again, it doesn’t fit the liberal, anti-Trump narrative.
Facebook has also blatantly censored what content it allows, leaning heavily to the left, while its algorithms filter out most things right of center so you can’t see it – even if your friends post it.
And let’s not ignore Google, which owns YouTube. It also leans far-left, and censors the content it allows. For example, you can find all kinds of pro-Islamic videos — including beheadings, people in cages being burned alive, and handcuffed, blindfolded gays being thrown off tall buildings, as well as other equally barbaric acts. There are also literally hundreds of videos from Planned Parenthood and other liberal organizations. Meanwhile, YouTube has kicked Prager University — a conservative institution which publishes short videos rationally explaining conservative viewpoints on issues of the day — completely off the site. Facebook restricts access to Prager’s videos as well.
So how did we get to this point? The answers could lie in the response to two questions, “Why is the liberal agenda being pushed so hard by the mainstream media?” and, “How has the conservative media reacted, and grown so powerful?”
The answers are simple. The extreme left wants America to drift into Socialism, is already deeply entrenched within the bureaucracy, and positioned for permanent control and political advantage when that happens — hence the term “Deep State.” Thanks to the millions of illegal immigrants they have registered to vote, they see the election process keeping them in power.
If you think there is a government elitist class now, just wait. If the left is successful it will get much worse, with ever escalating taxes rewarding that elitist governing class on the backs of the working class. That’s how Socialism has always worked — and why it eventually always fails.
The social justice movement disparages hard work and financial success, demanding that successful people share the fruits of their labors with those “less fortunate.” However, the people who have worked hard to attain that success disagree. Yet the mainstream media continues to vilify them as the evil ones — not those sponging off their hard work.
The business of news today is all about TV and radio ratings, eyeballs, and click-throughs. To get those, reporters need access to the major players, as access is the lifeblood of the news business. Obama understood that better than anyone. He did a masterful job of only granting access to those reporters from news outlets supporting his goals and shutting out all opposing voices. Hence, the echo chamber his administration bragged about creating.
The mainstream media unabashedly defends Socialism because most of its members make their living dependent upon that access and are openly encouraged to support what they may personally believe will eventually be a “fairer’ system. Obviously, they haven’t thought this all the way through to its inevitable conclusion. Socialism always collapses under the weight of supporting an ever-expanding governing class that steals the fruits of the labors of the masses, and de-incentivized workers whose highest standard of excellence atrophies into mediocracy. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher succinctly summed up why Socialism always fails — “At some point you run out of other people’s money.”
It’s no secret the liberal mindset infected the bizarre world of Hollywood long ago, while conservative actors and actresses remain in the proverbial closet for fear of not working. For all the publicity the #MeToo movement generated in the media, there’s no shortage of photos featuring the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and even Hillary Clinton and others all cuddling up to Harvey Weinstein. You just won’t see them in the mainstream media, because once again, they contradict the narrative.
Professional sports has suffered as well by its embrace of liberal philosophy by athletes and broadcasters alike — former San Francisco 49’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick being their poster child. The media has constantly whined about him not being signed by any NFL team, insisting there is a conspiracy against him for starting the disrespectful take a knee during the National Anthem movement. However, nowhere are you hearing about his team winning only three of the last 19 games he started as quarterback. Again, that doesn’t fit the liberal narrative.
Meanwhile, former Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett, whose leftist activities were much more vocal and visible in the media, was traded to the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. He’s playing in spite of his politics because unlike Kaepernick, he’s one of the best in the game. If anyone has a case about being discriminated against by the NFL because of his personal beliefs, it’s Tim Tebow. But again, that doesn’t fit the media narrative – nor does the fact TV ratings for the 2017-2018 NFL season were down over 19 percent and ticket sales are at their lowest levels ever. Is there any doubt as to why?
Yet, in spite of the Republicans ongoing political dysfunction, and bunker mentality, the conservative media has grown strong by becoming the primary combatant against the Socialist threat. When was the last time you heard of liberal talk radio? For example, even in ultra-liberal Seattle, two conservative talk radio stations flourish, while the lone liberal one shut down due to low ratings.
Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, John Kasich and perhaps even Paul Ryan have themselves become entrenched in the Deep State, and are openly anti-Trump. But conservative local talk radio, conservative TV networks like Fox and the One America Network (OAN), along with the online right-wing media have become the voice of the folks that elected Donald Trump to “drain the swamp.” It has also driven the rise of militant right-wing websites like The Blaze and Brietbart News, as well as the entire alt-right spectrum, turning demagogues like Milos Yiannopoulos into celebrities.
But the bottom line for all of this media hypocrisy is money…
The newspaper business model — display advertising, classifieds and subscriptions is dead and buried. The internet business model is paywalls, interactive ads, click-throughs, and tracking you online and via your smartphone. So driving eyeballs to your website or app is critical because that’s where the money is.
That’s also why inflammatory headlines abound — even for stories unrelated to politics. We’ve all seen them at the bottom of political stories with bold headlines that read, “You won’t believe what your favorite 70’s movie star looks like now.” Or, “Man buys Russian tank off eBay and finds surprise inside.” And “You should never shop on Amazon without using this trick.” People routinely click on those just like they do the anti-Trump or anti-Socialist headlines, even though they have nothing at all to do with the content of the original piece. And each click generates money…
However, much of mainstream America has grown weary of being assaulted by this constant barrage of sensationalist negativity that tracks our every move. Except for those inside the echo chambers on both sides who take partisan talking points as gospel, and adamantly refuse to think for themselves, the mainstream media has lost the trust of the majority of Americans.
Another example of exactly how combative the mainstream media has become towards Trump, the NY Times refuses to list the book, “Killing the Deep State” by Jerome Corsi, on its Best Seller list — in spite of the fact it has outsold everything else on it. Corsi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Obama Nation, The Late Great USA, and Unfit for Command — not exactly a “deplorable.” In the book, he pulls the veil off the Deep State and the powerful agencies behind it — the FBI, CIA, DOJ, NSA, and the Federal Reserve. Yet the Times whined that as long as Trump’s picture is on the book jacket, they’ll refuse to list it. Are they really being that petty, or are they afraid people will actually buy this book and learn that Trump has been right about the Deep State all along — disproving the leftist narrative they’re so heavily invested in editorially?
On the other hand, Trump’s attacks on Amazon are viewed in some quarters as an attempt to send Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos — who also owns the Washington Post — a pointed message that the paper’s coverage of Trump and his administration is unfair and heavily biased.
Either way, the electronic mainstream media is slowly, and seemingly deliberately, going the way of the printed word. While the mainstream media’s audience isn’t dying off like print’s Baby Boomers, the media is slowly but steadily killing them off — one person at a time — as it commits “suicide by clicks.” The bottom line is that the American public is clearly repulsed by the continual and blatant barrage of liberal propaganda being shoved down its collective throat by the news, entertainment and sports media. And more to the point, doing that is driving their audiences away.
Think about it. Do you spend less time on Facebook and other social media now, than you did a year ago? Do you watch less TV news — and less sports — now than you used to? Why? Is it because you’re tired of your intelligence being insulted and your values being disrespected by the liberal opinion being blasted in your face 24/7 in every political “news” story? Or is it simply because pompous, self-righteous twits like David Hogg, and Bill Nye the Science Guy, as well as bloated loudmouths like Rosie O’Donnell, Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, and even Oprah Winfrey have become so unbelievably boring by their continual spew of tired old left-wing drivel? Meanwhile Shawn Hannity and Tucker Carlson’s audiences continue to grow.
So as the mainstream media continues to censor what you see and hear, as well as sell your personal information to anyone willing to pay, how much less time will you be spending there a year from now?
Inquiring minds want to know…
One Reply to “Suicide By Clicks”
What an indepth analysis. Thanks, Lary. I learned a few things too!