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Truth Cries Out
Walking through downtown Mesa, AZ, the Monday after the Mueller report news broke, one of the public art statues leaped out at me. A newsboy stands astride his stack of newspapers, waving a copy over his head and shouting out the news. The front page has a one-word headline, all caps and bold: “TRUTH.” What a contrast to the sordid state of our current “journalism.”
The background is littered with paint cans and construction barriers. This is part of a facade renovation for downtown Main Street. How much more does our news business need renovation?
Walking by the same spot a few hours later, the facade work was done. Yet, there was no change in the businesses behind the facade. This was no reality television business makeover, with retrained staffs and refreshed concepts.
From the evidence of the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN, the weekend intervention did not even change the facade, let alone prompt retraining or refreshing of their business concepts. And why would we expect otherwise? After all, these people are still running on the myth of Woodward and Bernstein, and Dan Rather is treated as an elder statesman.
Remember that Rather and CBS nearly succeeded in throwing the 2004 election to John Kerry. But for the intrepid efforts of a handful of independent bloggers, including members of the fledgling blog, Power Line, the election might have been thrown to Kerry.
At the beginning of the week, after Attorney General Barr released his memo summarizing his assessment of the Mueller report, the New York Times showed no signs of reform. Instead, they were busy blocking and pivoting to their next line of attack. As Paul Mirengoff noted at Power Line, there was “Less than full disclosure from the New York Times:”
Given the role of [NYT op-ed writer Bob] Bauer’s law firm in ginning up the collusion narrative, the Times should not have run an op-ed by Bauer about the Mueller investigation and where things stand in light of the collapse of the narrative that led to it. If the Times was going to run such an op-ed, it should have disclosed Bauer’s affiliation with Perkins Coie — both his leadership role as of 2016 and, arguably, the ongoing affiliation cited in the 2018 announcement (assuming it persists).
The Washington Post ran out Max Boot, who lost his mind to Trump as Garry Trudeau lost his mind to Reagan. Never mind the Mueller report, we are urged: “Let’s not lose sight of the real scandal: Trump was elected with Russia’s help.” The truth dies in Trump Derangement Syndrome.
As to CNN, Jeff Zucker felt comfortable uttering a barefaced lie, when any visitor to CNN.com could see the truth.
CNN has an entire specials section on their website called “CNN Investigates” https://t.co/WWsoTa0f9Y https://t.co/346KC0BJPK
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) March 26, 2019
But, surely NPR felt some compunction about serving the interest of a public that pays a significant chunk of their bills. All Things Considered did have on Harmeet Dhillon, committeewoman for California’s Republican National Committee, to address the aftermath of the Mueller investigation. It did not go well for NPR, indeed, as Scott Johnson of Power Line wrote:
The NPR baloney meets the grinder of a most capable advocate in this all too brief interview. You can almost hear the NPR interviewer begging “no más.” Instead she just summarily wraps it up.
Go to the link and listen to the three minute audio to hear how a powerful professional woman deals with nonsense. Harmeet Dhillon gives us the rest of the story:
I’m flattered to be compared to a meat grinder to NPR’s baloney in this blog. NPR cut 10 min. to 3 min. when I refused to honor their biased and false premises such as should @realdonaldtrump apologize to Mueller? Blowin' in the NPR wind https://t.co/OvU0uIYZr3 via @powerlineUS
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) March 25, 2019
The problem, then, is endemic. The left has completed its long march through the institutions. The New Yorker fired a fact-checker, Talia Lavin, who falsely claimed a disabled combat veteran had a Nazi tattoo, so Media Matters hired her, and now New York University has hired her as a journalism professor.
Meanwhile, “fact-checking” website Snopes, has demonstrated again the ideological corruption of this media niche. Read Scott Johnson’s account of “My Day with Snopes.” The sheer laziness of the unprofessional conduct is eye-opening.
The major media and the social media gatekeepers have openly relied upon the ill-named Southern Poverty Law Center. They have done so even in the face of multiple million dollar judgments against the SPLC for liable, falsely calling conservative individuals and groups “hate groups.” Now, a senior executive has departed in disgrace, other staff is leaving, and ugly stories are coming out about gender and racial bias within the organization.
The left ruins everything it touches, everywhere and always. Perhaps if they suffer major electoral defeat and lose more control of the courts in 2020, there will be space for real reform. For the sake of our common future, we should all work towards that end.
Perhaps then, good journalists on the left, like Matt Taibbi, will be more than voices crying in the wilderness. Perhaps then journalists will take “truth” out of scare quotes in their minds. Perhaps then we will even see news organizations start to value hard facts more than hot takes.Published in Elections
While I almost never agree with Matt Taibbi, he is one who does not play loose with the facts. One can respect his work while vociferously opposing his conclusions. Here’s another, longer piece from him; the subhead says it all: “The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it.“
(OT: Having spent decades in the NYC area, I always misread “Matt Taibbi” as “Mike Taibbi,” who was WNBC’s best local reporter.)
I hope that’s one statue that doesn’t get torn down!
The higher up you get, not so much in the media food chain — in these days of start-up internet-only portals everywhere, but in the people covering distant stories that are of national interest — the less of a desire there seems to be in either fact-checking dubious claims or just flat-out lying. So any big story coming out of Washington ends up with hundreds of progressive ‘Change the World’ types claiming to be jouralists who have no problem making shirt up, because they follow the Michael Moore credo of there being ‘higher truths’, where it’s OK to lie about the little details, like Donald Trump colluding with Putin, if you’re trying to get at the higher truth that Donald Trump is dangerous and needs to be removed from office (and Trump probably doesn’t win in 2016 if a local Phoenix TV reporter for the ABC affiliate doesn’t break the news of the Clinton-Lynch meeting at Sky Harbor. A national ABC reporter would have kept that to themselves until after the election was over).
The more local a story is, and the closer the readers/viewers are to the story and the reporters covering it, the less compulsion there is on the local media’s part to manipulate things based on ideology. You saw that local-vs.-national disconnect with the Jussie Smollett case — the Chicago-based media people were skeptical from the start and did a good job reporting on the holes in his claims, while the media out of Washington and New York that covered the story wanted to believe the MAGA hat-wearing assault story with all their heart and soul and totally bought into Smollett’s narrative (and you saw the same thing Tuesday when Foxx dropped the charges — everyone was outraged except for hacks like Brian Stelter, who truly wanted to believe this somehow might make the original MAGA story viable again and was savaged on Twitter for even posting the notion we don’t know if Jussie was telling the truth or not).
From @kozak in the Funny Political Memes group, but absolutely appropriate here …..
Shout out for downtown Mesa!
Electoral victories are fine, though as we saw from the last few cycles, often disappointing when it comes to legislation. But I don’t think they cure the problem of left wing dominance in our cultural institutions. If the right walls itself off from NPR or the NYT or Harvard or Georgetown, these places only get nuttier. In an age of cultural niches, maybe that’s inevitable.
Maybe we just see more and more fracturing as the centrifugal forces of the Internet age do their thing and allow us to form ever smaller and more homogenous groups.
If the right wants a say in the NYT, they’re gonna have get a subscription at the very least. And they’re gonna have to demand (as subscribers perhaps) some changes to the board.
The same is true of the academy. The think tanks are fine, but it’s a shame that I can spend 7 years in fine schools and be able to count the number of right of center profs.
*on my hand. Got a little quick with the comment button there…
MikeMatt Taibbi make real debate possible, as we can agree on the facts and then argue about the conclusions or policy prescriptions.
I see you have the same Matt/Mike issue as me.
The statue is a lie. It is more propaganda from the dying MSM that is trying to sell itself as being fair and truthful, when it just partisan hackery. For most of the time in our country’s history, media was partisan. For a brief period, during the ascendancy of radio and then TV, there was a window of honesty. Now things are returning to their normal partisan state. That’s fine. That’s how the bills get paid. The only problem is when they lie and say they are honest, when the are not. Journalism is dead and the MSM killed it.
I keep hoping I will wake up from this nightmare, although these times are worse than any nightmare I’ve ever experienced.
It is possible to be both partisan and fact based. See @danok1 at comment #2.
About that statute — remind me, how do you say Truth in Russian?
Pravda. However, I’m not sure we should, in cynicism, cede the ideal. It is the left that embraced postmodernism.
Paul Mirengoff has more on the NYT post-Mueller:
To both of your points, local Chicago reporting is getting the truth out, however uninterested the Acela Corridor corps may be. CWB Chicago, a blog created to get the truth out about local crime rates, got an “Exclusive: Chicago Police Department’s complete investigative file of Jussie Smollett case.” This was because the mayor, police chief, and whole police department were furious at the Crooked County deal brokered by Michelle Obama’s fixer, so they immediately responded before a crooked judge could order all records destroyed.
Chicago’s ABC affiliate is also doing real reporting: “Jussie Smollett update: FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett’s charges being dropped, sources confirm.” It is a must read, complete with screenshots from Cook County prosecutors trying to find some evidence to back up the extremely unlikely claim that defendants get the Smollett all the time.
Quotes from newspaper executive editors confirm NYT and the WaPo are entirely unrepentant after the Mueller report:
The Daily Beast reports on the ratings drop at MSNBC and the network leaders’ reaction [emphasis added]:
“We don’t report the news, we make it,” they said.
Late night talk shows, once a unifying force in America, have been entirely taken over by the humorless left. So this is hardly surprising:
No, I’m not providing the YouTube link.