Anyone who follows my commentaries knows that I have a low regard for what is jokingly referred to as the news industry. Virtually all “news” to be found on the elitist bubble-encased east coast media is little more than biased opinions, propagandized political narratives and malicious gossip. The traditions, standards and ethical guiderails of the once honorable profession of journalism has been dragged into the gutter of mendacious partisan political spin.
Script reading anchors, prosecutorial reporters and bobblehead contributing panelists have replaced journalism with one-sided political public relations flackery. It is not new, but it has devolved into new depths of ethical depravity in the Trump era – and just when you think it could not possibly get any worse, it gets worse.
We have seen the members of the Fourth Estate spin the facts for years. We have even seen them distort the facts. We have seen them present their biased opinions as fact. Well … they now have unhinged reporting from even the appearance of fact.
I should explain.
I spend Sunday checking out the events in France, where President Trump was meeting with the G7 leaders. As is my practice, I was channel-surfing between the major – and not so major – news outlets when CNN suddenly held my interest.
They were peddling their preconceived anti-Trump narratives even as the on-screen images from France were telling a totally different story. They talked about how leaders of our allied nations were shunning Trump at a group photo session – avoiding engaging in conversation. On the screen, I saw French President Macron engaging with Trump as they were lining up for the posed photograph. Mrs. Macron greeted Trump warmly and gave the President a kiss on the cheek – which the press in the studio interpreted as solicited. Not sure how they could determine that from the camera shot.
Then there was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who Trump greeted with continental kisses on both cheeks – meaning left and right, of course. Her response was a smile. Instead of reporting the small event accurately, the folks on CNN addressed what they claim to be tension between the two heads-of-states. In fact, no matter what positive things Trump and the other six G7ers said about the meeting, CNN declared the U.S. President odd-man-out.
As the report wore on, the reporting got worse. At one point, a panelist said she had no idea why Macron injected a breakfast meeting with Trump into the schedule but never-the-less went on to explain her baseless speculations.
Since they had no idea what was going on between the G7 leaders, they decided that they had to interpret the body language and read the tea leaves. That is not MY interpretation. That is what they said. Yep. The so-called news service – that claims to be “the most trusted name in news” (despite their cellar-level ratings) — was going to undertake the most inaccurate and disgraceful means of judging a situation. They were going to interpret the body language – giving their own biased negative spin to every handshake, smile, grimace, posture and position that appeared on the screen.
It was bad enough that these pseudo-journalists self-appointed themselves as experts in the dubious “science of body language,” but they went into the occult art of tea leaf reading – a metaphor for claiming to interpret events as if life was a horoscope or crystal ball. Perhaps this new approach to news reporting should be called “assumptive journalism,” in which one only need assume a reality. When it comes to basing reports on facts – fuhgeddaboudit.
Of course, it was not only CNN. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” started off with the announcement that China had offered to come to the table for trade negotiations as Trump “crawling on his hands and knees” to beg China to end the trade war. That is not even an opinion. That is completely misrepresenting the facts.
Presumably, one watches the news to learn something. I do … and I did. I learned that a person will not learn truth, reality or anything of much value by spending your Sunday morning watching CNN or Monday morning watching MSNBC.
So, there ‘tis.