By now, you most likely have seen a “report” on our President-elect’s deep ties to Russia.
I’ll leave the details of why that “report” has absolutely no merit to the professionals that undoubtedly will be repeatedly debunking it for days to come. These professionals will congratulate themselves endlessly on their ability to discern the truth in a story that shocked the nation, and eventually the media will find a fool brazen enough to defend the “report” and argue with the professionals on live TV. Billions of clicks and millions in ad revenue generated for mass media. Great ratings all around.
What the media won’t take accountability for though, is that by the time the pundits are done arguing about the report’s validity, by the time it’s been unequivocally debunked, by the time that news stations have moved on, masses will still believe in the spirit of this piece of “news”.
By posting headlines such as…
“Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him,” (CNN)
“FBI chief given dossier by John McCain alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts,” (The Guardian)
“U.S. intelligence warned Trump about Russian ‘perverted sexual acts’ blackmail, report says” (NYDailyNews)
…the media is actively seeding doubt in viewers’ minds on the integrity of our President. The “report” is borderline sedition, most certainly libel, and just about every mainstream media channel has forced it in front of their viewers.
There’s been a huge push against fake news in America lately, led in part by the same journalists and media giants that saw it fit to give the time of day to this “report”. But then they turn around and treats this report, a joke of a thing that should have warning labels plastered all over it, as if it were a scientific study or legitimate intelligence research. They hide disclaimers that the “report” is not at all substantiated by evidence within the middle of article while trumpeting it’s potential to be true in the headline. This belies the fact that anyone who writes these articles knows that he or she is just spreading pure gossip. When this story initially was made public by Buzzfeed, it was mentioned that the “report” had been available among journalists for quite some time now. There was ample time to prepare for the right way to publish this document. However, our media, in the pursuit of ratings, ad revenue, and another chance to bash our next president, chose to do everything wrong.
I remember when “reading the news” and “fact checking” weren’t two completely separate concepts. Maybe it’s nostalgia or childish naivety clouding my memory, but I’m certain that at one point in time news articles weren’t solely meant to generate as much profit as possible, but also to help the public become more informed. Media companies have a right to free speech and a right to pursue profits, but it’s really quite a shame that they’ve had to stoop to this sort of tabloid activism. Did we really have to kill the concept of journalistic integrity?