Fake Fretting About ‘Fake News’ at the New York Times

By | 2016-12-31T15:54:19+00:00 December 31st, 2016|
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Watching the New York Times report on fake news is like getting a lecture about promiscuity from a syphilitic nun.

On Christmas Day, Jeremy W. Peters penned an article for the Times that ran under the headline “Wielding Claims of ‘Fake News,’ Conservatives Take Aim at Mainstream Media.” Its upshot is that a term once reserved for confabulated clickbait has been “appropriated” by conservatives for the sake of discrediting legitimate news that threatens their interests.

“In defining ‘fake news’ so broadly and seeking to dilute its meaning, they are capitalizing on the declining credibility of all purveyors of information, one product of the country’s increasing political polarization,” Peters writes. “And conservatives, seeing an opening to undermine the mainstream media, a longtime foe, are more than happy to dig the hole deeper.”

Was it on purpose that Peters identified the mainstream media—namely, himself—as a longtime foe of conservatives? Are conservatives incorrect about that assumption? It goes unchallenged, and is thus conceded, or perhaps Peters doesn’t wish to argue the point. My question is whether the Times, in the act of reporting on the Times, realizes that the partisanship eroding the media’s credibility is nowhere more regularly practiced than at the paper itself.

Let’s recall that prior to the election, the Times set Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory at 91 percent. It had to revise its subsequent apology for its biased election coverage because its claim, now redacted, that it had “reported on both candidates fairly during the presidential campaign” was so false as to be laughable.

On December 9, the Times ran two contrasting stories back to back. One was on Dylann Roof, the man who murdered nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina in 2015. It concentrated wholly on his motives, his choices, and his actions. The other was a think piece about Labor Day weekend violence in Chicago. It concentrated entirely on the environment—the prevalence of firearms, drugs, and poverty. Sixty-four people were shot in three days and it never occurred to the Times to go ask a perp why he gunned down a victim. “In Chicago, Bodies Pile Up at Intersection of ‘Depression and Rage’” ran the headline, as if the tides of psychology had passively laid them there. The different framings were designed to encourage Progressive conclusions about the connections, or lack thereof, between race and violence.

As if anticipating such examples, the Times asks: “[W]as it ‘fake news’ to report on data models that showed Hillary Clinton with overwhelming odds of winning the presidency? Are opinion articles fake if they cherry-pick facts to draw disputable conclusions?” Enter David Mikkelson, founder of Snopes, bearing absolution. “Fake news was a term specifically about people who purposely fabricated stories for clicks and revenue. Now it includes bad reporting, slanted journalism and outright propaganda. And I think we’re doing a disservice to lump all those things together.”

Remember the attempted retroactive definition of satire as “punching up” after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, relegating other kinds of erstwhile satire to the disreputable category of “punching down”? The term “fake news” has no better of a provenance and might have had no currency in Mikkelson’s sense outside of his now-broken household. “Fake” never implied a particular kind of fakeness. It has included comedy. A Newsweek headline from 2006 about “The Daily Show” read, “Turning Fake News Into Real Careers.” Nevertheless The Times calls it “the right’s labeling” and compares it to Fox News’s self-branding as “fair and balanced.”

Good try, Gray Lady. In the effort to blame Hillary Clinton’s defeat on anything or anyone but Hillary Clinton’s campaign, “fake news” has turned into a prominent scapegoat. The transformation of the “fake news” narrative into a piece of fake news to justify Clinton’s loss is a monumental irony.

But Peters can’t even describe slant without slant. In the article, he characterizes Media Matters as “a liberal group that polices the news media for bias” while calling Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity “highly partisan conservatives [who] claim that their fact-checking efforts are the same as those of independent outlets.” If Hannity’s or Malkin’s projects have produced bogus results, Peters doesn’t say so. One might therefore conclude that they have not.

Myriad pathways lead to fakeness. There is the suppression of inconvenient evidence, such as in the Times’s expose from last year about New York City nail salons. “Not only did [reporter Sarah Maslin] Nir’s coverage broadly mischaracterize the nail salon industry, several of the men and women she spoke with say she misquoted or misrepresented them,” wrote Jim Epstein. “In some cases, she interviewed sources without translators despite their poor English skills. When her sources’ testimonies ran counter to her narrative, she omitted them altogether.”

There is the presentation of visceral blathering as the informed opinion of experts, such as when Paul Krugman predicted, shortly after midnight following the election results, that the hours-old slide in the global exchanges indicated that world markets would “never recover.” Never! A Nobel-winning economist with a sinecure at a major research university actually said this. He was proven wrong by dinnertime, yet still had a job the next morning.

There is the lying about rhetorical opponents, as appeared last week in “The Stone,” the Times’s philosophy blog, when Omri Boehm described Alan Dershowitz’s stance on Steven Bannon as the opposite of what it actually is.

Then there is the imposition of tendentious narrative upon the news. Veteran critic Michael Cieply has worked in papers all over the country, and reported for Deadline:

Most editors wanted to know, every day, before the first morning meeting: “What are you hearing? What have you got?”

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

Reality usually had a way of intervening.

Reality usually does. And if you’re perpetrating as much fakery as the Times, you end up paying the price when your longtime foes pick up your weapons and beat you with them.

About the Author:

Franklin Einspruch
Franklin Einspruch is an artist in Boston. He is a regular contributor to The New Criterion and his writings have appeared in The Federalist, Art In America, City Journal, Artcritical, and many other publications. He has been the artist in residence at programs in Italy, Greece, Taiwan, and around the United States and his work has featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He is the editor-in-chief of Delicious Line, an art publication launching in 2017.
  • jack dobson

    It was utterly predictable the Dark State-controlled Fake News would rue pushing the fake news meme as the public correctly associates the term with them.

  • tz1

    Lewis on Fake News (remember this was a half century ago) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE4oZ6F-gQM
    Meanwhile, if you want a weekly evisceration of Paul Krugman:
    http://contrakrugman.com/

  • Alpha

    The whole “fake news” concept is itself fake – an attempt to attack any source of info other than the mainstream media – all the while ignoring the obviously biased, spurious and false claims of said mainstream media.
    But in a larger sense this is good. As long as the left, the Democrats are unable to face the real causes of their failure and instead focus on erroneous sources for the purpose of not having to take responsibility for bad decisions, they will continue to fail. Having lost the Presidency, House, Senate, 2/3 of the states and having a geriatric leadership and no rising talent, the longer they focus on their false narrative the further their slide progresses – which is good for America. Let the Democrats focus on the false fake news and other delusions while Trump ignites a boom by tax reform, deregulation, repatriation of trapped overseas funds, and energy independence; Let them focus on fake issues while Trump builds the court system into a Constitutionalist conclave again, Let them focus on fake issues while Trump cuts the heart out of their identity politics system by controlling the borders and enforcing immigration law while winning over the minorities who do not want an ersatz life on the welfare plantation and want a real life of work, self-determination, responsibility and achievement. Let them focus on political correctness while Trump annihilates them at the local, state, Congressional and legal level and along the way changes Title IX and similar laws that allowed the left to turn Academia into Hitler Youth Camps for Social Justice Warriors. At the end of this the Democratic party will go the way of the Federalist Party and the Whigs and America will be the better for it.

    • Pat Wood

      Progressivism is a lie to begin with.
      It’s just a transitional stage between freedom and socialism.

      • Alpha

        Agreed. At its root, when one example after another (USSR, Mao’s China, N Korea, Cuba, Eastern Block) showed over and over that Marxism could not deliver the goods economically, Marxism was a failed economic theory and system definitively, disgraced. This was a problem for the Marxists since the enactment of Marxist principles justified unlimited state expropriation of the wealth produced by individuals which led to great power and wealth for the Marxists in control. Soooooo they RE-BRANDED Marxism as progressivism. The retained the same expropriative Marxist economics but coupled it to issues they could sell to ignorant, mainly young and inexperienced poorly educated and gullible people – environmentalism (government should control the economy to prevent the evil capitalists from destroying the environment – neglecting the fact that it was the Marxist nations who were the worst environmentally) and tribalism/Identity Politics (blame the failures of people on the fact that they were not white males advantaged by “White Privilege”, and various other rationales (acceptance of the wanton murder of the unborn etc). This Re-Branded Marxism is modern Progressivism, a haven for those too gullible to know better promulgated both by people seeking popularity by virtue-signaling and those who actually understand the Marxist roots and use Progressivism as a means of getting power and wealth under their control.

      • Deplorable Me

        Progessivism is communism and socialism is the transitional stage.

  • ricocat1

    When has the New York Times ever done honest political reporting? The NYT simply want the main stream media monopoly on “Fake News” restored.

    • Wyrdless

      In 1996 they were pretty good

    • indi2

      I largely agree with your comments. But we should still give NYT credit for exposing Hillary private email scandal, which eventually doomed her candidacy.

      • Joe_Mahon

        Heard their source was Jarrett.

  • OBUMYA

    Let the Progs search for fake news.
    Trump will search for more voters…and watch how the percentage of black, Hispanic and college educated women go for him in 2020…
    In 202, NYT will be leasing its printing presses for promotional sheets printed by strip clubs…

    • indi2

      It is always good to have some balancing force. Extreme right, or left, is not good. The collapse of the left this time is due to the complacency of the liberal extremists, their left ideologies and policies. It is a corruption. It can happen to the right too, if left unchecked.

      • Pat Wood

        It happened when Bush didn’t fight back against scurrilous charges by the Left after he won re-election in 2004. It lead to O’BoBo Buckwheat.
        Never again.

  • If Trump does nothing else besides forever ruin the establishment media’s credibility in the eyes of the public, then he’ll have rendered this nation an invaluable service.

    • Mungo Park

      Why give him credit for something the so-called news fakers (biasers, liars, propagandists) seem to be able to do themselves?

      • Joe_Mahon

        Under Obama, they seemed so “unable…”

    • Pat Wood

      Amen.

    • jack dobson

      Mission accomplished, then.

  • The Dead Rabbits

    Wow! Nice piece! Sharp, punchy, interesting, relevant. The part about the NYT ‘narrative’ at the end is fascinating. Cheers!

  • Attila

    Fake news like “Anthropogenic Global Warming”.

    • Pat Wood

      Now that Hillary was kicked to the curb by America……….we don’t hear much about AGW nonsense.
      For that I am relieved.
      Looks like Trump already fixed Global Warming.

  • Jim

    This is fake news

    • JimBob777

      Sez the fake human.

      • Joe_Mahon

        Sez the suspected human hiding behind his alias:-))

  • Kudos to Franklin Einspruch for a well-written work.

  • indi2

    We have a fake news industry on the left setting a fake standard and claiming that it is the truth teller.

  • [email protected]

    I’m not worried about the fake news as much as I’m worried about the fake President we’ve had the last 8 years.

  • John F Galt

    “Reality usually had a way of intervening” . Nice one. Like saying: Karma is a 8itch!

    Does anyone even read the NYT? I mean, seriousIy? Bet it would go out of business before Trump’s first term ends. Those 8itches give the rest of the crooked a media bad name.

    • indi2

      You would be surprised that many are stilling reading NYT and it has become the mourning center of the left as well as the left propaganda headquarter. Just read the reader comments after the articles and you will find it still has lots of following. The liberal moment is far from over.

      • William Mitchell

        indi2, just a word in response to your comment about NYT reader comments. You are correct- NYT still has a significant following. IMHO it’s mostly people who already agree w/ them. They have little influence outside of their circle of like-thinkers.

        But to repeat myself (see my post above), NYT censors readers’ comments aggressively when they don’t agree w/ NYT narratives. And most especially when they are critical of the NYT.

        I should say, NYT is the only major newspaper I’m aware of that follows this practice. WaPo, for example, doesn’t do anything remotely like it.

        You probably know that, but just want to make it clear to others that agreement with the NYT as manifested in reader comments may indicate a lot of followers, but absolutely does not mean that most commenters agree with them.

        • indi2

          I agree. I found that a long time ago that they screen out those opposing opinions. But they still have plenty of readers.

      • MaroonVee

        I’ve tried to comment, and rarely will they publish any of my comments. If it isn’t in line with the opinion, it isn’t published.

    • Matthew_Snow

      People who don’t read what they criticize remind me on a Lenin characterization that has been applied to Trump. At least don’t be so eager to tout your lack of thinking for yourself.

      • William Mitchell

        Can’t speak for everyone else, but I’ve read them plenty. And have submitted comments critiquing their agitprop, which 90% of the time are censored. I have a collection of such comments to prove it.

        But you’re right. As time goes on, I read them less and less. I know you’ll disagree, but I attribute that the NYT becoming less and less relevant.

        The author of this piece is spot on. It’s not conservative critics, but the NYT itself which has so utterly destroyed its own credibility. And without credibility, they’re nothing.

        • Matthew_Snow

          You may disagree and dismiss their credibility largely because of that. But the article was about fake news. Using a recognizable definition of fake (known to be untrue) it’s not even an argument. Born in Kenya? 3 million illegals voting? And on and on.

          • William Mitchell

            You’re right again. You and I disagree on the very definition of fake news.

            Within the last few days, the NYT ran a story claiming that the idea of widespread voter fraud was unfounded. They wrote a lot of words, but basically, they based their “conclusions” on the fact that they contacted voting officials in several states, and all reported at most only minor voting discrepancies.

            Going by memory, I don’t think NYT even allowed an opportunity for comments from someone like me, who would have pointed out the obvious- in most cases. the officials they contacted are motivated NOT to find voter fraud, much less report it. Them saying they didn’t find much DOESN’T PROVE ANYTHING. Does it? Really?

            NYT wrote detailed narratives on no evidence of voter fraud on something like a dozen cities. Interestingly, Detroit wasn’t included. We have Jill Stein’s vote recount to thank for the discovery that Detroit voting machines in multiple precincts tabulated more votes that voters who signed the voting logs. It’s possible I missed it, but I’ve been looking for reporting of an explanation, and just haven’t seen it. Have you? In any case, NYT decided to.. what?… just not bother to mention it. In a lengthy story about voting fraud.

            So, the NYT publishing a piece “informing” the public that voter fraud in the recent election was scant, and basing it all on evidence so flimsy it wouldn’t fool a twelve year old is, to me, fake news.To you, solid reporting I suppose.

            We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

          • Matthew_Snow

            Regarding Detroit, it’s easy to inform yourself on this. first this is being investigated by the state, which by the way is run by a Republican. If anything turns up, we’ll know.. it would be big and real news (Also the the mostly Republican election boards in NC didn’t turn anything up.)

            Second, it wasn’t ‘more votes’ it was a different number, sometimes more, sometimes less. And in about 80% of the precincts the difference was less than 5 votes. Two possible explanations I’ve read, human error, minor issues (small fraction of a percent ) of scanner issues.

            Given that you had no idea of any of this, it looks like you are more interested in confirming what you already think. The fact hat unsubstantiated rumors were not breathlessly reported by the NYT means they report news, that’s it.

          • cken

            Just curious, do you know of any definitive proof that Obama was not born in Kenya. I have yet to see proof for either side of that argument.

          • Matthew_Snow

            His birth certificate and contemporaneous birth announcement in the newspaper. Can’t get much more definitive than that.

    • Greg Kells

      I read it, but not because I believe their brand of “journalism” is worthwhile. I read it because it is the only way to know what the alt-left is being told to think. If you only seek out information that reinforces your own beliefs, you can never hope to get the benefit of an objective perspective. You won’t get it from NYT, or WaPo, just like you won’t get it from Fox or Breitbart, but if you want to know what the low info fringes of both sides are being instructed to believe, you kinda need to check their sources occassionally.

      • Pat Wood

        Fair point.

  • Truth

    Mainstream media is dead because they STILL fail to understand what their mission is and what it isn’t.

    What it is is to report on what their readers want to know about.

    What it is not is to report on what THEY think is important.

    Listening to the heads of the MSM explain where they think they went wrong puts this into clear focus. They simply do not understand what their readership wants. Instead, they blather on in their echo chamber about what they think their readers want, and they make no attempt to find out if their beliefs are true!

    That’s how the MSM completely whiffed on the biggest political story since probably the Civil War: they were totally out of touch with what their readers were thinking – the first domino of their job! They STILL fail to realize that until they understand their readers, they cannot do their job properly. Know your customer! That’s job one. And they BLEW IT. Worse yet, they’re still so stuck in their echo chamber, they continue to fail to understand this!

  • Human

    What? Did Russian hackers write all those climate-change polar-bear-starving no-ice-in-arctic pee-in-the-shower-to-save-the-planet Hillary-yoga-email transgender-bathroom fake-news stories?

  • Joe_NS

    Deep within the dimly lit little muscles that serve as brains for Democrats—including the very dimmest of the dim, BO—an ember of bovine hope glows: Trump–Russia, Trump–Russia, Trump–Russia . . . .

    It’s true that Democrats could not explain exactly what that means were guns held to their least vulnerable appendages; yet they know that it has something to do with an election in which the DNC was phished, not “hacked,” with all the technical wizardry one expects to find in a high-school computer club (the KGB, it’s now clear, was not needed to dupe the likes of John Pedestal and Debbie Wasserman Schultz). Instead, like rats sniffing garbage, a repudiation of the horrifying results of the 2016 election must, they think, be in there with Trump–Russia.

    Somewhere.

    It just has to be.

    Because the Democrats from BO on down to the barrel’s bottom (a very modest step, mind you) just know that they were not defeated, no sir, not if you turn the lights down low and squint.

    So the media have received their marching orders and are in the process of moving to the right of the John Birch Society when it comes to matters Russian. Everything in the news must, as from now, be about perfidious “Russia”! Russia, Russia, Russia. Or Putin, Putin, Putin, towards whom BO was for eight solid years as engaged as a man in an iron lung at a pole-vault competition can be.

    Putin and Russia, I say, are now irremovably at the center of the media universe. Trump–Russia, Trump–Russia, Trump–Russia. Putin–Russia–Trump. All Putin–Russia–Trump all the time! While BO intentionally mutilates United States policy as and when he may in order to fumigate a cadaverous legacy and boost the Democratic Party’s rancid 2018 election prospects.

    Trump should know—and I hope he does—that in the current media landscape, a Republican president cannot back down on anything he says, ever, or else the hyenas will be out baying for more blood. Nor should he retreat. We have seen the media pile on again and again in the past.

    It’s astonishing, but the media reptiles still haven’t figured this out: Their protests at Trump’s alleged intransigence towards them or his Russia policy or whatever are exercises in stroke-inducing futility. Accommodating Democratic Party sycophants/surrogates at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC is about as advisable as petting a cobra or swapping spit with sewer rats. On the other hand, kicking them and their boilerplate, leftwing opinion-mongering squarely in the teeth—before kicking them again still harder—will mainly earn him applause.

    The media have worked like coolies for decades to position themselves as “completely not believable.” They did it with devotion and malice aforethought. Guess what? It worked! The fools have essentially castrated themselves yet are still outraged that no matter what their criticism of Donald Trump is, even when accurate, most people, Democrats and Republicans alike, correctly judging that the media are first and foremost propagandists and not journalists, consider their outrage to be playacting. So who cares? The media’s self-pitying attempts to “straighten out” the public’s understanding of Donald Trump are met with either derision or yawns. It’s a fix they’re in, no denying it, but also one they put themselves into with eyes wide shut.

    • William Mitchell

      Well said.

    • Pat Wood

      “the DNC was phished, not “hacked,” with all the technical wizardry one expects to find in a high-school computer club (the KGB, it’s now clear, was not needed to dupe the likes of John Pedestal and Debbie Wasserman Schultz).”
      Brilliance.

    • Pat Wood

      John Brennan was phished in 2009, while he was between intelligence service jobs. Some kids from New Jersey who called themselves “Crackas With Attitude” copied the Verizon backscreen, manipulated it, and sent it to Brennan.
      He fell for it.
      Incidentally, all his emails wound up on Wikileaks.
      Just like Podesta’s.
      Sound familiar?

  • Matthew_Snow

    So the fake news in question at the Times is: an opinion columnist, reliance on polls, a focus on inner city problems as a cause of violence, and some quotes from a theatre critic? I think that this article proves the Times point in spades.

    • Severn

      Indeed, I think it’s safe to say that the ‘news’paper which employed Walter Duranty and Jason Blair is an expert on “fake news”.

      The NYT has the same relationship to real news as does the National Enquirer.

      • Matthew_Snow

        Durante was 80 years ago. Blair is a good example. Clearly a fail at the Times, but he was fired and corrected. The rights modus operandi is to pick up easily disproven ‘stories’ with the excuse of ‘it was news already’. That’s not even the same business much less comparable.

  • Aces Up in Reno

    Great article!
    I now see Hillary as the “Fake News Poster Girl.”

  • Odkin

    Conservatives shouldn’t dismiss the NYT’s influence just because print is dying and they’re losing money. Like the AP, the NYT and its’ “narratives” supply the roadmap to the writers and producers of every other MSM paper, magazine, news show, and propaganda shows from the HBO and Comedy Central newsclowns. Their biases and lies of omission spread through the culture like fungus.

  • alfredjlemire

    Mr. Einspruch quoted a Jeremy Peters sentence: “And conservatives, seeing an opening to undermine the mainstream media, a longtime foe, are more than happy to dig the hole deeper.” “Conservatives” is the subject of the sentence. Peters writes of an “opening” he sees. What follows cannot describe a view of the mainstream media, but of conservatives. So “longtime foe” refers to conservatives’ attitudes towards the mainstream media, not the mainstream media’s attitudes towards conservatives.

    That’s an understandable error, since, in fact, many journalists do see conservatives as their “longtime foe.” Blindness of journalists to their many defects leads to their enormous difficulty in writing truthfully or fairly on political and cultural issues. They zealously propagandize and advocate leftist positions on politics and culture, as Peters did on “fake news.”

    Peters claimed that conservatives are using “the expression “fake news” “for the sake of discrediting legitimate news that threatens their interests.” The Peters article provided zero support for the claim of the expression being used to discredit “legitimate news that threatens their interests.” He has a point about “fake news” being wrongly used. I keep a roster of Associated Press stories that veer into propaganda and advocacy. I have divided them into 146 different categories. Most AP staffers and their editors are warriors for the left. Articles after Hillary Clinton testified before the House’s Benghazi Select Committee on Benghazi were characteristic. The hearing’s transcript showed 22,438 words had been spoken before Rep. Jim Jordan nailed Ms. Clinton on what she said publicly about what instigated the attack on the Benghazi compound and what she told foreign officials and her daughter.

    The AP report: “Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, revived questions about the administration’s shifting accounts of what happened at the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi and nearby CIA compound, arguing that the White House was eager to avoid political damage from a terror attack less than two months before President Barack Obama faced re-election.

    “I’m sorry it doesn’t fit your narrative, congressman,” Clinton said in response. “I can only tell you what the facts are.”

    Readers of the AP article would never know that the AP had failed to relate the differing accounts of Ms. Clinton on why the attack on the compound happened. And that was key to questioning the integrity of Ms. Clinton and the Associated Press. Clinton “avoided any major gaffes,” and presented a “competent performance,” her faithful AP supporters wrote.

    Press partisanship and failure to report fairly bothers at least this conservative. As with just about every journalist on the left, Mr. Peters cannot acknowledge that criticisms of the mainstream media from the right can be justified. It’s not about conservatives’ “feelings,” or “opinions,” it’s about the mainstream press taking such obvious sides on political and cultural issues and developments, and often, misrepresenting what people on the right, conservatives and libertarians, believe and support.

    Articles like that of Mr. Peters have the credibility of articles in Volkischer Beobachter in Hitler’s time, or Pravda and Izvestia when Stalin ruled. Peters has a political cudgel to wield, and he will wield it. He and many other journalists depart from objectivity in reporting and fairness and enlightenment in analysis.

    We have had eight interesting years in which Barack Obama could do just about anything in office and cause nary a questioning peep from his adulatory press. We will now have at least four years in which whatever Donald Trump will do will elicit shrieks of journalistic protest. He’s demagogic! Wasn’t Obama? He lies. Didn’t Obama? He is ignorant. Wasn’t Obama? And so forth. In an alternate world, the mainstream press would display more diversity in beliefs, values, and principles. The mainstream media that burdens this country has next to no diversity. America and its voters lose because of unreformed news media.

  • alfredjlemire

    Mr. Einspruch quoted a Jeremy Peters sentence: “And conservatives, seeing an opening to undermine the mainstream media, a longtime foe, are more than happy to dig the hole deeper.” “Conservatives” is the subject of the sentence. Peters writes of an “opening” he sees. What follows cannot describe a view of the mainstream media, but of conservatives. So “longtime foe” refers to conservatives’ attitudes towards the mainstream media, not the mainstream media’s attitudes towards conservatives.

    That’s an understandable error, since, in fact, many journalists do see conservatives as their “longtime foe.” Blindness of journalists to their many defects leads to their enormous difficulty in writing truthfully or fairly on political and cultural issues. They zealously propagandize and advocate leftist positions on politics and culture, as Peters did on “fake news.”

    Peters claimed that conservatives are using “the expression “fake news” “for the sake of discrediting legitimate news that threatens their interests.” The Peters article provided zero support for the claim of the expression being used to discredit “legitimate news that threatens their interests.” He has a point about “fake news” being wrongly used, but that does not justify his false claim about the criticism dealing with “legitimate news that threatens their interests.” The “legitimate” news is often hopelessly biased.

    I keep a roster of Associated Press stories that veer into propaganda and advocacy. I have divided them into 146 different categories. Most AP staffers and their editors are warriors for the left. I have room here for one example, of hundreds. Articles after Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House’s Benghazi Select Committee on Benghazi were characteristic. The hearing’s transcript showed 22,438 words had been spoken before Rep. Jim Jordan nailed Ms. Clinton on what she said publicly about what instigated the attack on the Benghazi compound and what she told foreign officials and her daughter.

    The AP report: “Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, revived questions about the administration’s shifting accounts of what happened at the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi and nearby CIA compound, arguing that the White House was eager to avoid political damage from a terror attack less than two months before President Barack Obama faced re-election.

    “I’m sorry it doesn’t fit your narrative, congressman,” Clinton said in response. “I can only tell you what the facts are.”

    Readers of the AP article would never know that the AP had failed to relate the differing accounts of Ms. Clinton on why the attack on the compound happened. That interchange and the AP’s report of it were key to questioning the integrity of Ms. Clinton and the Associated Press. Clinton “avoided any major gaffes,” and presented a “competent performance,” her faithful AP supporters wrote. But she had no answer for what Rep. Jordan revealed.

    Press partisanship and failure to report fairly bothers at least this conservative. As with just about every journalist on the left, Mr. Peters cannot acknowledge that criticisms of the mainstream media from the right can be justified. It’s not about conservatives’ “feelings,” or “opinions,” it’s about the mainstream press taking such obvious sides on political and cultural issues and developments, and often, misrepresenting what people on the right, conservatives and libertarians, believe and support.

    Articles like that of Mr. Peters have the credibility of articles in Volkischer Beobachter in Hitler’s time, or Pravda and Izvestia when Stalin ruled. He has a political cudgel to wield, and he will wield it. He and many other journalists depart from objectivity in reporting and fairness and enlightenment in analysis.

    We have had eight interesting years in which Barack Obama could do just about anything in office and cause nary a questioning peep from his adulatory press. We will now have at least four years in which whatever Donald Trump will do will elicit shrieks of journalistic protest. He’s demagogic! Wasn’t Obama? He lies. Didn’t Obama? He is ignorant. Wasn’t Obama? And so forth. In an alternate world, the mainstream press would display more diversity in beliefs, values, and principles. The mainstream media that burdens this country has next to diversity in the outlook of journalists on America and our nature as human beings.. America and its voters lose because of unreformed news media.

  • alfredjlemire

    Mr. Einspruch quoted a Jeremy Peters sentence: “And conservatives, seeing an opening to undermine the mainstream media, a longtime foe, are more than happy to dig the hole deeper.” “Conservatives” is the subject of the sentence. Peters writes of an “opening” he sees. What follows cannot describe a view of the mainstream media, but of conservatives. So “longtime foe” refers to conservatives’ attitudes towards the mainstream media, not the mainstream media’s attitudes towards conservatives.

    That’s an understandable error, since, in fact, many journalists do see conservatives as their “longtime foe.” Blindness of journalists to their many defects leads to their enormous difficulty in writing truthfully or fairly on political and cultural issues. They zealously propagandize and advocate leftist positions on politics and culture, as Peters did on “fake news.”

    Peters claimed that conservatives are using “the expression “fake news” “for the sake of discrediting legitimate news that threatens their interests.” The Peters article provided zero support for the claim of the expression being used to discredit “legitimate news that threatens their interests.” He has a point about “fake news” being wrongly used, but that does not justify his false claim about the criticism dealing with “legitimate news that threatens their interests.” The “legitimate” news is often hopelessly biased.

    I keep a roster of Associated Press stories that veer into propaganda and advocacy. I have divided them into 146 different categories. Most AP staffers and their editors are warriors for the left. I have room here for one example, of hundreds. Articles after Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House’s Benghazi Select Committee on Benghazi were characteristic. The hearing’s transcript showed 22,438 words had been spoken before Rep. Jim Jordan nailed Ms. Clinton on what she said publicly about what instigated the attack on the Benghazi compound and what she told foreign officials and her daughter.

    The AP report: “Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, revived questions about the administration’s shifting accounts of what happened at the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi and nearby CIA compound, arguing that the White House was eager to avoid political damage from a terror attack less than two months before President Barack Obama faced re-election.

    “I’m sorry it doesn’t fit your narrative, congressman,” Clinton said in response. “I can only tell you what the facts are.”

    Readers of the AP article would never know that the AP had failed to relate the differing accounts of Ms. Clinton on why the attack on the compound happened. That interchange and the AP’s report of it were key to questioning the integrity of Ms. Clinton and the Associated Press. Clinton “avoided any major gaffes,” and presented a “competent performance,” her faithful AP supporters wrote. But she had no answer for what Rep. Jordan revealed.

    Press partisanship and failure to report fairly bothers at least this conservative. As with just about every journalist on the left, Mr. Peters cannot acknowledge that criticisms of the mainstream media from the right can be justified. It’s not about conservatives’ “feelings,” or “opinions,” it’s about the mainstream press taking such obvious sides on political and cultural issues and developments, and often, misrepresenting what people on the right, conservatives and libertarians, believe and support.

    Articles like that of Mr. Peters have the credibility of articles in Volkischer Beobachter in Hitler’s time, or Pravda and Izvestia when Stalin ruled. He has a political cudgel to wield, and he will wield it. He and many other journalists depart from objectivity in reporting and fairness and enlightenment in analysis.

    We have had eight interesting years in which Barack Obama could do just about anything in office and cause nary a questioning peep from his adulatory press. We will now have at least four years in which whatever Donald Trump will do will elicit shrieks of journalistic protest. He’s demagogic! Wasn’t Obama? He lies. Didn’t Obama? He is ignorant. Wasn’t Obama? And so forth. In an alternate world, the mainstream press displays little diversity in beliefs, values, and principles. So articles get written that many conservatives consider to be hopelessly unfair or untrue. America and its voters lose because of that.

  • cken

    From the Krugman articles I have read, I would say he is a major source of fake news. But then economists are usually more wrong than right when it comes to predicting the financial future.

  • Pat Wood

    Fake York Times is horrible.
    Only ignorant useless tools would bother reading that trash.
    It’s been the media equivalent of rotten sewage for 20 yrs. now.

  • smallbusinessrocks

    OK, many conservatives believe the following about the 2016 Democrats, and
    the 2012 Democrats, and all the way back to the start in the 1992 “interest
    group” startup:

    a) since Bill Clinton came in in 1992, and proceeding into the Bush
    Presidency and the Obama Presidency, there is a core group of wealthy
    non-Hispanic, non-African American, non-single-women, non-global-warming
    aristocrats, elites, who form the core of the Democratic party, and make pretty
    much all decisions before elections, and direct spending the money after the
    election – you know, the rich foundations from one hundred years ago, the new
    billionaires who are busy gathering support for their business models, the
    playful business leaders who are making millions from Washington friends, the
    college professors who are dependent on continued government funding, the
    lobbyists who need certainty, etc

    b) these aristocrats will bring in any “identity group” who will
    vote with them – and the elitist aristocrats promptly set up a demonized strong
    man on the other side of that “identity group”, ie someone that
    selected “identity group” can agree to hate – the Democrat current
    straw man is the non-Hispanic, non-African-American – doesn’t matter these
    straw people came from a million different backgrounds and countries, let’s
    just lump them in with the “w” word.

    c) these elite aristocrats control the media other than Fox New and One
    America – 90% of journalists are liberal Democrats, is there any doubt? – hey,
    I would be too if that was the only way I got paid. BTW, the Wall Street
    Journal gets a pass – they actually try to give fair and impartial reports – I
    keep waiting for the other shoe to fall, but so far, the editor has been
    strong.

    d) the “identity groups” targeted are: Hispanics (33% voted for Trump),
    African-American (88% Hillary, 8% Trump), single non-Hispanic, non-African
    American women (still positive for Democrat, but much lower than in 2008 and
    2012), and climate-change-huggers (no statistics available)

    e) representatives of each “identity group” make plenty of
    statements leading up to the election, beating up on their selected strong man
    demon – the purpose is to get out their own vote, not to have any effect on the
    Americans who belong to the demonized group

  • smallbusinessrocks

    Fake News is the basis of the Democratic elites since 1992.

    The comments below are directed to the elites, the aristocrats, the ones the
    AP article is talking about as the “Democrat voices speaking” after November 9,
    2016. We have hope for folks in the “identity groups”. Maybe the deafening silence
    after November 9th from the Hispanic identity group, and the
    African American identity group, and the “non-Hispanic non-African American,
    women identity group” is saying something. We can always hope for change, beg
    for change, beg for togetherness from the members of these “identity groups”,
    we can hope for these groups to choose different leaders, maybe create a new
    party, one not built on hate. But this offer is not extended to the aristocrats,
    the elitists.

    You elites, aristocrats, Democrats set up “identity groups”, and then set up
    straw men for these groups to hate. This is typical gang behavior, getting new
    recruits to stay together by hating someone else, and at the same time making
    the new recruits fear to think independently. OK, let’s label this
    “identity group” recruiting behavior as: i) racist, ii) un-American,
    and iii) totalitarian.

    W” word

    “W” word

    “W” word

    Sounds ugly, doesn’t it? Saying non-Hispanic, non-African-American just doesn’t
    have the same ring to it, hard to see a straw man for “identity groups” to hate
    with this long name. Much better to use the W-word.

    Fake News: One more thing: forget facts, you elite aristocrats will make your own truth, and spout it out
    while suppressing others as “deplorables” and “deniers”,
    because you are the elite, the aristocrats, the ones who know, the true master race.
    You have had twenty four uninterrupted years to form your group. You graduated
    from Harvard – Harvard gave grades of A minus, A, and A+ – no Bs, no Cs, no
    fails – maybe this is why some people feel omnipotent, totally narcissistic? You
    are the journalists (90% Democratic), who know better than the people, and who
    can ignore facts while creating our own narratives on current affairs, a
    totally changed story from what really happened. Your “settled science”, for
    which you are paid huge government Obama dollars, is such that you will not
    accept the view that CO2 is indeed a positive force in our environment – CASH,
    CASH, CASH. Did I say EPA, NOAA, and lots of Democratic-sponsored “science”
    organizations? There is not a single hypothesis test here at all. Millions of Monte Carlo
    simulations don’t mean a thing if the assumptions created for the model don’t
    make long-term sense, and are refuted by prior histories. GIGO – look it up.

    So what has happened since November 9, what Democratic voices are
    speaking?

    There were a few paid “riots”, where young Democrats were bused in
    to put on a show, paid by the elites.

    There is TOTAL SILENCE from: i) grass-root Hispanics, ii) grass-root African Americans, iii)
    single women who are non-Hispanic and non-African American. Are we missing
    something, or is the silence deafening? Where is the support, the “we will
    be there next time” talk that Republicans came forth with in 2008 and 2012?
    What happened among the “identity groups”?

    The only reports we see are those from the Democrat elites, the aristocrats,
    the totalitarians, and their media. We do see Obama running around like a
    headless chicken, sign more executive orders than in history, and encouraging
    “civil disobedience” from his minions in various government agencies, such as
    EPA, CIA, Commerce, and others, each of which has refused to provide the
    bipartisan House Committee (ie the people from the States elected to Congress,
    aka “We, the People”) with reports requested. The Founding Fathers feared this
    control from the Executive Branch, which is why the States forced the Federal
    government to pass the Bill of Rights before the States would ratify the
    proposed Constitution. Obama has killed this notion, and desperate measures
    will be required to fix the Federal agencies.

  • smallbusinessrocks

    John Podesta used “password” as his password? Or is this more fake news? If he did use “password”, any six year old could have hacked his email. Or any Bernie supporter.

    Hey, let’s turn this into fake news that the Russians hacked us – why, because a lot of “identify group” followers in the Democrats would ridicule: a) a DNC executive who used such an easy-to-hack password (I mean, the only worse thing is to use your birthday, or your birthday backwards), b) another DNC leader who put all her emails on a private (read “easily-hackable”” server (I mean, why not pass up the security systems the DNC used, I want to be me?).

    You can’t fix stupid. Who said that?

    Donna Brazile, Paul Krugman, John Podesta, and Hillary Clinton. Well, let’s add in Barack Obama. Aristocrats and elitists of fake news. Where will they be in two years? Four years? Spewing it out, make no mistake.

    Let’s get real on America Greatness – jobs by small business are the American Dream.

    Small business growth means more individuals are working hours, providing services to non-government. More individuals working in small business leads to signs of economic upticks. Economic upticks leads to consumer confidence upticks, which the leads to big business expanding investments, which then leads to more big business jobs.

    We need small business, non-government jobs for individuals, in rural and small town America. We need rejuvenation in large cities. Each individual needs to wear two hats: 1) to give work to people in the local community (so that local dollars stay local, and don’t go to China or get outsourced to other countries – yep, make your expenditures TO local small businesses, not big business, because dollars spent on big business do not stay local, or even stay in America, and 2) get work from other individuals in your community – get off your duff, head out to local centers of job opportunities for small business.

  • Cliff Fiscal

    The only Poll that got it right? LA Times. The worst offender? Real Clear Politics (NOT). I have never witnessed such outright lies in Polling.Now they pretend their opinion means anything?
    Only a promise to terminate the offending Employees and re-ramp their Publications will do.
    The Public is already sick of liberal causes,issues,and slanted news.They no longer want to pay for it.

  • Rob

    You used to have integrity, Franklin. Used to.

  • Brian