It’s very troubling to me that people in my office who are on the left still think that mainstream news organizations and “fact checkers” are unbiased and reliable. When the mainstream news media or “fact checkers” are caught in a mistake, my co-workers never seem to become aware of it. They live in a bubble, consuming “news” that confirms what they already want to believe about the world.
Here’s an example where the New York Times printed smears against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and then had to issue a correction.
The New York Times was forced to correct a smear article on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after it was revealed that they excluded exculpatory evidence from their report.
“An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party,” The Times wrote in a correction. “The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”
So, they printed an entire article about an alleged assault against this female student, and the actual female student declined to be interviewed and did not recall the incident.
According to John McCormack of National Review:
“Omitting this fact from the New York Times story is one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice in recent memory.”
That’s mainstream news media, in a nutshell. In cases of fake news, the fake news story is always trumpeted on the front page. The correction gets printed days later, somewhere further back in the newspaper. If a correction is printed at all.
But what about the fact-checkers? Surely they must be more reliable about checking facts, before printing fake news, right?
What about Snopes?
Well, let’s consider Snopes, a famous fact-checker used by all the Big Tech companies to independently fact-check conservative web sites.
PolitiFact incorrectly labeled it “mostly false” that Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema “protested troops in a pink tutu” during its live fact-check of the Arizona Senate debate Monday night.
It’s an established fact that Sinema, a former Green Party activist who co-founded an anti-war group, wore a pink tutu at one of the multiple anti-war protests she attended in 2003.
Here’s their Politifact’s evaluation of McSally’s claim:
And here’s the photo of Kyrsten Sinema, protesting the troops, in a pink tutu:
The Daily Caller notes:
A 2003 Arizona State University news article at the time described Sinema wearing “something resembling a pink tutu” at one of the protests.
The mainstream media, e.g. – the New York Times, and the major fact-checkers, e.g. Snopes and Politifact, are constantly making mistakes likes this. People need to understand that the major fact-checkers are not specially-trained investigators. They’re mostly just journalists – and journalists are known to donate overwhelmingly to Democrat candidates. I’ve blogged before about peer-reviewed studies showing the far-left bias of mainstream media journalists.
I’m not saying that journalists are just a bunch of uneducated losers who ran up student loan debt while getting drunk, getting high and being promiscuous in college. I’m just saying that journalism is not engineering. Engineers are accountable to reality. They have to solve problems in reality. Journalists often have very little education in reality based fields like math, science and engineering. They often haven’t learned to think critically. They are often swayed by feelings and peer pressure. You couldn’t trust these people to do anything useful for you, like fix your car, give you anesthetic, or program a computer, etc. They don’t have reality-based skills that produce useful results. Their product is feelings – they allow a certain segment of society to persist in their feelings-based delusions. Their customers pay journalists for comfortable lies that affirm their moral superiority over their political enemies.
We need to have accurate views of the reliability of the mainstream media and the so-called fact-checkers, so we can be skeptical when we hear claims that sound far-fetched or made-up. Fake news is real, and it happens more often than you think.
The 22-month-long investigation of Trump-Russia collusion ended yesterday. By now, everyone has heard that there will be no indictments for the Trump campaign for collusion with the Russians. We don’t have the full content of the final report produced by Mueller, but we do know that there will be no additional indictments.
In this post, I want to recall for everyone who paid for the dossier, how the dossier was used to spy on members of the Trump Campaign, and then list out some of the people who pushed the (false) Trump-Russia collusion allegations the most.
Let’s start with this article from Friday night, by the Daily Caller:
CNN political analyst Gloria Borger admitted that the president is “vindicated” by the conclusion of the probe, but did so in a roundabout way, focusing on the political implications for the president’s past critiques of the Mueller team.
“So if, if as Jeffrey is saying, they get great news, the great news is, first of all, there’s no more indictments. But if suddenly the president has to say those angry Democrats who were working with Bob Mueller were actually just part of a Justice Department doing its job after he has criticized the Justice Department, then he’s now vindicated.”
CNN’s admission is important, because they’ve been caught authoring several false reports about the story:
The network, ever desperate to get the biggest scoop on the Russia probe, falsely claimed as far back as June 2016 that Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci was under investigation for alleged ties to Russia. In December 2017, CNN inaccurately said that Donald Trump Jr. had special access to Democratic documents stolen by WikiLeaks.
OK, very good. CNN certainly deserves credit for reporting on Mueller’s final report accurately, even though it falsifies their Trump-Russia collusion narrative of the past 22 months. But what about the other groups that pushed the false Trump-Russia collusion narrative? BuzzFeed, the Washington Post, the New York Times, MSNBC, etc. And what about the many unhinged Democrat politicians, including Adam Schiff and Ted Lieu. Will they spend the next 22 months undoing the damage they’ve done to the American election process? How else would you see this 22-month charade, except as a deliberate effort by Democrats in the mainstream media to discredit the Republican party before the 2020 elections?
What was the Steele dossier?
So, let’s look at an article from October 2017, published in the radically leftist Washington Post. (One of the sources that pushed the now discredited Trump-Russia dossier the hardest)
The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.
Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
Got that? Democrat Clinton and Democrat DNC hire Democrat law firm. Democrat law firm hires Democrat PR firm Fusion GPS. Democrat PR firm Fusion GPS hires Christopher Steele, who then produces the Steele dossier. The Steele dossier was then used to obtain the FISA warrant that allowed the FBI to spy on members of the Trump campaign.
Last week, Steele himself admitted that he used unverified blog posts from random users posted on a website called iReport.com – which just allowed anyone to post any article they wanted online with no journalism or fact-checking of any kind.
According to deposition transcripts released this week, Steele said last year he used a 2009 report he found on CNN’s iReport website and said he wasn’t aware that submissions to that site are posted by members of the public and are not checked for accuracy.
A web archive from July 29, 2009 shows that CNN described the site in this manner: “iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”
Steele just Googled for information and put these unchecked user-generated “stories” into the dossier. And then the dossier was used to get the FBI surveillance warrants.
And Steele knew what he was doing:
When asked about his methodology for searching for this information, Steele described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”
Steele said his dossier contained “raw intelligence” that he admitted could contain untrue or even “deliberately false information.”
Remember, the Steele dossier was the basis for the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrants against Trump. And that’s what we have been hearing about from Democrat politicians and their allies in the far-left news media for the last 22 months.
This investigation cost a huge amount of taxpayer dollars. It damaged the credibility of the Trump administration enormously. And it smeared all Republican voters, because we supposedly voted for a crooked corrupt President.
When will Hillary Clinton be investigated?
Previously, I blogged about actual collusion between Hillary Clinton and Russia, regarding the sale of uranium rights. We did not have a 22-month investigation of that. Just think how few low-information Democrat voters know about that scandal. We also did not have a 22-month investigation of Clinton’s unsecure, private e-mail server that was deliberately designed to evade the government’s legal requirements for record-keeping about government business. But the mainstream media didn’t have a thing to say about either of those investigations. Why should we trust them about anything?
So, we’ve had three stories that reported over and over in the mainstream media. The Trump-Russia collusion story, the Jussie Smollett hate crime, and the Covington kids hate crime. All three stories had doubts cast on them. So how did the media respond to the new information?
Well, everyone knows about the Trump-Russia collusion story, but that came to an end last week with this Senate Intelligence Committee report.
After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
Now the mainstream media made much of the Trump-Russia collusion charges. But did they admit their mistake after the truth came out? Not at all.
It’s been two days since NBC’s exclusive reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and as of yet none of the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have given it even a single second of coverage in their evening newscasts. Considering these networks have given the Russia probe a massive 2,202 minutes of airtime, their silence on this major development is deafening.
The mainstream media isn’t going to spend nearly as much time reporting the facts that challenge their narrative, because that would make their Democrat allies look bad.
Well, fine, but what about the Covington kids? The mainstream media believed every story about that event that made the Trump supporting kids look bad. But then video emerged that countered their narrative. Did the mainstream media correct themselves?
The liberal media took another massive blow on Wednesday after an independent investigation found that the high school students of Covington Catholic didn’t harass anyone last month at the Lincoln Memorial. Effectively proving that the liberal media reports about them were smears and lies, all three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) and principal Spanish-language networks (Telemundo and Univision) omitted the findings from their evening reports.
One of the mainstream media sources moved to the next scandal, instead:
Instead of reporting on the Covington Kids being vindicated, ABC’s World News Tonight gave more airtime to Empire star Jussie Smollett despite the continued absence of evidence he was assaulted.
So what about that alleged hate crime against Jussie Smollett? Well, Democrat politicians, Hollywood celebrities and the mainstream media spent a great deal of time blaming Trump supporters for the attack. Even though evidence was a problem from the very beginning.
A source close to the investigation confirms to CBS News the brothers told detectives Smollett paid them to participate in the alleged attack on January 29 and that they purchased the rope — which was found around Smollett’s neck — at a nearby hardware store. The source said detectives have evidence to corroborate the sale, something the men’s attorney alluded to Friday night.
[…]Police said the two men — identified as Ola and Abel Osundairo — were captured on surveillance video at the time that Smollett said he was attacked.
Ola Osundairo is connected to Smollett through the hit show “Empire” where he played a prisoner in season two.
Both brothers apparently left Chicago on the day of the alleged attack and were detained when they returned Wednesday. Chicago detectives tore through their apartment looking for clues, and an evidence log shows they found ropes, masks and bleach. They were released Friday night without charges.
And how did the mainstream media respond? Most of them responded with silence. Because this isn’t want they wanted to believe, so they didn’t report it. Tweets were being deleted by people who backed Smollett’s account (check my Twitter feed for some examples of famous Democrats deleting their tweets, without apology).
So, if you’re relying on mainstream media to tell you the truth about what’s going on in the world, then I have to ask you: why do you trust the mainstream media to report the facts?
I just wanted to post something about the reports we’re all hearing about devices that look like bombs that are being sent to a few prominent Democrats. Although the death threats to Republicans, mob violence against Republicans, and bombs sent to Republicans were not news, the mainstream media has decided that this is news, and so I must respond.
Some bomb technicians who studied photos of the device that circulated on social media suggested that the bomb sent to CNN had hallmarks of fake explosives — the kind more typically depicted on television and in movies, rather than devices capable of detonating.
A digital clock was taped to the middle of the pipe, a feature that experts say is typically shown on fictional bombs in an attempt to ratchet up dramatic tension, but unnecessary in real life.
In fact, bombmakers generally avoid attaching visible clocks to their devices to keep from tipping off their targets about when the bombs are set to explode.
That’s not stopping CNN from running wall-to-wall coverage about how real their bomb is, though.
Do you know what wasn’t news, though? The packages delivered to Republicans.
The same NYT article explains:
Earlier this month, federal authorities said they intercepted multiple packages suspected of containing the lethal substance ricin, addressed to Mr. Trump and at least two top Pentagon officials. In February, an envelope containing a white, powdery substance that investigators later determined was cornstarch was sent to the Manhattan apartment of Donald Trump Jr.’s mother-in-law.
A few observations from a former bomb disposal officer (i.e. Me):
1. Proper pipe bombs don’t have wires connected to both ends. That’s dumb.
2. You can find timers / remote control receivers WAY smaller than whatever that white box is. A proper timer would best be stored inside the pipe, making it fully encapsulated. That thing is just silly looking.
3. “Hoax Devices” are FAR more common than real ones.
4. Bottom Line: Whoever made that wanted it to be painfully obvious to anyone and everyone that it’s a “bomb.” This is nearly the same as a bundle of road flares wrapped together with an old-timey alarm clock ticking away.
I think we need to be cautious about this because we know that people on the left are prone to faking hate crimes against themselves.
We’re two weeks out of mid-terms right now, and the Democrat candidates need all the help they can get from the media. This news story definitely helps the Democrats counter the #jobsNotMobs theme of Republican candidates. That’s why I think we should be skeptical and wait for the evidence.
Just to be clear, whoever sent those packages should be found guilty of domestic terrorism, and sentenced accordingly. However, we don’t know who is responsible right now.
If someone asked you to name the most prestigious national newspapers, you might be tempted to name the Washington Post and the New York Times. Both papers enjoy wide circulation, and they both used to have a reputation for honest journalism. But lately, people have been accusing them of publishing fake news stories in order to benefit the Democrat party. What is the truth?
Well, consider this article from The Federalist about two recent news stories, one from each paper.
The Washington Post is standing by its August 29 report that the Trump administration is cracking down on potentially fraudulent passports, although it is marked by a stunning number of reporting failures, detailed most thoroughly by The Huffington Post on Monday. Reporters and editors on the story got facts wrong, misled readers, left out key data contradicting the premise of the article, and failed to reach out to the family of a deceased man accused of fraud in the story.
The initial story claimed the Trump administration is taking unprecedented action against thousands of Hispanic people living near the southern border suspected of having obtained false U.S. birth certificates. It was based largely on anecdotal evidence from immigration lawyers working in the area who said they are seeing a surge in the number of passports under scrutiny.
Within hours of its publication, a Slate reporter pointed out the practice of denying passports to people issued birth certificates from midwives suspected of fraud began under the George W. Bush administration, and continued through the Barack Obama administration. The story was corrected Aug. 31 to reflect this error. The story also asserted the Trump administration is newly targeting people delivered by a Texas doctor suspected of fraud, but HuffPo reports that practice also predates this administration.
After the State Department released numbers contradicting the story’s premise a few days after publication, editors added a new claim — that the Trump administration was newly denying passports to people living far from the border. HuffPo found this too was a practice that predates the Trump administration.
Those numbers provided by the State Department showed that not only has the rate of passport denials declined under Trump, but the number of passports under scrutiny has also declined. Editors issued a Sept. 1 correction to reflect that the rate was lower, but left out the numbers indicating the total number of passports under scrutiny is also lower.
Following these two major corrections, reporters continued to find problems with the paper’s handling of the facts and new contradictory information, particularly about the deceased doctor named in the story. The reporter did not reach out to the doctor’s family for his side of the story, although he is named as under suspicion of fraud by the government. And he was wrongly identified as a gynecologist, when he is in fact a general practitioner.
The family reached out to the paper immediately after the story was published, hoping to correct the record, but the paper ignored them for nearly two weeks, until HuffPo asked about the inquiries. Finally, the paper issued a third correction on Sept. 13 incorporating the family’s perspective.
And what about the New York Times?
On the same day Washington Post issued its third correction to this story, The New York Times published a hit on Nikki Haley that was problematic in a less complicated way, but more brazen in its disregard for the basics of reporting. The remains of this report are comically banal. It was initially a “bombshell” implying Haley should be potentially removed from her post as ambassador for needlessly lavish spending as the State Department implements budget cuts, but is now a toothless report on the Obama State Department’s years-old decision to buy pricey curtains for a new ambassador residence.
The first headline read, “Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701,” and was splashed next to a photo of Haley. Buried in the piece, however, was a line contradicting the impression the article was framed to create — “A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said.”
After initial criticism, editors moved that line up several paragraphs, but eventually rechecked the facts and overhauled the entire frame of the story. One Obama administration official said the curtains were chosen in part for security reasons.
Now, if you look at all the corrections made by the progressive mainstream media, what you’ll find is that their mistakes almost always punish the Republican party, and almost always benefit the Democrat party. No exceptions. These newspapers are allies of the Democrat party, and they know that for every 100 people who see the fake news story, only 1 person will see the correction. And this is how they sway public opinion. Fake news now, correction in a few weeks, to keep up a patina of respectability.
Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.
Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.
The most centrist outlet proved to be the “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” were a close second and third.
“Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill,” Groseclose said. “If these newscasters weren’t centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators.”
The fourth most centrist outlet was “Special Report With Brit Hume” on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.
“If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox’s ‘Special Report’ as ABC’s ‘World News’ and NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news,” said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia.”
The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture… of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).
When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.
But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data.”
Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and campaign committees in 2008, according to an analysis by The Examiner of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Democratic total of $1,020,816 was given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks, with an average contribution of $880.
By contrast, only 193 of the employees contributed to Republican candidates and campaign committees, for a total of $142,863. The average Republican contribution was $744.
[…]The data on contributions by broadcast network employees was compiled by CRP at the request of The Examiner and included all 2008 contributions by individuals who identified their employer as one of the three networks or subsidiaries. The data does not include contributions by employees of the three networks who did not identify their employer.
The CRP is the organization behind OpenSecrets.org, the web site that for more than a decade has put campaign finance data within reach of anybody with an Internet connection.
President Obama received 710 such contributions worth a total of $461,898, for an average contribution of $651 from the network employees. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain received only 39 contributions totaling $26,926, for an average donation of $709.
Those are the facts about media bias.
So when you read stories in conservative news media, such as The Federalist, Daily Caller, Daily Wire, Daily Signal, Washington Free Beacon, etc. about how the leftist mainstream media printed fake news again, and have to correct it, you understand why this is happening.