I’m sure you’re familiar with the story regarding the high school kids who were accused of raaaaacism against Native Americans, which the media ran with hard, despite the full video showing something completely different. Further, you are surely aware of the Buzzfeed hitjob on President Trump, which alleged that he told Michael Cohen to lie, despite having zero evidence. And so many more hit jobs. And we get this
“If true” journalism in the hyper-partisan mainstream media
has become an excuse for running propaganda pieces under the guise of objective early stage reporting
What we are seeing is the weaponization of speculation
It should be called out, and stopped
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) January 20, 2019
Jonathan Turley has more to say
First there was collusion. Then there was obstruction. Then there was subornation. As the Russia investigation has migrated to every new allegation, a host of experts have proclaimed conclusive grounds for the imminent prosecution and impeachment of President Trump, soon followed by calls for immediate impeachment proceedings, only to be followed by mitigating or conflicting evidence on each allegation.
The latest allegation called a “slam dunk” followed a BuzzFeed story that special counsel Robert Mueller has proof that Trump told his attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress. The same news cycle quickly began, even though the story was long on allegations and short on evidence. Then later that night, the Mueller team released a rare public statementthat proved to be the ultimate buzzkill for the breaking news: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate.”
What is most striking about this boom and bust pattern is how it is repeated with such regularity and so little scrutiny in the media. The president may well be shown to have committed criminal or impeachable acts including subornation. That, however, will require concrete evidence and the satisfaction of the elements of a specific crime. Mueller may supply such facts or he may not. It is the seeming refusal to accept the latter possibility that has increasingly distorted media coverage.
There’s much more to this piece, but it breaks down to the “weaponization of speculation.” “If true.” If you remember back, the media was running hit jobs against John McCain in 2008 using the “just wondering” method, which is pretty much in the same ballpark. They were “just wondering” if he was eligible to be president since he was born in the Panama Canal zone. The NY Times ran several of these, including after the primaries. So the Washington Post. Outlets also were speculating about whether McCain had an affair with Vicki Iseman. They had zero proof on this. None. Not a bit. But they still ran it.
And this is why the media has lost credibility and is called biased. They either need to go the route of the UK Guardian, openly being a biased big news outlet, or become reporters again.
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