Thursday, 12 January 2017

Fake News and the bias Mass Media

In the aftermath of Trump’s presidential election, Brexit and other historical democratic decisions made in 2017, the losing factions have attributed their demises to fake news, cyber hacking and WikiLeaks, however very little has been said about the role played by the liberal mass media and post-truth, in the determination of these results.

For quite some time, but more importantly during the past sixteen years, the mass media has become more liberal and less objective in its publication of news. It is not a phenomenon attributable to the U.S alone but is prevalent in all western democratic countries. During the Bush Presidency and the Harper government there was very little positive reporting by the media. In contrast the adulation for Obama was shown in every report even when he really screwed up, or used his autocratic executive orders to bypass Congress. During those years, seemingly to promote a liberal agenda, the media chose to use post truth as their favorite reporting tool. They cherry picked how and what they would report and as per the Oxford Dictionary’s definition they publish news :”Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. For example the media embraced the “hands up don’t shoot ‘claim which became a rally cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. In the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases, the pictures published by the media showed them as young boys instead of their true adolescent self to garner more sympathy. On the war on terror, the narrative is always about self-radicalization, or mental health ignoring that the world faces a real threat by radical Islamist terrorists.

The narrative was that the Clinton e-mail fiasco was pure lies created by either the Russians or WikiLeaks, forgetting that none of the published e-mails were found to be false or denied by their authors. The Benghazi debacle was rarely portrayed in the media as a security failure and a lie about a ‘video’. In effect the Obama administration and Clinton were always given a pass on their failures. As Obama makes his delusional farewell speech, the media will continue to believe in his failed hope and change promises, and agree with him that America is better off today than eight years ago. Hopefully, history will be the judge, not the liberal media.

Closer to home, Harper was always portrayed as a dictator and Trudeau as the savior of the middle class, who incidentally will be the ones who will endure the brunt of his policies. The media never vetted Trudeau as the vacuous politician that he is. Just like Obama is seen as a great orator, Justin Trudeau is seen as the political ‘rock star’ of the future. The media ignore that being a great speaker or having great hair does not a great leader make.

In my opinion, there is no doubt that Russia may have been involved in cyber hacking. Most, if not all, super powers do interfere in elections around the world in one way or another. Just like Obama’s operatives were advising Trudeau’s campaign. So far, it has not been proven that the interference directly influenced the results of the Presidential elections. For the next four years political adversaries will do everything to try and delegitimize Trump’s election, and the media will be right there to help with post-truth and fake news.

In a time when it is easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you may wish, it is no surprise that a vast majority does not believe in the mass media. As a result many unscrupulous people have taken advantage of the growth of social media and its growing platforms to deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation, using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Fake news has become a real industry. In addition, too often news satire on the late night shows is being seen by many as a real source of news. It has become quite apparent that the mass media is fast losing its credibility. The irony is that news people who once were respected for their professionalism have now embraced post-truth and fake news as a source for their columns and discussion forum. Even worse is that Dan Rather, the former CBS anchor,  who could be called the father of ‘fake news’ for his release of documents on George Bush false National Guard story, is now teaching an online course on Journalism Ethics.
Today there are very few real journalists; most newspapers are filled with opinion writers. Investigative reporting is now reserved to target conservatives while liberals are eulogized instead of being investigated. Hollywood stars make news by involving themselves in politics, which they have a right to do, but they very rarely embrace the facts. We must not forget that this is an entertainment industry filled by liberal sycophants who make their money in a world of make-believe. To give them so much credit for their political views, very often misplaced, is a waste of ink. Similarly there is an increasing number of media personnel who enter politics believing that, because they once read the news that they are qualified to make the news.

To conclude let us not blame fake news and WikiLeaks for the election of Donald Trump, or Brexit. Instead blame the sycophantic liberal mass media for what can be considered a referendum on themselves, and the Obama policies they supported. The liberal elite disregarded the ordinary people and created a demi-god in a socialist President who divided his country and created an unsafe world. As Obama departs, Donald Trump will bear the brunt of a liberal media that has not learnt its lesson. They should take note that Trump will probably not be the politician that the media has been used to. In my opinion he will be rambunctious, spar and admonish the media if he believes that they are unfair. It will be an interesting time.
Canadians should be very concerned about the way that international news is reported in the Canadian media, because in effect the news tend to shape how Canadians view foreign powers. CTV and CBC have become a virtual arm of the Liberal party and their reporting tends to shape the news to favour Liberal policies and slant conservative international dogmas.
Fairness and objectivity should be the basis of an industry which is supposed to be the guardian of political accountability. Should the media not revert to this important role, there is no doubt that the makers of ‘fake news’ will thrive, and the world will be worse for it.