America’s news media is lost. Last night epitomized that fact. Joe Biden delivered a remarkable State Of The Union Address including the part where he swatted down repeated Republican heckling. Fact: both sides don’t do that – heckle a POTUS while they’re delivering the SOTU. Both sides don’t shout out “You lie!” during it. But, if you report that as “normal politics” – just how it is now – you’re accusing both sides of doing it – when both sides don’t. Our news media knows that ain’t normal. They’re damned good at shouting “Our democracy’s in peril!” but they suck at doing anything about it because they fail to see their own complicity. They’ve failed at being our last check on power (as mandated by the Constitution). Instead, they’ve become the false equivalence factory that’s killing our democracy dead.
“Both Sides Do It” (Whatever “It” Is)
False equivalence goes hand in hand with “both sides do it”. “Both sides do it” isn’t journalism, it’s cynicism slumming it as journalism. It paints everyone with the same brush: everyone does what they do for the very same reasons. Is that because we’re all the same people? That reporting’s kinda suspect, don’tcha think?
Remember back when Donald Trump first got on our political radar? He rode down that golden escalator and proclaimed “Mexicans are rapists”. Our news media huffed and puffed over that for a few minutes but then got distracted – by “pussy grabbing”. And then that huffing and puffing got completely sidetracked by “But her emails!” And suddenly “both sides did it” (whatever “it” is).
“But Her Emails”
“But her emails” was bullshit. We’re going to learn soon enough to what extent. Turns out Charles McGonigal – former head of the FBI’s NYC Counterintelligence Office was dirty. The guy charged with investigating Russian oligarch and intelligence officer Oleg Deripaska was being paid by Deripaska. The damage done is incalculable. We knew Trump’s presidency put Putin in charge of our White House. We have this picture to prove it –
No Democratic POTUS has ever appeared like that with a foreign leader – like a beaten dog at the end of a leash.
But then, no Democratic POTUS – no POTUS period – had ever lied so much and so often. Consider how long it took our news media to call Trump’s lies “lies”. Every time that happened – when a “journalist” failed to accurately report the story by calling lies “lies” – they were building the false equivalence factory. Brick by brick.
Only one side wants to end America’s experiment with democracy because they can’t get elected via democracy. Same token – only one side sees diversity as a threat to their long-time hegemony. If you don’t see that walking in the door? What story are you covering here? The American playing field has never been level. To pretend otherwise is bullshit, not journalism.
And every story that flows from it begins with dishonesty. The media’s false equivalence factory aids and abets democracy’s enemies. It’s time we put the plant out of business. For good.
2 responses to “Our News Media Is A False Equivalence Factory”
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