After Trump’s victory, there was an urgent push by the media for a ‘fact checking’ infrastructure that would censor conservatives. And prevent someone like Trump from winning again. Fact checking was supposed to be a means of creating trustworthy platforms.
How big of an issue is “trustworthy” content for the president of the Poynter Institute, which runs the International Fact Checking Network?
Here he is on the media’s trust problem after the Mueller report blew apart its Russia hoax.
Q. We’ve heard a lot about this being a reckoning for the media. Do you agree — and how do you feel about that word: “reckoning?”
A. My first reaction was “reckoning, schmeckoning.” I think the word has become trite and it’s sort of faux lofty to suggest this week’s developments — albeit important ones — should trigger some big internal affairs investigation of the press. Plus overuse of the word reckoning devalues the meaningful societal reflection and action required on issues like #metoo.
With all due respect, the suggestion is really just code for: “You owe somebody an apology.” In the case coverage of potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the investigation into whether President Trump and his associates colluded or obstructed investigators, a meaningful assessment is premature. The Mueller report is not actually even out yet.
Can you feel the trust?
Neil Brown, the Poynter boss, even closes with a Rachel Maddow talking point.
There’s never any reckoning for the lefty propagandists of the media. And there’s even a “Let me be clear”.
But let me be clear about something, The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan was spot on when she noted that the Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and many other news organizations have done some outstanding journalism that has totally informed what we know about Russian meddling and about the business dealings of the president, his family members and his associates. Where would we be as a society without these kinds of disclosures? It’s ridiculous to lose sight of that.
Let me be clear. We’re propagandists disguised as journalists. And we’re going to continue to act that way regardless of the facts. And we’re also going to demand the right to censor our political opponents by claiming that we are fact-based professionals who can be trusted.
And above all, consumers must value disclosure of what their officials are up to and reject the ugly notion being pitched by extreme partisans, including President Trump, that journalism is only something practiced by your “enemies.”
Unless they’re Obama officials. In which case we’ll bury the truth.
Journalism isn’t something practiced by your enemies. What the media practices isn’t journalism. It’s opposition research.
Poynter is just an arm of the opposition research of the Left.