Truth was a major theme of the media’s attacks on Trump. The New York Times is even selling a $300 t-shirt on that theme. Trump lies, while the media performs a public service by fact checking him. The media is all about the truth and the facts.
Except when it’s completely not.
Here’s Time boss Edward Felsenthal explaining his magazine’s fake news cover.
“Well, you know, as John just said and has said all along, none of us in the media who used the photo knew what had happened to the girl after this precise moment. And I think part of the power of the image is that unknown,” he declared.
Except that Time had claimed that the girl had been separated from her mother (there wouldn’t have been much mileage if she hadn’t been).
But let’s skip that for a second.
The editor-in-chief of a major media publication is claiming that his magazine doesn’t report the facts, instead its power comes from being “unknown”. Except it could have been entirely known.
Why was the Daily Mail, a publication with a fraction of the reach of Time and the rest of the mainstream media, able to get the real story? Did Time really not care about the fate of the little girl? Wouldn’t the story have been much juicier with a tale of her suffering?
I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Time and the rest of the media had that information and buried the story. Neither, these days, would anyone else.
Time’s defense is the power of the unknown. But journalism is about the power of the known. Propaganda and creative arts harness the power of the unknown. And that’s what Time’s fake news cover was. Not truth or facts.