Home » Uncategorized » Media Malpractice in the Coronavirus Age

Media Malpractice in the Coronavirus Age

The New York Times offered coverage of a conference call President Trump had this morning with various state and local officials about the coronavirus pandemic.  Intrepid reporter Julie Bosman had the byline, and tweeted out what she felt was the lede element of the story.

 

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Wow, indeed!  Sounds like Trump is being an asshole…again.  Bosman’s fellow reporters followed up her tweet.

 

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But a funny thing happened on the way to grab the tar, feathers and pitchforks.  It turns out there was a bit more that Trump had to say.  Quite a bit more.  The FULL quote includes these comments.

 

“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves.  We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”

 

Hmmm…that puts the quote in an entirely different context, doesn’t it?  It correctly frames the comment as part of a suggestion that local/regional procurement is much more cost-effective and less time-consuming than federal action.  Omitting this part of the quote makes it sound like Trump is telling the localities “you’re on your own.”  Even one of the “reporters” used that interpretation to punctuate their tweet with “WOW!”

 

Of course, that is *exactly* what they were hoping for.  All three of these reporters intentionally left out the second part of the quote because it would have nullified their goal of casting Trump in a negative light.

 

This is journalistic malpractice.  And it is also par for the course.  Truly objective journalism is now about as rare as four-leaf clovers and quarterbacks who remain in the pocket.  It is frustrating that even in a time of national crisis, we can’t depend on reporters to give us basic information without blatantly and willfully misleading us.  We cannot rely on the mainstream media to simply tell us what was said and what happened without them seeing it as an opportunity to score those oh-so-precious “political points” against someone they don’t like.

 

Even MORE frustrating are the people who insist that papers like the Washington Post and New York Times are straight arrows who are doing nothing more than calling balls and strikes.  If the mountain of evidence that I and many others have cited over the years is not enough to change your minds, your minds can NOT be changed.

 

But the MOST frustrating thing is that nothing will change.  These three reporters will never have to answer for this. They will continue on as de facto DNC stenographers and no one will bat an eye.  They will die and go to hell insisting that they are morally-upright paragons of truth, justice and the American Way.

 


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