A Perfect Example of Fake News
In 2017, Miriam-Webster declared “fake news” one of the terms that Americans were most sick of hearing, and we kinda understand why. No matter how accurately it might explain much of the garbage we see printed about the Trump administration, people have a tendency to get sick of anything we hear thrown around every single day of every single week. Nonetheless, this term – especially as it is applied to the mainstream media – is a valuable one. Because where once the term “biased media” may have sufficed, that no longer describes what we’re seeing from Washington reporters.
But a lot of people also have the wrong idea about what “fake news” entails as it pertains to the mainstream vultures who are trying to destroy the Trump administration (and conservatism by extension). It doesn’t mean – or, at least, it hardly ever means – that organizations like CNN, The New York Times, and the Washington Post are just printing ridiculous works of complete fiction for an audience that’s too gullible to think for themselves. No, these articles and segments are (relatively) fact-checked, sourced, and are, on the whole, “true” in their paragraph-to-paragraph details.
So why is it fake? It’s fake because of the bias. It’s fake because journalists choose what to include and what to omit. It’s fake because every story is written with a pre-determined conclusion, and reporters are only too happy to ignore anything and everything that doesn’t fit that story. It’s fake because these stories include BOMBSHELL revelations without properly explaining them to the reader/viewer.
There was a perfect example published in Politico last week. You may have seen the story reporting that several Washington lawmakers met with a psychiatrist in December – a psychiatrist who informed them that President Trump was mentally unstable and unfit for office. Here’s a sample from the piece:
Lawmakers concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state summoned Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee to Capitol Hill last month for two days of briefings about his recent behavior.
In private meetings with more than a dozen members of Congress held on Dec. 5 and 6, Lee briefed lawmakers — all Democrats except for one Republican senator, whom Lee declined to identify. Her professional warning to Capitol Hill: “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”
In an interview, she pointed to Trump “going back to conspiracy theories, denying things he has admitted before, his being drawn to violent videos.” Lee also warned, “We feel that the rush of tweeting is an indication of his falling apart under stress. Trump is going to get worse and will become uncontainable with the pressures of the presidency.”
Okay, so first of all – are we really supposed to take seriously a psychiatrist whose middle name is “X?”
But more importantly, these opening paragraphs were seized on by secondary outlets, and you already know the phrase they zeroed in on: “All Democrats except for one Republican senator.” Oh, my. Oh, dear. It’s happening! The GOP is turning on Trump! Even Republicans are now beginning to realize that Trump has no business being president! It can only be a matter of time now before his Cabinet invokes the 25th Amendment and throws him out of office.
Alas, as the Weekly Standard (not exactly Trump-friendly terrain) reported this weekend, we have the perfect encapsulation of fake news in this article.
“With the exception of 12 Senate offices which we didn’t hear back from in time, every Republican office flatly denied meeting with Lee,” the Standard wrote. “There’s a reason for that. In an on-the-record phone call with TWS Saturday afternoon, Lee admitted her ‘meeting’ with a Republican senator was not actually scheduled and that it was, in her own words, ‘accidental.’”
Lee told the Weekly Standard that the “meeting” was nothing of the kind. Rather, she essentially bumped into this unnamed Republican senator in the hallway, cornered him, and began sharing her theories about the president’s mental health. And in this interview with TWS, she even admits that the senator in question was not interested or duped by her armchair psychiatry.
None of this mattered to Politico or to the thousands of liberal bloggers who reposted the story with a concerted emphasis on this mysterious Republican senator. Because without that guy in the mix, this is just another pathetic story about the Democrats looking for any avenue they can find to throw President Donald Trump out of the White House. And as it turns out, that’s all it is.