It’s a hot topic in recent days, driven in no small part by the White House inserting itself into the discussion.
Sources too numerous to list here are rightly pointing out that the White House, by attempting to pressure private companies to suppress free speech, has crossed the line. Companies bending to this would become arms of the government – de facto government actors – and such an arrangement or action would be a clear violation of the First Amendment.
The right attacks this as a violation of the First Amendment. The left defends it as necessary to save lives, and corporate media always sides with the left. It doesn’t dawn on corporate media that these are two completely unrelated questions. Whether or not suppressing dissenting voices regarding COVID and the vaccines saves lives does not change the fact that this is a violation of the First Amendment.
If corporate media had any interest in combating misinformation, it would start by putting its own house in order. Particularly in the last five years or so, corporate media has been caught multiple times blatantly lying, putting a leftward slant on every story, sensationalizing, and politicizing almost every story on every topic. They no longer even attempt to hide it, on the contrary, they appear to be proud of it. It couldn’t be more obvious. We all know the list – another too long for this post – Sandmann, Smollett, the Steele dossier, etc. – these were not honest mistakes made by unbiased reporters, these are examples of propaganda, and more than half the citizens in this country know it.
Trust in politicians (if there ever was much) died decades ago, perhaps most significantly with Watergate and the revelations of the Church committee. But I believe the widespread and deep mistrust of the mainstream media is much more recent.
Given that more than half the country knows full well they are being fed propaganda by the media, where does the media expect people will turn for information? If people had trust in corporate media, would “dangerous misinformation” be an issue right now? Better yet, can anyone produce any objective evidence that this “misinformation” under discussion is costing lives – or is that just speculation – how would we know?
The fact is, the last poll I saw (and I can’t find it right now) indicated that trust in the media is at an all-time low, lower even than Congress. Considering that pretty much everyone knows that politicians lie, that is quite an achievement.
I’ve only been involved with social media for about a year. But in that year I can not count how many times some breaking news would appear there before the mainstream media reported it – if they reported it at all. The riots in Portland for example. People were on the streets recording live with their phones, they weren’t offering commentary, they were simply recording what was in front of them. But what the media reported didn’t match the live stream. Where then would reasonable people go for their news? We all remember the reporter standing in front of the dumpster fire reporting on the “mostly peaceful” protest, but that is but the tiniest drop in the bucket.
I recently read an article – on CBS or ABC, not sure – with a rather alarming title about a shift in the orbit of the moon causing record flooding shortly. Turns out this “wobble” in the moon’s orbit has been going on as far back as we know. It was discovered in the late 18th century, and it happens every 18.5 years or so on a predictable cycle. So there isn’t any justification for this article – it is hardly news – unless of course you simply want to find a way to insert climate change terror into the day’s headlines. Another example of politicizing everything.
The problem isn’t misinformation on Facebook or Twitter or any other platform. Reasonable people can sift through the noise, do their own research, and come to their own conclusions. Are there a few out there that are too gullible and can’t do a very good job of that? Sure.
The problem is misinformation and blatant politicking coming from corporate media.