During the 2020 presidential elections, Americans learned a valuable lesson: Americans on both sides are getting played by the mainstream media. These toxic games are wedging a deep divide between Americans. People that were once friends and neighbors, now hate each other. People are siding with election candidates that they don’t even necessarily like.
You can imagine how frustrating this is for a lot of people.
Not only that, but this toxic manipulation is blinding everyone to the destruction that the DC elites are doing to the USA. A person’s chosen news source is like an addictive drug that does more good than harm.
“Wealth is more concentrated in a few hands now than it was in imperial Rome. Each of the richest 500 senators in Rome had 10,000 times the wealth of the average person. In the U.S. today, the richest 500 each has over 20,000 times the wealth of the average American. And they use that wealth aggressively to shape the nation’s politics and especially to defend their wealth.”Jeffrey A. Winters, 2015, Northwestern University
They are better at influencing the public than we all want to believe.
For my American readers on both sides of the aisle – if you think you’re too smart to be manipulated by the news, you’re probably not paying close enough attention. They affect you, even if it’s through your friends or those in your community.
The mainstream media wields a power greater than that of most world leaders – they control national opinion. They design national opinion. But it’s not only your opinion that they care about, it’s the illusion of perceived public opinion. They may care what your personal opinion is to a small degree – but what they care about more is what you believe to be true about other people’s opinion. This is social engineering. If they can fool us into believing that everybody else feels a certain way … they’ve know you’re likely to fall in line, too. This is gaslighting and control at the highest level.
They are manipulators and they are damn good at it.
I could discuss how the DNC unfairly ousted both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, while the mainstream media sat around complicit. Or I could discuss how they wouldn’t touch Tara Reade’s story for months, even after they mainstream news just published dozens of highly visible and equally unsubstantiated claims from Christine Blasey Ford. These things not only shined light on their bias, but also demonstrated how good they are at manipulating Americans.
I’ll touch more on those things later. But for now, let’s just look at the toxic tactics that the mainstream media uses to achieve the desires of the elite political class.
“Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The two institutions have become so ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that the news media are unable to tell the public what is true and the government is unable to govern effectively.”Harvard Business Review – Why The News Is Not The Truth
Before we get started, ask yourself – Where is the introductory point that all of our new “news information” coming from? Answer: A handful of mainstream news conglomerates. It’s fascinating how 15 billionaires own so much of our media.
I’ll discuss Social Media shortly, but first we need to cover some bases.
The Players That Are Playing Us
The list of names of news media companies that I’ll discuss here is undoubtedly an incomplete list. The list of “mainstream” players is dynamic, extends far and wide and it slowly evolves.
I’m referring primarily to these news organizations:
- Fox News
- New York Times
- Washington Post
- The Atlantic
Guardian, Vox and Vice are relatively new to the game, by comparison. They’re small fish with a large reach. They’re very influential recently.
Independent journalists and alternative news is hard to find nowadays. In the news industry, integrity and earning money are polar opposites. Just ask Bari Weiss, a writer and editor who resigned from the New York Times:
“What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.“Bari Weiss, Resignation Letter, 2020
Bari Weiss is brave and courageous for taking that stance and publishing her resignation letter. She was relentlessly attacked by mainstream news outlets for her decision and her writing profession was likely ruined forever.
I’ll also refer to these social media companies below:
Let’s discuss the recent bias tactics of the mainstream media. We’ll start with the most common tactic first.
Keep in mind, these tactics are all 100% legal. And all of these tactics work.
Tactic 1: Exaggerated Click-Bait Headlines
This is purely an effort to draw readers in. Click bait works.
How many times have we clicked on a news story just because it stood out to us? Arguably, that’s how news works – we pay attention to that which seems interesting or important. However, after they’ve sucked us in, our adrenaline drops and we usually end up unsatisfied and wanting more. News media is the sugar rush that soft drinks gives us.
Quick example from Vox: Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight
The idea of a coup is worrying, interesting and exaggerated, all at the same time. But we all want to click on it. It’s like a guilty pleasure. Most people know that a coup isn’t possible in the United States. If anyone tried it, it would be quashed immediately. We aren’t a banana republic and the world isn’t ending. Everyone relax and take a puff.
Our eyes are advertising revenue. The game is no longer about quality of content, it’s about clicks and influence, both of which are easily quantifiable with software. Clicks are measurable. Influence is measurable. More articles with attractive headlines means more people will click on the article, which means more money from sponsors and more influenced readers to achieve the political agenda.
Crappy headlines are the result of two pressures:
- News corporations trying to dominate the news space (and keep new competitors out).
- An attempt to influence readers, before readers actually read the story.
First, the mainstream news organizations are under pressure. It’s become very easy for anyone to create a website and start writing about the news. The caveat is that mainstream news covers all news, plus they have connections with government insiders, so they publish stories first. Small website (such as this website) don’t have a chance. There’s very little competition with the big companies because they are an engine that never stops running. People know that they’ll have some news – so readers keep returning for their fix.
Writing captivating headlines has gone beyond reason. They’ve sacrificed integrity, because they can – even if their readers notice the flaw, they’ll continue to return. Because, where else will they go? To yet another biased news source?
Second, headlines influence readers before they even read the story. Most links people click on are not necessarily for information – but for entertainment. We say “Wow, look at this shocking news!” as we drag our mouse to the link. Before we start reading, the headline of the article sets the stage for how to think about this news.
That is influence. And we’re just getting started.
Tactic 2: Incomplete Truths
Imagine telling an elaborate story. You tell completely factually correct information. The only catch – you left out one critical aspect of the story. Did you tell the truth? Factually, yes. You told truthful facts. But is it the whole truth? No, absolutely not.
This is a common game being played by the mainstream news today, which is incredibly corrosive. Telling incomplete truths often results in the careful framing of a narrative.
Let’s consider the story of Ricardo Munoz, a black man that was shot and killed at the hand of police, during the same time period of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Ricardo Munoz was shot and killed by a police offer. Everything was captured on tape by the police officer.
What did the mainstream media do? They seized the opportunity.
Two different news stories were being told simultaneously. On one side we saw stories of police brutality towards a black man, on the other side we saw the story of the man chasing an officer with a long knife.
On one side, this was the story that was being told:
Here was CNN’s initial take: Protests erupt in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and arrests made after a police officer shot and killed a 27-year-old man
Notice how there is no mention of a knife in the article.
You can see how this process works. The news media slants the story, often by spreading incomplete information, while also being factual. This leads to a frustrated and angry population. And please note: Dave Rubin’s political opinion is not my focus of sharing this Tweet, but rather the visual illustration he shares in the tweet.
Eventually the police bodycam footage was released to the public, which verified the chilling events. However, the damage had already been done. Opinions of the events had already been established and a deeper sense of hate for each other and the racial divide continued to grow.
This is influence.
The details that the mainstream news leaves out is a huge source of their influence. By selecting which details to withhold, they can frame the story as they wish. This is the perfect recipe for creating conflict between two or more groups of people.
Wars don’t break out by accident. They break out due to misinformation between two groups of people. Whom controls that information flow controls the power over people.
Tactic 3: Publish Now, Fix Later
This tactic is an extension of the “incomplete truths” tactic discussed above.
When an event happens, everyone wants to know about it. Readers gobble up the news fast. The first thing they read often influences their opinion the most – unless readers are methodical enough to be certain that they have all of the information before forming their opinion. But that level of foresight is less-common.
“Our strategy has been to get there first, swarm the big stories and stay longer, and that has worked,” Zucker said. “That’s what has led to our better viewership, better position … that goes back to the confidence thing we said before, everybody is entitled to their opinion”Jeff Zucker – CNN CEO, 2014
People are quick to form their opinions. News media outlets know this.
Oftentimes when big stories are published, the author of the article knows that they left out some critical details, but it cannot yet be proven, and their goal remains to influence opinion and change minds. The goal isn’t truth, the goal is influence.
So they publish the incomplete story with their details, the details they want to “stick”. Then, after the dust has settled a few weeks later, they’ll quietly make their edits. Nobody notices the changes. They won. They succeeded in influencing opinions.
Tactic 4: Assigning Labels By Association
Assigning labels to individuals is a tactic that’s more and more common today.
They’re very clever how they indirectly assign labels, while simultaneously imprinting notions in our mind.
Just look at this article:
That sounds pretty bad. It sounds like a bunch of crazy nut-jobs were heading to Washington DC to try to generate some riots. But not only did riots not happen, the people listed in NBC’s article aren’t all conspiracy theorists, nor far-right, nor agitators. Tim Pool for example, is a self-proclaimed liberal. He runs Timcast IRL – an informative YouTube channel that operates somewhat like talkshow radio. He’s an independent journalist that came to popularity when he famously live-streamed his coverage of Occupy Wall Street in 2011.
So why are people getting labelled disingenuously?
Humans are lazy. Instead of critical thinking for ourselves, we usually adopt labels that we hear and use them to categorize people we read about. This makes us very prone to being manipulated. Here are some common examples: Liberal, conservative, marxist, libertarian, nationalist, LGBTQ, right-wing, left-wing, etc.
Here’s how they pull this off…
Step 1: Identify influential labels that trigger your audience.
The problem with the labels that I mentioned above, according to the mainstream news, is that they’re not influential enough. They’re not labels that generate emotion. You might only disagree with a nationalist, but you’ll probably hate him if he’s a racist, right?
Now we’re seeing the energy. Hating racists feels good, right? Of course! And that hate is energy. But what you don’t see is that same energy is power that someone has over you, especially if they benefit from you hating someone else. Where are you going to direct your anger? Answer: Probably where the news article tells you who is to blame. That’s powerful.
And “racist” is only the beginning. There are numerous other toxic labels that have been employed: xenophobe, homophobe, sexist, white supremacist, bigot, anti-vaxxer, conspiracy theorist, pedophile, fascist, truther, apologist, etc. The list is long.
Of course, those things undoubtedly exist. There are racists in the world. But in most recent cases, these labels are abused to incite emotions during this political season. And quite frankly, oversimplifying with labels hurts all of us. It destroys conversation and muddles the meaning of the word racism itself.
The next problem for the mainstream media is that they can’t exactly bad-mouth people in order to earn their toxic influence points. Badmouthing people directly and slandering someone publicly are grounds for a defamation lawsuit. CNN settled a defamation lawsuit with Nick Sandmann for exactly this.
So how does the mainstream media usually overcome this? By association, of course!
Step 2: Learn about the target person’s relationships with other people. Find dirt.
If the mainstream media can associate their target with anyone that has any blemishes in their reputation, they can imply (or directly declare) that their target is guilty by association. This is incredibly powerful, rather easy to pull off, and essentially voids the author of any liability. It’s toxic and corrosive. But it works.
Step 3: Finally, Publish the story
They know their audience and what their audience reacts to. They’ve chosen their trigger labels. They’ve researched their target victim. Now they simply publish their story.
This is highly manipulative. In truth, nobody wants to hate someone that doesn’t deserve hate. But this is the power that our mainstream news has. And they use it all of the time for power.
Influencing people is about achieving the desired psychological response. The greater the response, the more power they have over their readers.
So how can you beat this abuse? Simple. Don’t immediately trust labels and don’t make assumptions. Learn to identify labels and the associations authors write in their news stories. Research the person yourself. When you see instances of this, seek alternative news sources. Legitimate news organizations do not target a person’s character, nor usually even mention a person’s character.
Tactic 5: Fact-Checking Falsely
Fact checking has come into the limelight more recently. And while fact checking has hypothetically been around as long as opinions have existed, the process has changed. It’s become a meme and their claims have sometimes been fairly egregious.
“Fact-checkers aim to get closer to the truth, but their biases can shroud the very truth they seek”Scientific American – The Psychology of Fact-Checking
It’s very common to see articles claiming “We Fact Checked ____(fill in the blank)____”. This example is particularly entertaining:
Vox, a left-leaning news company, is pointing to CNN, another left-leaning news company. If that’s not entertaining enough – in all of it’s biased glory, CNN even has it’s own fact checkers. In this case, Daniel Dale is CNN’s fact checker. That’s like a defense lawyer getting to choose his own judge. It doesn’t get much more biased than that.
Faceless Big Tech “fact checkers” disseminate false info, put their partisan opinions on studies & posts, & call it Truth. When asked who their gatekeepers are, they name “news” outlets responsible for some of the biggest disinformation of the past 4 yrs. #OhTheIrony RT— Sharyl Attkisson?️♂️ (@SharylAttkisson) November 20, 2020
Most people don’t have time to fact check the fact checkers. This is a responsibility that we put into other peoples’ hands. Unfortunately, those people are failing us with their bias.
A particularly notable example was PolitiFact’s 2011 “Lie of The Year”: Republicans voted to end Medicare. This came under attack, namely because it was a dubious claim. Republicans didn’t vote to “end” medicare, but they voted to change it substantially, which Democrats claimed would in essence end it. Some language is very difficult to fact check.
Now that we’ve covered an example, let’s discuss some ways they twist the facts to their advantage.
Here are some methods that are used to abuse fact checking:
1. When fact checking is no longer about seeking truth. Fact checking has morphed into a politically motivated effort to “prove” or “disprove” a person’s argument. Seeking truth and trying to win should be two different things. We should all desire truth, not just to prove others wrong. Similarly, when we’re wrong, we should pause and correct ourselves. If we’re willing to bend facts for our own political preferences, that will lead to bias within facts themselves.
2. When wording can have differing meanings. To “kill a government program” can mean many different things. Kill, in this context can mean dismantle, terminate, pause, phase out, change a little, change substantially, etc. When politicians utilize words like this, they blur the lines for fact-checkers. A fact-checker’s bias can easily be demonstrated based on how they fact-check political claims that use terminology such as this.
3. Using the label “without context”. This is a last resort. When fact checkers don’t have any firepower against their opponents, yet they still want to discredit someone, they resort to “without context”. What makes this label the most entertaining is that the mainstream media are the biggest abusers of this label. They often misrepresent the truth by writing articles without context, yet they point fingers.
Just take a look at the following beautiful example. News commentator, Liz Wheeler, published a simple Tweet with completely accurate information. In her Tweet, Wheeler points out the hypocrisy of politicians that aren’t abiding by their own Covid safety rules. In response, USA Today wrote a long article, clumsily attempting to discredit Wheeler’s Tweet. They failed. Wheeler’s Tweet was spot on. So what did USA Today do? The wrote: “Our rating: Missing context”.
4. Claiming a fact is only true if there is existing evidence. Obviously, it’s important for facts to be backed by evidence. Otherwise, what is a fact in the first place? We can all agree on that. The problem is, evidence can be destroyed. History can be lost. Is a fact no longer a fact if it can no longer be proven? Maybe yes, maybe no. Similarly, maybe evidence exists but it hasn’t yet been validated.
5. Facts that are created because no evidence exists to prove otherwise. This is how “history is rewritten”. Unfortunately, the corruption of politics and power result in rewriting history. After evidence is no longer available, the story conveniently changes. This has happened numerous times through-out history and continues to happen everyday. There is a war happening on Wikipedia right now.
6. Fact checkers sometimes simply ignore publishing inconvenient facts. It’s difficult to know the truth about a specific subject if nobody will write about it. Sometimes evidence exists that proves a fact, but fact checkers will simply ignore the subject altogether, for various reasons. It can be hard to swallow uncomfortable truth. In other cases, people are more comfortable ignoring a subject altogether.
It’s important for me to mention that none of what I write here is an attack on fact checkers. In most cases, they’re just doing their jobs. This was written to help you separate the BS and find the truth.
Facts presented from Fact Checkers shouldn’t be immediately accepted as fact until further investigated and researched. True and unbiased “fact checking” should only be handled by an organization that has no interest in influencing opinion – certainly not mainstream media corporations.
Tactic 6: Fact Check Only Your Opponent
News organizations are not supposed to have opponents – but they do when they choose sides, which is nearly always the case. For example, Fox News generally sides with Republicans (although they’ve come under fire recently from Republicans themselves) – therefore it’s almost certain that the majority of Fox News articles fact check Democrats. Inversely, New York Times generally sides with Democrats, therefore it’s most likely they will fact check Republicans and claim they’re wrong, or fact check Democrats and claim they’re right.
Take a look at what CNN’s Oliver Darcy had to say about Fox News:
Most of the Mainstream news organizations – CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, among others, have been doing China’s bidding for a very long time. So while Fox News are arguably propagandists, left wing news organizations are exactly the same – the only difference is that they represent foreign interests – often China and the United Nations.
If they do fact check their own “side”, they’ll be much more lenient and willing to compromise their facts.
During the 2020 Presidential debates, Biden and Trump both made exaggerated claims. Interestingly, left leaning publications let Bidens unsubstantiated claims go mostly un-fact checked. But they fact checked Trump heavily.
This is nothing new. It’s the concept of “the best defense is a good offense”. Attack your opponent and put them in a defensive position. All sides play this game, oftentimes simultaneously.
This is a game.
With their facts, they can construct the narrative that suits their agenda, and very subtly nudge readers’ opinions in their desire direction. More and more recently it’s not so subtle. Just look at this hit piece from Christiane Amanpour. Something tells me CNN won’t fact-check that garbage. I mean, how far beyond the realm of reality do we need to go? Trump is a douche often, no doubt. But this CNN piece is about as toxic and corrosive as news can be.
And it’s just manipulative. Aside from Covid, the virus that came from China, the only unbearable part of living in the United States is witnessing the garbage spewed from both sides of the mainstream media.
Tactic 7: Ignore Or Delay Time-Sensitive Stories
This doesn’t require much explanation. If something doesn’t make the mainstream news’ candidate look good (or whomever they’re supporting), they’re guaranteed to delay important stories.
Let’s remember back to a couple clear examples:
Remember when President Barrack Obama and Eric Holder were busted sending military grade firearms into Mexico to track their movement? That story was called the ATF gunwalking scandal, or “Operation Fast and Furious”. The news initially covered the story a fair amount – but what was barely covered was the blowback from Mexico and the results of the court order. The United States had broken international law. Hint: The Justice Department ignored the court order. Do you know why the mainstream media kept this relatively quiet? It was an election year for President Obama.
Another example. When the Democratic National Convention chose Biden as the candidate for the Democrat party – Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were quashed, with virtually no push back from Democrats. Bernie supporters sued. This was the second time that Bernie Sanders and his supporters were screwed. He was also screwed when running against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Technically, there was no election rigging in the Democratic primary with Hillary and Sanders back in 2016. So “nobody did anything wrong”, right? That’s debatable. The DNC was exposed for what it truly is:
A federal judge dismissed the DNC lawsuit on August 28. The court recognized that the DNC treated voters unfairly, but ruled that the DNC is a private corporation; therefore, voters cannot protect their rights by turning to the courts.Independent Voter News – May 2, 2017
So, the DNC and the RNC are privately owned gatekeepers. The Democratic primary is essentially a fraud, because in the end, the DNC chooses the candidate.
Did the mainstream news cover this story? Hardly. It was tucked away and surrounded by a bunch of legal terminology.
A final example is when NPR decided to ignore the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop, which was discovered to have information about Hunter’s shady dealings in China, which proved that his father, presidential candidate Joe Biden knew about his foreign dealings, something he had previously claimed plausible deniability.
Tactic 8: Call It Baseless Before Investigating
Sometimes the news media chooses to ignore news stories, especially when the doesn’t suit their agenda. However, when the stakes are high and they can’t ignore a story, the next level is to discredit the information.
Here are some common terms they use:
- False Information/Claims
- Without Merit
…then simply never do any real research or investigation to verify it one way or another. Similarly, if they do actually investigate and find contradictory evidence…then simply brush it under the carpet or tuck it on the back pages of your news websites.
This is a big trend recently. It’s lazy activism (it’s certainly not journalism) and it’s another toxic form of influence. It actually makes us all less intelligent. When readers can’t verify information, they should disregard it. Rumors are unhealthy, especially when fueling hatred. It’s bad for everyone.
Recently, President Trump was attacked in exactly this way. MSNBC claimed that Trumps claims of potential election fraud during the 2020 Elections were “Baseless”. And that’s fine – maybe his claims are baseless. But the problem is, this requires real investigation. The courts are involved. It’s too soon to determine if his claims are baseless.
BASELESS CLAIMS!?!?!?!?— James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 6, 2020
Journalism is dead pic.twitter.com/mmGfyCc8ED
Similarly, this also happened when Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson claimed that statements from RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel have ‘no merit’. Ronna McDaniel found that some of Michigan’s voting machines weren’t working properly and had changed Trump votes to Biden votes. Again, maybe there is “no merit” – but how would she know? Has she verified the information? Not yet. It would take at least a couple days to deny or confirm such information.
Final note – Bernie Sanders supporters never would have known that the DNC defrauded them if they hadn’t filed a lawsuit against the DNC. Hillary’s campaign manager also called the claims “baseless” – but they were absolutely true.
The news media needs to stop playing games and start investigating claims first.
Tactic 9: Someone Else Said It
This is a simple game of “he said, she said”.
A good example is when CNN published this brief article about Melania Trump, claiming that “a source familiar with the conversations” gave them the info:
It’s likely that this isn’t true, or has been twisted so much that it’s unbearable. But nobody can prove otherwise – after all, it’s from “a source”. The interesting thing is that Melania published this on Twitter the same day:
The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 8, 2020
My point, in this example, is that we don’t know the truth and we can’t know the truth unless there’s undeniable video or audio evidence, or CNN reveals their “source” and the entire statement. That won’t happen.
Therefore, this tactic is nothing more than “he said, she said”.
Of course, we can dig through Melania’s public information, search her publications and try to get dirt about her private life to find the truth. But that’s it. It’s very difficult to investigate claims like this. And it would be unfair to assume that this is accurate.
Sadly, this cheap tactic works. The mainstream media can influence public opinion on someone’s character just through a cleverly worded and well-timed article.
Tactic 10: Embarrassed By Association
This is an extension of Tactic 9 mentioned above.
Imagine our hypothetical character John Smith begins appearing across various news networks for his past roommates unconfirmed claims that John is a xenophobe. Yikes, it’s not looking good for John.
Now imagine that someone asks you if you “like” John, Johns ideas, or something associated with John. Are you more likely to say “no”? Of course you are! Nobody wants to associate with a xenophobe. Even if you don’t know John, you’re more likely to keep a distance, in every way possible.
This tactic is pure social engineering. Nobody knows if John is xenophobic, but nobody wants to be associated with him. Should people ignore him, ostracize him and even attack him? I’ll let you decided.
We’re seeing a lot more of this nowadays, as people throw around terms like “racist” and “fascist”. However, these words are beginning to lose their meaning.
Tactic 11: Shock Them
Have you ever shared a news story that you read with a friend? It probably wasn’t because it was about good news.
We talk about news that shocks us.
Remember Ingrid Escamilla, 25, the woman from Mexico that was brutally murdered and skinned? Gasp, her skinned corpse was put on the front page of a Mexican newspaper. It sparked outrage across Mexico.
Why did it spark outrage? Because it was shocking news.
In Central America, it’s common to see photos of dead bodies in the news: TV, online and in newspapers. You won’t see dead bodies and violent photos in American news, but they do use other forms of shock factors.
Shock factor is a tool the mainstream media uses to get people talking about news. As mentioned before, forming an angry response is by far the most effective way to get people talking about the news. It’s all psychology.
Tactic 12: Promote Select Opinion Pieces
Opinion pieces have become a divisive tool of the mainstream media. Perhaps opinion pieces of various political persuasions are available on their website, but they choose to promote particular opinions to the front page.
You thought “Opinion” pieces were to fairly share opinions and perspectives? Those days are gone. Instead of permitting opinion pieces to offer different perspectives, they’re now weaponized.
Opinion pieces are utilized by saying “Look, this person is unbiased but they agree with us, so you should too!”.
As I’m writing this, I just checked the front page off CNN to find an example. Lo and behold, look at the bottom right corner of CNN’s homepage:
Notice the “Opinion: Here’s one way to get Trump to resign“. This is consistent with what we’re seeing nowadays in the news. Opinion pieces, rarely, if ever, reflect differing viewpoints. It’s all consistent with their hate for Trump. And that’s find – anyone is permitted to hate Trump, even the mainstream news corporations. But readers should not for a second think that they are unbiased.
It’s laughable to imagine an opinion piece from CNN’s front page that says anything positive about Trump. And that’s fine. However, it demonstrates their bias abuse of their responsibility as a mainstream influential power.
Tactic 13: Creating News
When times are slow in the newsroom, news companies often engage in more activism. They start dabbling in creating news. The reason is obvious – if they don’t write something then they’ll have less readers. It’s hard to influence national opinion when nobody is visiting your website.
Being an influential news company is about influencing. If they aren’t writing about something, then they start to lose readers attention, then lose influence and therefore power. It’s a relatively straightforward equation.
A good example is when NBC targeted The Federalist online newspaper, by demanding that Google de-platform The Federalist for some comments that users had written on it’s articles. The Federalist wrote an excellent summary here.
This was activism. NBC was getting politically active and writing about it.
When news companies start creating news, it usually entails their team doing some form of light investigation, taking action to earn some level of social justice and then trying to utilize shock-factor. Granted, good investigative journalism can be very important and powerful when it’s done properly.
Tactic 14: Advertising
This is an unusual one that doesn’t happen as frequently. Sometimes media companies will pay to advertise an article. However, it’s somewhat unusual when they do so. After all, these media companies are supposedly earning money from publishing ads on their websites – not paying to advertise on other websites.
Here’s a great example from the Washington Post.
This is not journalism. This is propaganda. pic.twitter.com/Zhrtz0xnKa— Brian Morgenstern (@MorgensternNJ) November 8, 2020
This is an advertisement on Twitter from the Washington Post. There may be instances when a media company might find an opportunity to advertise an article, but it’s not very common. As I mentioned – media companies make money through putting ads on their own website, not being the advertiser.
But in addition to being an advertisement, this ad is highly biased in more than one way. Aside from the fact that Brian mentions the likelihood that this is propaganda, the article title alone is blatantly pro Biden and Anti Trump. This is not surprising. CNN, Washington Post, among many others, had been targeting President Donald Trump since even before he was elected.
Further, I searched for the article’s title on Google, and discovered that numerous other articles utilize the same exact title, and same content.
I was curious about this. Why would different news companies use the same article title? I researched and discovered on quora.com that news companies do this to “share” journalists, essentially to cover the news. The idea goes like this: news companies can’t all have a journalist in every part of the world, therefore they subscribe to a “News Service” which permits them to publish the article on their own website. Wow, imagine the power in that. One story and dozens of news corporations spreading it. Fascinating.
Tactic 15: Instance Vs Engrained
The mainstream news will make some events “just a thing that happened once”, while in other cases they’ll attack heavily for being “deeply representative of character flaw”. The news media chooses.
Which depiction they choose for their target is largely determined by the current political climate. In the instances mentioned below, #MeToo was highly promoted in the news, namely during the political battle over Brett Kavanaugh. Therefore, anyone else that could be targeted surely was, except when it wasn’t convenient.
This can be demonstrated with Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker:
“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Toobin told Motherboard.Jeffrey Toobin, written by Vice
Toobin was masturbating on camera during a live conference meeting. As you can see, Vice clearly gives Toobin space to speak and the opportunity to present the situation as a normal error. That’s good. This was most likely a one-time innocent error on Toobin’s behalf.
However, when it’s in their political interest, their fangs sink deep. Two good comparative examples: Aziz Ansari and Louis CK. Both are comedians that were caught in situations of “sexual misconduct”, a word that CNN and The New Yorker wouldn’t dare to use for Jeffrey Toobin, their legal analyst. In fact, they referred to Toobin’s incident as a “personal issue“. Louis CK admitted to intentionally masturbating in front of a group of women that he knew, when the women consented to seeing him perform his sexual acts.
“Allegations of sexual misconduct against C.K. and Ansari hit fans hard in part because of the thoughtful nature of their comedy — these were supposed to be the good guys.“
“The accusations prompted fans and critics to reevaluate both men’s work.“Vice Article
Vice represents these errors as deep character flaws and builds on a deeper story that this is a further representation of “toxic masculinity”, a term that’s been thrown around a lot recently. Even companies like Gillette jumped on the bandwagon, another demonstration of private corporations’ willingness to promote activism and wokeness.
The impositions in the Vice article are obvious. Aziz and Louis C.K. had already apologized and repented, but they continue to see their comedy careers crushed by scathing reviews and write-ups such as this.
A final example is the story of Anthony Weiner, the Congressman whose wife was the aide of Hillary Clinton. Vox and Vice weren’t nearly as critical of this Weiner – whom was busted numerous times having sexual relationships with women as young as 15 years old. Finally, Weiner was arrested and his wife left him. Yet, you won’t find many disparaging articles or mentions of toxic masculinity in regards to Anthony Weiner, probably because his family knows the Clintons and because he was a Democrat.
Tactic 16: The Flip Flop
Sometimes news organizations step outside of their own narrative. That’s arguably good because it demonstrates a more fair and balanced approach to news, but it also muddles expectations and causes confusion, especially when the bias was already established.
We all want to read unbiased news. But when “unbiased news” doesn’t exist we prefer to read news that we trust. Conservatives prefer to read from conservative news sources and liberals prefer to read from liberal news sources. Presuppositions in bias helps readers to know they’re in relative agreement with news writers.
But sometimes that goes sideways.
When the opinions and bias of news organizations goes too far into their opponents territory, they start to lose viewership and readership. They get push back. Recently this has happened with conservatives. They’re angry at Fox News and the hashtag #foxnewsisdead is getting a lot of use.
In one particular example, many conservatives are stating that the news media, including Fox News, has no right to “call” the election until it’s determined to be a fair election, a statement that has some legitimacy. Perhaps they’re simply salty for their pending potential loss in the election, but the bigger concern is valid. Certainly, nobody wants unfair elections.
Were the elections fair? That’s a heated debate right now. The winners are saying it was fair and the losers are saying it was unfair. It’s difficult to know what to believe.
Don’t Shoot The Messenger
It’s fair to argue that readers and viewers of mainstream news should not shoot the messenger. In other words, they don’t always deserve harsh criticism. However, that argument only applies if the mainstream media is sharing the truth, the full truth and acting in good faith. Are they acting in good faith? I do not believe that they are recently. These 16 toxic games the mainstream media are playing demonstrate they’re focussed more in influence than honest journalism.
Recently, there’s always information missing from the important news stories.
I consistently find myself checking multiple news sources for differing opinions. I like different opinions – not just left-wing opinions and not just right-wing opinions. My goal is to be informed of all of the details available. I check left leaning news sources and right-leaning news sources. There’s almost always a discrepancy.
One could claim that manipulating readers is simply the result of “playing politics” during an election cycle. However, is it the mainstream news responsibility to get involved in activism? After all, you cannot be unbiased if you’re both engaging in sharing the news and influencing opinion simultaneously. Trying to influence people is activism, not journalism.
And there’s nothing wrong with activism. But there’s absolutely something wrong with being manipulative or insincere. The massive companies should have a duty to disclose their intentions.
The major news channels CNN and Washington post, two of for a long time was considered to be unbiased. However, that’s changed considerably recently. Even Fox News is under the microscope.
Social Media Checkmate
Even with all of the technology nowadays, we have limited places to receive our news. Sure, there might be hundreds or even thousands of news websites. But who is the original source?
As readers, we go to the place where we know we’ll find current news. We don’t like going to a website, just to learn that there’s no new information or articles. We want our news and we want it now!
Therefore, we go to the giants – CNN, Fox News, New York Times, etc. They always have something, even if it’s really just a nothingburger.
But what happens when we don’t trust any news sources?
Social media has emerged as an alternative to mainstream news. Independent journalists finally
have had a route for gaining traction and building their own audience. Through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a handful of other options, independent journalists and researchers can obtain readers and supporters. It still works, but we see the wring on the wall. It’s controllable.
Social media companies have already started heavily moderating content.
Leading up to the 2020 election, the moment people stopped trusting mainstream news, they went to social media to see what was happening with Antifa riots and BLM protests. But like corralled livestock to the slaughter, readers of live content (from independent journalists) started getting targeted by the mainstream news itself.
It’s a battle just to find real information now.
Censorship is rampant. Even if you agree with their moderation efforts, there is no denying that censorship is happening. Should extremist groups be moderated? Absolutely. But what happens when a political competitor gets falsely labeled as an extremest group? Is it fine if this happens, as long as it’s your opposition? Not at all. That’s why this discussion has further trickled over into the Freedom of Speech debate.
Twitter is heavily monitoring and moderating accounts and groups. YouTube de-monetizes videos. Facebook will remove post or put “fact check” flags on what they consider to be controversial posts. Worse, you have no recourse with these tech giants. When dozens of doctors tried to speak out about Covid, they were shut down and censored. I created a list of controversial coronavirus doctors here. Another interesting interview came from Ryan Hartwig, whom was interviewed by Tim Pool after exposing Facebooks fact-checking practices.
De-platforming, flagging posts, ghost banning – they’re all happening more frequently.
It’s important to mention that it’s completely legal for them to do this. It’s their platform. These are private corporations. It just so happens these companies were busted for being part of the 2008 Prism Program, which, yes – I’m implying that these companies are working with the DC elites.
Social Media Competitors
Other platforms, such as Parler and Gab, haven’t received much traction. Both Parler and Gab aim to be platforms that support freedom of speech. As expected, they’re getting labeled by someone online.
It might take 5 or 10 years, but I’m convinced that Twitter and Facebook’s forms of moderation and censorship will happen across the board, for every type of user. If they can’t control the App moderation, the next in line is the App marketplace. Apple’s App Store and Google Play need
Now President Donald Trump is getting censored, more and more. Some argue he should be. I’d argue that the President of the United States should not be, at least until he’s no longerPresident. It’s a dangerous game to start censoring world leaders.
What Can We Do?
We can’t all just dump the mainstream news. Unfortunately, there’s not enough viable alternatives. However, we can support independent journalists and help support small unbiased news agencies to grow and flourish.
These 16 toxic games the mainstream media plays are dividing us and further granting the mainstream media the power to abuse their influence.
I recommend that everyone avoid arguing on social media, read the full story from various news providers before forming your opinion, and only share information with others if it’s factual and complete.
The toxic environment that the mainstream news media has created for us is causing more harm to Americans than it is causing to the news companies themselves. But we can turn these toxic games around by not playing their games.
If you find yourself having a frustrating conversation or even feeling angry towards someone in your community, then consider stepping back from the conversation. If you must communicate with them, then do your best to hold the conversation in a rational and fair way.
We must all individually strive to be better versions of ourselves.
Thank you for reading.