As they clearly lack mirrors news outlets are unaware of the attention they are inviting upon themselves.
It appears rather clear that following the muzzling of President Trump and the deplatforming of a social media outlet — Parler — that others feel empowered to enforce more restrictions. We have seen numerous targets on the right, from outlets to individuals, becoming called out as being in need of canceling. The disturbing aspect has been these calls coming from media figures themselves.
In this emerging zeal to mute others, we are seeing an abject lack of self-awareness. Over the weekend we not only saw two primary news sources indulging in this call to censor outlets, but in so doing they implicated themselves directly. At CNN and The Washington Post they each had media ‘’experts’’ who came forward just now to pronounce that FoxNews should become silenced due to misinformation, and the supposed danger this presents to the public.
The amazing thing is that both outlets are not only guilty of recent massive cases of delivering misinformation — that is, they delivered reports which were outright lies — but both are seen lying specifically about these calls to silence FoxNews. This is a clear case of ‘’stop paying attention to our actions, and listen only to our accusations’’.
Let us begin over at CNN. Brian Stelter ran a segment on his Sunday program where he addressed the need to clamp down on Fox, something his Boy Wonder protege, Oliver Darcy, has been promoting for a month already. Brian grasps the challenge he faces in being a media figure who is lobbying to censor another media outlet, so he attempts to rebrand his totalitarian effort. Stelter labels what he sees as ‘’information pollution’’, in a shallow way of couching their efforts in a more palpable package.
Hey, nobody likes pollution, and we all agree it is something that needs to be cleaned up, right?! Pathetic. While Brian feels like he hit upon a stirring methodology he overlooks one detail; his own network is one of the biggest polluters of conversational waste. It was just over a week ago when CNN delivered the laughable false claim that Joe Biden was given no vaccine distribution plan, a story so false it was entirely discredited before noon that same day. It was so incorrect that people noted if Biden did nothing at all the Trump distribution of the Covid vaccine would meet Joe’s goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days.
As misinformation goes this was as pronounced as it gets. CNN just qualified itself to be taken down by cable providers, according to the Stelter-Darcy litmus test. But it gets better. In his report Stelter made the bold claim that not only was he not talking about censorship, but he made the claim that Fox News was hysterical in suggesting that CNN was attempting to get them taken off the air. Stelter called this accusation, ’’patently false’’. However, one person disputes Brian’s defensiveness; Oliver Darcy.
In a recent Reliable Sources newsletter, following Parler’s shut down, Ollie described what he sees as the need to address the Fox scourge.
’’What about TV companies that provide platforms to networks such as Newsmax, One America News — and, yes, Fox News? Somehow, these companies have escaped scrutiny and entirely dodged this conversation. That should not be the case anymore. After Wednesday’s incident of domestic terrorism on Capitol Hill, it is time TV carriers face questions for lending their platforms to dishonest companies that profit off of disinformation and conspiracy theories.
But no one is trying to have them removed, right Brian? Sure seems like you are dealing in misinformation as you rail against…misinformation.
Also joining in with her brickbat was another media watchdog, Margaret Sullivan, at The Washington Post. While she at least was wise enough to step away from the direct call for silencing the network, Maggie does go for an indirect method of quelling what she calls the ‘’hazard to our democracy.’’ Her plan to is to make Fox go bankrupt, due to advertiser flight.
How to get the Fox News monster under control? But let’s not count on the hope that the Fox-controlling Murdochs will develop a conscience. No, the only answer is to speak the language that the bigwigs at Fox will understand: Ratings. Advertising dollars. Profit. Corporations that advertise on Fox News should walk away, and citizens who care about the truth should demand that they do so (in addition to trying to steer their friends and relatives away from the network).
An interesting decision, but then we need to ask, what of the advertisers at WaPo? See, her outlet has also been seen recently disseminating fake news, that is – misinformation. Following the Capitol riots the paper ran a piece that declared the radio broadcast syndicate Cumulus Radio had issued an edict that its on-air talent was forbidden from lending any vocal support to the protests, or to suggest the election had been rigged or stolen. There was a promise of immediate firings should anyone defy the order, and three prominent radio hosts — Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, and Dan Bongino — were named as those being especially targeted with this corporate mandate.
The issue? The story was completely false. Mark Levin came forward on his show to stipulate that not only was he never delivered any such letter, but he would have come forward on the air and denounced it boldly. But far worse than that, in the cases of Shapiro and Bongino you have two individuals who are not even employees of Cumulus, or its syndicator Westwood One. The piece was one complete lie, top to bottom. So there you go Maggie, you can go after your own advertisers now.
But then it goes further. Mediaite contacted The Post about Sullivan’s column, and what they were delivered can only be described as gaslighting. After first deflecting that Sullivan is a columnist and as such her views are those of the paper itself, the spokesperson went into complete denial, saying ”She did not call for a boycott in this column or in her tweets. As a columnist, though, she would be free to make that argument if she chose.” Uh, except she did in fact say that very thing.
“Corporations that advertise on Fox News should walk away, and citizens who care about the truth should demand that they do so,” was what Sullivan wrote. Then on Twitter she went further, providing a link to a list of Fox advertisers, so people could target them. Just as aside, for someone supposedly concerned with misinformation it is curious for Sullivan to provide a link to Media Matters, of all outlets.
So here we have the paper outright lying about Margaret Sullivan’s column, where she called for boycotts of FoxNews, over their lying. It is almost as if they are saying we do not need to believe the words she typed and instead believe the words the spokesperson typed — from the same disreputable outlet recently seen lying in a major news story.
This is the state of our media complex these days. The people laying claim to judgment over the facts are displaying a blatant unfamiliarity with the truth, but they want to level punishment over those who engage in their same tactics. Sure, this will all end well.