Commentary: Newspapers as the Solution to Fake News?

Print Newspapers

I was struck by reading columns this weekend by Debra DeAngelo and Tanya Perez in the local newspaper, that posit newspapers as the solution to fake news.  I am a supporter of newspapers – I subscribe to three of them digitally (New York Times, Washington Post and LA Times) – but I think we need to acknowledge that the traditional news was just as much a problem this election cycle as “fake news.”

Writes Debra DeAngelo: “I’m having a grand chuckle over all the hand-wringing about ‘fake news.’ You know where you find real news? Newspapers. Boom. Mic drop.”

She goes on to argue that the editor is the line between real news and fake news.  “You know where you can always find editors? Newspapers.  Oh, the bitter irony. The whining and wailing over ‘fake news’ and, meanwhile, we can’t be bothered to read real newspapers, let alone subscribe to them. We’ve certainly come full circle, haven’t we.  Newspapers. You’ll miss us when we’re gone. And we almost are.”

Tanya Perez in her column says, “Yep, traditional media outlets are struggling ‘against economic and other pressures’ — fake news sites being one of those pressures, but that’s a story for another day.”

“Today, let’s talk economic pressures,” she writes.  “Not that this is a big revelation, but the internet has caused people to believe that information should be free. Somehow this has translated to mean that news outlets should not charge anything. I’m not sure how people justify that trained professional reporters, photographers, editors, support staff, pricey equipment and many other business-related expenses should not cost anything, but that’s where we seem to be.”

She adds, “Bringing this closer to home, I’m really, really tired of people telling me that The Enterprise is too expensive.”

Let me start out with this: The Enterprise should pump away at the value of their paper and local news, and, as an oft-time critic of the paper, I would be sorry to see it go because it fills a much wider range of news than something like the Vanguard can fill.

The Vanguard focuses narrowly on a segment of the local news, but it is not intended to compete with the Enterprise or replace it.  We have our niche and our audience and it’s different from the local paper.

But I’m rubbed the wrong way that the paper is arguing that they are the antidote to “Fake News.”

Ms. Perez, whom I had the pleasure to sit next to last week at the council meeting, writes, “We don’t give you our opinion of what happened at a meeting; we give you facts, quotes and the news.”

But part of the problem is that, during the election, the mainstream news – both the papers and broadcast media – mixed punditry, fact checks and, yes, I think their opinions, into the news coverage in a way that the lines got blurred.

I have often scoffed at the notion of a liberal press – in fact, I continue to – but there is no doubt that the mainstream news was anti-Trump. I’m not sure they were pro-Clinton, as I will point out shortly, but they were definitely anti-Trump.

In the end, the national polls will turn out to be largely correct in predicting that Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote.  However, the state polls were wrong, and they missed badly in some cases.

As Maggie Haberman of the New York Times pointed out in the hours after Trump’s stunning victory, “We don’t know what happened, because the tools that we would normally use to help us assess what happened failed.  The polling on both sides was wrong.”

Jim Rutenberg of the Times has written a story about how the media had missed Mr. Trump’s wide appeal, and what that misfire says about journalists’ flawed understanding of major swaths of our country. “What we now know is that a huge part of the country is far more upset about the ills that he was pointing to and promising to fix than any of the flaws that we were pointing out about him as a candidate,” Mr. Rutenberg said.

Mr. Rutenberg added, “The news media by and large missed what was happening all around it, and it was the story of a lifetime. The numbers weren’t just a poor guide for election night — they were an off-ramp away from what was actually happening.”

Nicholas Confessore added, “What we are seeing is in part a revolt of the country that people had written off as the country of the past, against the country that most people thought they were living in: a country of the future, of a multicultural future, of a globalized world. This was a revolt of people who did not feel vested in that future America.”

I could go on from here – but I think my point is made – the mainstream media, the antidote to Fake News, got the election wrong, their polling missed huge swaths of voters that were angry at the status quo and, even though Clinton won the popular vote, the electoral college required her to win key swing states and, narrowly, she failed to do so.

But it is not just the right that is upset these days with the mainstream media.

A few days ago, the liberal group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) lambasted the mainstream media for creating “false equivalencies.”  They write, “For all the dangers the rise of Donald Trump poses—to vulnerable communities, to world peace, to the planet’s ecosystem—the one silver lining of Trump’s candidacy is that it has completely exposed the limits and ideological impotence of established media’s ‘objectivity’ myth. Faced with a unique and unprecedented threat in Trump, attempts to find ‘balance’ between Trumpism and wholly unrelated phenomena to its left were tone deaf, and at times bordered on apologies for fascism.”

I’m quoting FAIR to illustrate the door swings both ways.  FAIR, certainly no apologist for Clinton, nevertheless pointed out, “The general election was a tale of two scandals, often lumped side by side: the ongoing FBI investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of government emails and Donald Trump’s ever-expanding list of alleged sexual assault victims. While Clinton’s email scandal was certainly newsworthy (most FBI investigations of candidates are), its relative importance to her fitness for office was dwarfed by the torrent of allegations against the GOP nominee.”

Nevertheless, they argue, “extreme center pundits like ABC’s Matthew Dowd could not resist equating the two.  Here they quote him tweeting out, “Either you care both about Trump being sexual predator & Clinton emails, or u care about neither. But don’t talk about one without the other.”

“After getting pushback, Dowd doubled down with an equally dubious take: ‘The response to my tweet is what is wrong with the country. Partisans of each side are unwilling to look at the faults of their own candidate.’”

My take is this: the mainstream news was largely anti-Trump but they did not like Hillary Clinton much either.  In fact, often the narrative was the two most unpopular candidates.  But their bias colored and damaged their analysis and they failed to see the real story – which was huge and largely missed.

So yes, I’m a supporter of newspapers, but I think the idea that they are the antidote to “fake news” in a time of massive failure by the mainstream news in this election cycle – including newspapers – is a bit misplaced.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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59 thoughts on “Commentary: Newspapers as the Solution to Fake News?”

  1. Chuck Rairdan

    Indeed, the irony.  Good thing we have editors to screen and filter for us what is consumable and what isn’t.  Individuals need to develop their own powers of discernment and stop relying on others to determine what is safe or acceptable.  Any source or editor is subject to their own bias and blind spots and we see this time and time again. I would much rather hear from the raw source or view first-hand citizen reporting over the canned and heavily edited mainstream media that is fobbed off as “real” news.  The glaring omissions and choice of emphasis of the controlled news outlets versus what is being covered through social media speaks volumes in itself.  Me thinks the old guard is on the ropes.

    1. Barack Palin

      Any source or editor is subject to their own bias and blind spots and we see this time and time again.

      Exactly my thoughts.  There’s much “fake news” in newspapers.

      I just read this article:
      Press encouraged to turn up heat on Trump

      “The national press is renewing its call for even more scrutiny of the incoming Trump administration, and is cheering on reporters who challenge President-elect Trump and his team.”

      Call for more scrutiny?  Really?  They’re already are in the bag for Democrats and it sounds so disingenuous for them to say they need more scrutiny of Trump.  They don’t even try or care to appear neutral anymore.   Where was msm’s scrutiny of Obama for the last 8 years?

      http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2609477

      1. Jerry Waszczuk

        BP

        What you can expect  from the media controlled by the Homo Sovieticus ideologists. ?  They are mad hornets and they will not tolerate the  President- Elect .  Donald Trump during his election campaign   did not hold back his view what he thinks about the national media’s ideologists .

        “Most dishonest people “

  2. Alan Miller

    during the election – the mainstream news – both the papers and broadcast media – mixed punditry, fact checks and yes, I think their opinions, into the news coverage in a way that the lines got blurred.

    Gambling in Casablanca?

  3. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > I have often scoffed at the notion of a liberal press – in fact –

    > I continue to – but there is no doubt that the mainstream news

    > was anti-Trump.

    I have no doubt that David “scoffs” at the notion of the liberal press just like my friend Rob a Silicon Valley VC “scoffs” at the notion that he is rich.

    I am aware that the mainstream media is not as liberal as David, but is important to remember that just because the press is not “more liberal than you” does not mean that it is not “liberal”.  We need to remind Rob that just because he works with people that “have more money than him” (who can afford their own jets while he needs to take NetJets to his place in Sun Valley) does not mean that his is not “rich”…

    > My take is this: the mainstream news was largely anti-Trump

    > but they did not like Hillary Clinton much either.

    It is interesting that the mainstream media that was almost 100% for Clinton over Trump ended up getting Trump elected by giving him so much coverage since he helped them get ratings (and make them more money)  turning around the long decline in people who watch TV news and Presidential debates.  As the campaign went on and Hillary gave the press a “big FU” by doing less press conferences than any candidate in history (while Trump was taking their calls and giving them great sound bites) Hillary was getting a lot less love and when it came out that she basically screwed Bernie that many on the left like.

    > I’m a supporter of newspapers, but I think the idea that

    > they are the antidote to “fake news”

    I have always liked Mark Twain’s quote: “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”

    As big California history buff I know how bad that the papers were in Twain’s day when big businessmen joined him and his writer friends in the Bohemian Club and learned how paying the press to write what you want is very profitable.  In the second half of the 20th century (before Craig’s List and the Internet) major newspapers were a lot better but now as newspapers are forced to do anything for cash to stay alive (a cousin who took early retirement at the Portland Oregonian after 30 years paints a dismal picture of the big city news business) I expect things to get even worse than it was when Twain was writing for W.R. Hearst who would print pretty much anything to sell papers in the next few years as papers struggle to survive (every year more old newspaper subscribers die and I would be surprised if the Enterprise has even a single subscriber under 30)…

  4. ryankelly

    I think that there is a narrowing of resources for me and many of my friends. I’m more careful about clicking on interesting headlines if I’m not so sure about the source. It galls me that people are making money by making up stories. It is just another scam. Sticking to newspapers solves a lot of this – Washington Post, SF Chronicle, Bee, NY Times, The Enterprise – and a few magazines, such as The Atlantic.

    1. Frankly

      LOL.  You just listed all newspapers with a strong left/liberal bias.  You should insert the Wall Street Journal in there to help prevent you from falling over with so much one-sided “news”.  That is the only paper besides the Davis Enterprise that I read cover to cover almost every day.   I check the NYT and Washington Post most days.  I gave up the Sacramento Bee and the S.F. Chronicle a long time ago for their lack of balance.

      As for magazines, I get The Atlantic (agree with you there), Reason and The Economist.

      And Wine Spectator, Whiskey Spectator, Cooks Magazine, Cuisine, Golf Magazine & Cigar Aficionado.

      Frankly (because I am) I am more attracted to books and am finding it difficult to keep up with my newspaper and magazine reading as my Kindle queue has grown quite large.

       

      1. ryankelly

        The WSJ has a pay wall and it’s too expensive for me.  The balance would be network TV news, NPR, etc.   Never Fox, due to sensationalism and participation in forwarding fake news.

        SF Chronicle and Bee for local/regional news. That would go for The Enterprise.

        Foodie magazines are common resources.

         

         

        1. Frankly

          Yes, the WSJ can be expensive.   If you have a student in the house you can get a big discount with the student rate and then just “share” the paper and/or online access.

          Fox News is obviously a right-leaning news media source, but it is different in how the format is largely point-counterpoint.   I would like to see more of that… bringing in advocates from both sides to make their case.   This contrasts with CNN, MSNBC and others that tend to invite like-minded lefties that maybe debate different left-views.

          I really like IQ2 (part of NPR I think) for in-depth point-counterpoint.   http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/about-iq2

          I used to watch the PBS news hour but it pissed me off too many times during this election season.

          hpierce, I should try the LA Times.  Good recommendation.

  5. quielo

    US Newspapers have a pretense of objectivity that newspapers elsewhere do not have. If you buy the London Times you know what the world view is of the authors is. Maybe news outlets should just get honest and declare their prejudices?

    I was listening to NPR last Wednesday when they had a segment on the Pearl Harbor Attack. Lot’s of things happened that day, horiam and cowardice, the intelligence failure, war being declared the next day, etc. Yet NPR choose to focus the segment around the Japanese internment. While an interesting story in itself it did not happen that year and was clearly chosen to put the most anti-American slant possible on the Pearl Harbor Attack. I have no doubt the producers would say they were “unbiased” and would object to being described as the “Hate America” channel along with “The Grauniad”. BTW I read the The Grauniad regularly specifically for it’s anti-American screeds.

    People do not buy into this “objectivity” pretense anymore as it was never true and therefore look for news to justify their own outlook.

     

    1. hpierce

      Has it occurred to anyone else that the Founding Fathers specifically promoted ‘freedom of the press’, knowing it could be ‘biased’?  After all, Franklin and many others ‘slanted’ the “news”… had they not, we’d still be speaking the ‘Queen’s English’… one needs to, independently, weigh “news” for themselves… don’t drink from one well… it might be contaminated… people need to think…

      Am disappointed that Napolean Pig has not weighed in… Animal Farm is a good read… the FF’s did not want media to be controlled (by government), in the fervent hope that folk would think. IMHO

      1. Napoleon Pig IV

        hpierce, I agree with you. I’m sure the probability of bias, especially with a government controlled press, was a significant concern to the FFs. The same probability of bias is also present in any press (media) controlled by large corporations, especially if they trend toward monopoly.

        It seems prudent to me, a mere pig, that all barnyard critters should drink from more than one well. Drinking too much contaminated water can be a very unpleasant experience.

        I have great respect for serious journalism and those newspapers, magazines, radio stations, etc., that make it possible. I also have increasing respect for social media as a platform for horizontal dissemination of information, despite the frequent absence of quality and presence of fraud. Fraud perpetuated by individuals can’t be more harmful than fraud perpetrated by governments, and when or where has there ever been a government that doesn’t lie?

        Information is power. Power corrupts. Let’s make sure information stays free of shackles and is never concentrated in too few hands. The alternative is to stand mindlessly in the pasture while wealth is redistributed into a small number of pockets and young men and women are turned into cannon fodder for criminals called “leaders.” Oink!

         

        1. hpierce

          There is a good probability of bias in the ‘media’… whether it be government, large corporations, interest groups, blogs, and/or individuals… I’ll rely on what I believe the FF’s saw… individual thought, and discernment… if I’m wrong, we’re pretty much doomed…

      2. Alan Miller

        Has it occurred to anyone else that the Founding Fathers specifically promoted ‘freedom of the press’, knowingit could be ‘biased’?

        That was my thought as well.  Who believes anyone who claims to be objective?  Both those making the statement and those believing it should have their brains examined.

        Similar, how is it people believe telephone solicitors?  Someone calls and says, “This is George Mason from the Sheriffs Department Children’s Fund, we are collecting money for one-armed orphans in Winters.”  I just say, “no you aren’t and no you’re not”.  They are always taken aback, appalled, aghast.  I counter, “you mean you actually believe what a stranger says who calls you out of the blue?  Are you insane?”.

         

        1. Marina Kalugin

          of course….even those who insisted they are right on other topics here in recent months and shut down other for fill in whatever blanks  are now espousing the side that everyone has their own agenda though not admitting to what their own is.    too funny.

          My hubby, due to both my stepsons service in the military donated to so fraternal order of Police in some East coast town…

          After that they sold MY number  cause I have had it for decades to all such police union and other “groups”..   and then even now.. long since the house is sold… we get dozens of calls and hangups from those folks.

          And guess what when I ask those OFFICERS of the law to stop calling since we are on a do not call list.. do they back off?   nada..

          Who the f can one complain to if the cops themselves or their paid telemarketers will not back off.. ?

          They start jammering about how since someone donated in the past it is not against the law…and other excuses..

          See freedoms of speech… nope follow the money…start getting a f clue..  newspapers are PAID to put out the rags.. but those who have an agenda.. …  objectivity?   one jests right?

    2. wdf1

      quielo:  Yet NPR choose to focus the segment around the Japanese internment. While an interesting story in itself it did not happen that year and was clearly chosen to put the most anti-American slant possible on the Pearl Harbor Attack.

      I didn’t interpret it that way at all.  Donald Trump made reference to requiring Muslims to register while he was campaigning, and now he’s President-elect, which has sparked further interest and some anxiety on the issue.  Criticism of the Muslim registry and singling out Muslims brought out comparisons to the Japanese internment during WWII.  Possibly the way that WWII is most immediately domestically relevant is on that issue.  I thought of it as backgrounder, maybe for some younger listeners, or listeners less familiar with that event.

      1. Marina Kalugin

        and have they EVER done a segment about the Mengele like  but even worse… internments by the Japanese of caucasians and asians of non-japanese countries.. in a country now absorbed by communist china?

        what goes around comes around. …….some of MY relatives disappeared never to be seen again…

         

      2. quielo

        “I thought of it as backgrounder, maybe for some younger listeners, or listeners less familiar with that event.” But the event precipitating the show was The attack on Pearl Harbor which was barely mentioned. I can see the producers at NPR now, “some Americans are drinking coffee on Sunday morning when they are bombed to death out of the blue by the Japanese, how do we show everybody how evil Americans are?” Solution – focus on the interment which happened later and imply strongly that the Americans deserved to die for being bad people while the Japanese & Japanese Americans are good people.

        Do you think NPR would start off a segment on BLM by detailing unrelated crimes committed by black people?

        1. South of Davis

          quilio wrote:

          > I can see the producers at NPR now, “some Americans are

          > drinking coffee on Sunday morning when they are bombed

          > to death out of the blue by the Japanese, how do we show

          > everybody how evil Americans are?

          NPR is doing the same thing with the Trump cabinet appointments, and since none of there guys (and gals) have done anything horrible they are focusing on what they “might” do and talking about “what if the new Secretary of state lets Russia take over Eastern Europe in a deal to help the Exxon stock price” and  “lets ask Muslims how they would feel if Trump and his cabinet decides to put them in camps…

          P.S. Eight years ago all we heard on NPR was what brilliant people Obama nominated for his cabinet (especially his amazing pick for Secretary of State)…

          1. Don Shor

            “what if the new Secretary of state lets Russia take over Eastern Europe in a deal to help the Exxon stock price”

            The second part of the sentence isn’t particularly relevant. The first part is a serious concern.

        2. wdf1

          quielo:   I can see the producers at NPR now, “some Americans are drinking coffee on Sunday morning when they are bombed to death out of the blue by the Japanese, how do we show everybody how evil Americans are?” Solution – focus on the interment which happened later and imply strongly that the Americans deserved to die for being bad people while the Japanese & Japanese Americans are good people.

          I can also see that you clearly have a predisposition to believe that without checking out all the stories that NPR ran about Pearl Harbor.

        3. South of Davis

          wdf1 wrote:

          > I can also see that you clearly have a predisposition to believe that

          > without checking out all the stories that NPR ran about Pearl Harbor.

          I listen to NPR and read the WSJ almost every day.

          There has never been a day when I did not notice that NPR has a left wing/DNC spin while the WSJ has a right wing/RNC spin.

          Just because “all the stories” that NPR and the WSJ run don’t have a political spin does not change this…

        4. wdf1

          SoD: I listen to NPR and read the WSJ almost every day.

          There has never been a day when I did not notice that NPR has a left wing/DNC spin while the WSJ has a right wing/RNC spin.

          Just because “all the stories” that NPR and the WSJ run don’t have a political spin does not change this…

          That was not my point.  Quielo suggested that NPR commemorated the Dec. 7 Pearl Harbor event by focusing only on the Japanese Internment Camp issue, and then proceeds to conclude that the producers must be a part of the “Hate America” crowd.  That was one story of many that they ran, covering a spectrum of topics.  I link to a list of stories above.

          Quielo’s argument would have been worth something if he could have shown that the only story they ran was on the Japanese Internment, but apparently he didn’t bother to check.

          I find NPR to be more centrist in its coverage, or at most slightly left of center.  Democracy Now! is solidly left in its coverage.

        5. Frankly

          Mark Leibovich is his book “This Town” covers the issues well.  It started with the 1960 televised debate between Nixon and Kennedy.  At that moment national politics became a media event.  And what happened next was a blending and merging of politics, media and journalism into a giant political-media industrial complex.

          It isn’t so much that these beltway journalists and their other media minions don’t get it.  The issues derive from the fact that they have become exactly what they are supposed to be investigating.  They are all part of the same “party”.  Their hostility toward Trump is that he is threatening to kill their gravy train.   Their easy money-making machine appears to be at risk.

          Trump is the insider-outsider to this machine.  He knows it and has exploited it for his own gain, but without developing a need for it.  If he follows through on what he has promised, we can expect a virtual media explosion of Trump hate as these “journalists”‘s corrupt empire crumbles around them.

          Media bias is not the actual problem here… it is journalism with a political agenda that is explained by a money-making agenda.

          It is a great threat to the republic.  But thankfully the voters see the problem and are at least trying to put a stop to it.

        6. quielo

          WDF you can spin it anyway you like but I listened to it and I stand by my original statement “NPR choose to focus the segment around the Japanese internment.” You can say they choose to mention some other stuff later but the order was, show title, and right into evil americans imprisoning. Sure they finally got around to the bombing and death at the end.

          I also noticed you did not answer my question. For your convenience I will reiterate it. “Do you think NPR would start off a segment on BLM by detailing unrelated crimes committed by black people?”A

      3. wdf1

        MK:  and have they EVER done a segment about the Mengele like  but even worse… internments by the Japanese of caucasians and asians of non-japanese countries.. in a country now absorbed by communist china?

        I am sorry for your relatives.

        But have you EVER bothered to search to see if your supposition is right? …or not?

        This is what you get when you search on Japanese and ‘prisoner of war’.

        This is what you get when you search on ‘Rape of Nanking.’

  6. Frankly

    Great quote I read  from a Hollywood actor no less…

    “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uniformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”

        1. quielo

          Dear Quote Investigator: A cynical attitude toward the media is widespread today, but this is not a new development. Supposedly, Mark Twain made the following remark:

          If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
          Are these really the words of the famous humorist?

          Quote Investigator: There is no substantive evidence that Mark Twain said this. It is not listed on the important Twain Quotes website edited by Barbara Schmidt. 1 In addition, QI has been unable find an instance in key compilations like “Mark Twain Speaking” edited by Paul Fatout 2 and “Mark Twain at Your Fingertips” edited by Caroline Thomas Harnsberger. 3

          The earliest strong match known to QI appeared in a message posted in 2000 to an international discussion system named Usenet within a newsgroup called israel.francophones. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 4

          As Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

  7. Marina Kalugin

    newspapers are the source of fake news… worse than any other.    cept during the communist era when the underground had manual typewriters which were illegal and if you were caught with one.. it was off to Siberia with ya.

    everyone has an agenda.. .and those who make their living running news are easily bought out..

    like the DE the Sac BEE and the Winters Express and the DV..

    the rules are what run the agenda… the rules of blocking censoring.. …not posting letter to the ed

    scrubbing off stuff that is not off topic but is not on the side one is trying to push along

    follow the money and LEARN the f truth….

     

    1. Alan Miller

      stuff that is not off topic but is not on the side one is trying to push along

      I think you are confusing “not off topic” with “verbal diarrhea”.

  8. PhillipColeman

    Newspapers have traditionally cloaked themselves in self-righteousness and sanctimony, claiming objectivity, balance, and fairness in all reporting save editorials.

    That’s total bunk, newspaper editors do have carefully honed skills in disguising their biases with token nods given to “the other side.” It’s mentioned as an afterthought, and always pales in comparison to the lead headline and following story.

    Even the traditional bastions of the “free press” are all concentrated in the Eastern Time Zone, and they have had to revert to a tabloid format to maintain contemporary interest and subscription levels.

    Major television news outlets have fallen into the same hole. Ratings and revenue totals affect the content and tone of every telecast (e.g., “If it bleeds, it leads”).

    Columnists are more forthright and concentrate in persuasive argument rather subtle disguise. My preference in the quest for objectivity and balance is to read opposing columnists’ views and compare and contrast. Fairness in reporting was abandoned long time ago.

     

     

    1. Frankly

      That’s total bunk, newspaper editors do have carefully honed skills in disguising their biases with token nods given to “the other side.” It’s mentioned as an afterthought, and always pales in comparison to the lead headline and following story.

      This covers a lot of ground about political bias.  “Carefully honed skills” explains the professional ruling class and the professional chattering class.

      I was watching a program on Columbia… the country used an advertising campaign to defeat the militant rebels that had previously made Columbia the most violent country on the planet.  I was thinking about this and how information can be broadcast-presented in “carefully honed” ways that influences the opinions of people.   This is why the pen is often mightier than the sword.

      I think we fail to identify the severity of the problem resulting from political bias in our news… and also in our education system.

      I think to some degree the accumulated evidence of liberal political bias in the mainstream media and education system contributed to the election of Donald Trump and the swing to a Republican majority control in the majority of government.

      There is overt “hard” fake news, and there is the more insidious and truly despicable kinds that is the type of soft fake news from the mainstream media.  It is the selection of stories.  The placement of stories.  The repeating of story narratives.  The snide editorial comments at the beginning and end of the story.  It is also lazy journalism that sensationalizes the unimportant and ignores what should be reported.

      They all add up.

      The sheeple don’t have time to check this stuff.  Many of them just accept it.  But more and more are also accepting that the “news” isn’t reliable… it seems to be just another arm of politics.

      An obvious example is “climate change.” News organizations have internalized alarmist orthodoxy, leading them to be dismissive of facts that call it into question, such as the predictive failures of climate models and the abuses of scientific process revealed seven years ago by the “Climategate” emails.

      Watching Good Morning America on the treadmill.  Al Roker showing a map of the US in a heat wave and says “this is just going to get worse if we don’t do something about it.”

      Do something about it? Does old Al know that the same “science” that theorizes antropogenic climate change also says there is nothing we can do to reverse the trend?

      So here this respected national weather “expert” says “do something about it” and the sheeple think “yeah, we should do something about it.”… or they are like me and immediately understand that Mr. Roker cannot be trusted to know what he is talking about.

      Just one example.

      1. South of Davis

        Frankly wrote:

        > Does old Al know that the same “science” that theorizes antropogenic

        > climate change also says there is nothing we can do to reverse the trend?

        I thought the weather would go back to “normal” and the “climate would stop changing” as soon as we all got Teslas and put solar panels on our houses…

    2. South of Davis

      Phil wrote:

      > newspaper editors do have carefully honed skills in disguising

      > their biases with token nods given to “the other side.”

      I always laugh when NPR brings on someone from the “other side” and more often than not they find some crazy right wing guy that even most Fox viewers would hate to debate the calm likable left wing guy.  Fox does the same think and brings on crazy left wing people to debate the calm likable right wing guy (so they can say they are “fair and balanced”).

      I’m sure that Phil will agree that the left leaning press for the most part is not a big fan of cops and makes people think that cops (of all races) are driving around shooting people of color (with their hands up) just for fun.  For years living in SF the guy that got shot was always “just about to turn his life around and do something like become a veterinarian to help seeing eye dogs”…

  9. Marina Kalugin

    Reagan and perhaps earlier guys also..

    We really need a woman..  too bad only the likes of HRC have a chance.

    But if we start NOW we could maybe convince Mariko Yamada?

      1. Marina Kalugin

        and  wtf does that have anything to with the price of beans….  follow the money folks..  didya know that MR. Dodo had over $6.3 million in independent expenditures by the like of PGE and Chevron?    and that was before even the start of the final two weeks.

        Soon you may start finding out WHY….

        [moderator] edited, off topic
         

    1. Biddlin

      Since you have nothing but contempt for our laws and our institutions, where do you get off commenting on our politics? “We” apparently doesn’t include you, except when it suits your nefarious purposes.

  10. Marina Kalugin

    and guess what … follow the money MR B and hang the cops who kill people and get protected..  got it?

    I am now again against the Death Penalty …but I will make an exception for crooked cops… they should pay..  🙂

  11. Marina Kalugin

    PS   as a lifelong activist I have learned more than many here… and I have changed my views as life experiences presented them….  and yes.. the BO administration was the worst thing for our last 8 years..

    the media got him elected.  OPRAH got HIM elected..  she was pushing him and his agenda before he was anyone in Chicago…

    and yes.. he is a nice family man but not president material ever…

    so many broken promises and yes I voted for him over McCain after Ron Paul was sent away..

    but he is still only absorbed with HIS life his family… nada his “people” whoever that may be..

    not the people who now have obamaphones and still nada job..  and haven’t for generations…

     

     

  12. Sulla

    I have always respected newspaper reporting, except in the few instances in my lifetime when I had been present at the event which was reported and understood the facts concerning a particular matter.  Then the article in the paper bore little relation to the truth.  What luck!  The only time a newspaper reporter was wrong was when I knew the full facts!

    As for the Enterprise, I am a long time subscriber, but once I let my subscription expire, and very quickly I realized that I had nothing to start my fire in my fireplace!  The page with Bob Dunning’s column is the last I burn.

  13. Marina Kalugin

    ha ha..  loved Bob D  back in the old days… and now he is all over the place.. after he got married to the love of his life.. his stuff got weirder or something….  usually the DE was for the MR money bucks… they were the ones paying the ad bills… and then he surprised me recently  on a few things..

    Back when Foy was the DE in charge, and was involved with the same cult I was… we were best buds and pals.. I haven’t seen him much since he moved up the ranks…  and so on….

    That reminds me… I still pay monthly and this year (and last) I missed the Cool Davis specials… oh well…I need to head online now to change my address with them….. now they need to mail it to my new address in MX>  or Yolo County..

    still too hard to let go… that is where the unions would send the REAL truth about what ucd was up to.. before the Napo or whoever would release to the faculty and staff…

    Or rather we would see the issues from the union side….

    when I have time I go online and read what the minions have to say…cya

    PS> and after we got the new organics bins..it would come in useful to line those small bins and the larger ones… I only had time for headlines and obits and letters to the editor.. skimming only.. since the DE is soooo small now….only takes a few seconds or minutes to skim 🙂

  14. tribeUSA

    “Newspapers, television, and the internet are feeding us what dolphins call ‘meep… meepahh… marp’—Literally, lies as deep as the ocean.”

    Jeff Rovin, former editor of Weekly World News
    Note: Weekly World News was closed down when the Mainstream News sank to a level of accuracy less reliable than the Weekly World News, by the Big Boys of Mainstream Media.

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