The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Egyptian Fake News

The New York Times never ceases to disappoint when it comes to their sanctimonious contention that they are the pinnacle of professional journalism, and never, ever traffic in "fake news." Of course, that's all nonsense, and the NYT proves it almost every day.

Yesterday's NYT headline was: "Trump Shifts Course on Egypt, Praising Its Authoritarian Leader." The implication is painfully obvious: Donald Trump is an authoritarian, so he has affinity to other world leaders who are authoritarian. What the NYT reporters failed to mention is that the previous Egyptian leader, Mohammed Morsi, championed by none other than Barack Obama, was the authoritarian Islamist leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, the progenitor of al Qaeda. The last time I checked, from 2009 to 2016 the NYT never published an article that was headlined, "Obama Shifts Course on Egypt, Praising Its Authoritarian Islamist Leader."

As I've mentioned many times, so-called respected news sites exhibit some of the most egregious examples of the meta characteristics of fake news. One of the many meta-characteristics that I noted occurs when a news organization is guilty of:
Omitting important facts when they conflict with a progressive narrative.
The reporters for the NYT conveniently failed to report Obama's affinity to authoritarian Islamist Morsi. That context might shade a reader's view of Trump's outreach to one of the few possible allies in the Middle East. They conveniently forgot to mention that Obama had a hissy fit when Morsi was overthrown and refused to meet with Abdel Fattah al Sisi, the new Egyptian president who just happens to be a foe of the Muslim Brotherhood. After all, that level of context just might be useful to the reader and just might have them asking questions, not about Trump, but about Barack Obama. Fake news on page 1 of the NYT.

But omission of important parts of a story pales in comparison to omission of the entire story when it threatened the progressive narrative. The rapidly growing spying and unmasking scandal involving Susan Rice and the Obama administration seems to fit. The Hill cites both the NYT and WaPo when they write:
The New York Times, for example, didn't feature the Rice story at all on Monday. And in the piece it did publish buried on page A16 that was hilariously titled, "Trump Tries to Deflect Russia Scrutiny, Citing ‘Crooked Scheme’ by Obama," the paper of record shrugged off the controversy because the story came from “conservative news media outlets."

You know, "conservative" like the impossibly down-the-middle Eli Lake of Bloomberg View or via an objective reporter like Fox's Adam Housley.

The Washington Post also failed to feature the story in any capacity either, instead relegating it to a blog post that referred to the Rice story as a "fake scandal." Democracy dies in darkness, as they say.

These are examples of the fake news meta-characteristic of "omission" along with the following meta-characteristic:
Conducting "in-depth investigations" only when they are likely to reflect poorly on the GOP, but showing a surprising lack of curiosity when possible wrong doing is associated with Democrats.
Fake News thrives, and much of it comes from the Democrats' trained hamsters in media.