During the 2016 election, President Trump coined the now well-known phrase – “fake news” to describe media stories that were false or misleading regarding him or his campaign. He used it so often, to great effect, and the phrase has now become a household saying.
Since 2016, the “fake news” fodder hasn’t stopped, and Trump seems to call out the media for their inaccurate reporting on a seemingly constant basis.
One of the most egregious examples came last year when CNN had to retract a story that claimed a Russian investment fund that had ties to the Trump campaign was under investigation. The story turned out to be false, and three reporters resigned from CNN in the aftermath of the retraction.
That’s, of course, only one of the many examples regarding “fake news” against the President. But there are other, more worrisome problems with inaccurate reporting. One of those problems is “framing,” or biased reporting, where the media outlet produces and frames a story in a certain way – often against conservatives. What’s even more problematic? This phenomenon is not only existent on the national media level – but is now creeping down to local media outlets as well.
Take for example C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Virginia, a weekly paper read by many local residents. During the 2018 midterm elections, the paper sarcastically referred to the ‘A-list’of GOP candidates who had received an ‘A rating’ from the NRA. The paper framed this as a negative, outlining the GOP candidates with ‘A ratings’ as the “bad guys” – but most conservatives, including myself, would disagree.
Another example of biased reporting can be seen with the Beverly Hills Weekly out in California, which is led by Josh Gross. The paper recently ran a piece slamming Lisa Korbatov, a well-known conservative in California, for trying to stop government waste over the funding of a metro rail that would trample on community rights and could possibly harm students, as the subway will run directly beneath a high school that is located in the same oil fields located under West L.A. All that oil and gas running underneath the floorboards of our children’s classrooms with a speeding subway racing through it certainly raises legitimate concerns. However, the Beverly Hills Weekly story ignored those points and simply chose to paint an inaccurate narrative for the reader as it relates to Korbatov.
California media attacking a conservative? Go figure.
But what’s even more concerning about the Beverly Hills Weekly article is that it not only provides an example of media bias when it comes to conservatives but also highlights the speed in which fake news can spread. For example, the article by Gross’s paper was picked up by Reveal, which penned an inaccurate attack piece on Korbatov as well.
On the national level, the problem only gets worse.
Consider the case of the Covington Catholic High School kids. Remember them? They were the ones who visited the National Mall and were confronted by Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder. The story was framed as “privileged kids” who smugly defied a minority.
There’s just one, “minor” correction – those kids never directed any racial taunts towards Mr. Phillips. Rightfully, the school and a few of the kid’s parents sued CNN and The Washington Post after the event occurred and were cleared in an investigation.
Biased media reports like this are not only relegated to kids – but are being directed towards those who roam the halls of Congress as well. For example, just a few weeks ago, when Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted about the GOP putting older legislators next to a cardboard cutout of her, it turned out the legislator was a Democrat, not a Republican.
But how did the media frame the issue? Instead of calling out Ocasio-Cortez’s ignorance and calling it a day, the headline from ABC News read “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter blunder prompts GOP backlash.” Funny how the conservative response to AOC’s tweet is what the media decided to talk about!
No matter the issue, all to often the media makes sure that conservatives are the ones that take on the bad press. And when even local press chooses to frame Republicans. you know we have a problem.
Now is the time for conservatives, and frankly, individuals in both political parties to stand against biased reporting, and stand on the side of those who are working to bring factual news back to light.