By Daniel Bobinski
In America, one of the masters of pre-Internet “click bait” and fake news was William Randolph Hearst. He learned the newspaper trade working as an apprentice under New York World editor Joseph Pulitzer in the 1880s. Hearst then moved to the west coast where he ran the San Francisco Examiner, but returned to New York in 1895 and became Pulitzer’s competitor. Hearst bought the New York Journal, and to steal readers away from his old boss, Hearst printed what we would now call “click bait” headlines, focusing on calamity, chaos, sex scandals, and violence.
Interestingly, the term “yellow journalism” was coined to describe what Hearst was doing. Today we call it click bait and fake news.
Trying to whip up stories to sell more papers, Hearst sent a staffer to Cuba to cover what Hearst believed would be a war with Spain. When the staffer wrote back saying all was well and there would be no war, Hearst said, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Three weeks later, the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor. No official cause for the explosion was ever discovered, but Hearst’s paper wrote stories accusing Spain of the attack, and the next thing you know, the United States was in a war with Spain.
Result: 3,549 Americans died, but at least Hearst sold more papers.
The Media Continues to Lie
In their quest for readership, viewership, and profit, media sources continue to make up sensationalist headlines and fake stories. Examples of these deceptions could fill a book, but I’ll convey a few more.
In 1998, CNN (and subsequently Time magazine) ran a story accusing the US military of using weapons of mass destruction (sarin nerve gas) during the Vietnam War, and further claiming the US massacred its own deserters in Laos. A producer said the story was hokum, and sure enough it was, but he was overruled by CNN brass. Eventually, the reporters and producers involved in the story resigned, including the famed Peter Arnett.
In 2004, seasoned CBS anchor Dan Rather reported that he had “exclusive information, including documents” indicating George W. Bush dodged his duties while serving in the National Guard. It’s was open knowledge that Rather was not a Bush fan and didn’t want Bush re-elected. Despite evidence that showed the story was fake, Rather and CBS clung to the story. In 2005, four CBS News employees were terminated for airing the fake news, three of which were executives. Rather resigned a month after that.
Don’t even get me started about the media’s behavior during Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. I know more than one journalist who was privately embarrassed because of the “journalistic neglect” in failing to vet Obama’s background. One guy actually stopped saying he was a journalist when people asked what he did for a living.
The Impact of Trump’s Patriotism
Enter Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential race. Talk about rocking America’s political boat. For decades, establishment candidates ran for, and got elected to, the highest office. Ronald Reagan was the only President in recent memory to not be part of organizations affiliated with what we now refer to as “the Deep State.” But since Reagan, the Deep State had made much progress on their agenda.
Why all the resistance to Donald Trump? The Deep State had gotten over-confident while working the Obama marionette. For years, their method has been, “Two steps forward, one step back.” But Barack Obama and his friends made such great advances in fundamentally transforming the United States of America, they became overconfident.
Police were getting assassinated in their patrol cars. Obama said nothing. Riots were destroying communities. Obama said nothing. In fact, he stirred the pot. The Deep State wants the country divided and in ruins so they can build it back up as a Socialist state. They were making such great progress taking two steps forward down that road that they forgot to take one step back.
In my opinion, this rapid advance without any lulls created a wake up for many patriots, which was further fueled by Trump’s patriotism. Those who valued the roots of our Republic went to the polls and outvoted those that wanted Socialism.
Because of this the legacy media was not happy. You could see it on their faces on election night. The Left’s final victory was so close they could taste it, but Trump came along and ate their lunch. Ever since then, the legacy media has been working overtime to discredit the Donald. That means lies, lies, and more lies.
Recent deceptive statements and false declarations:
“Caught in a quid pro quo, Trump falsely accuses Biden of a quid pro quo.” This declarative headline of an MSNBC article by Steve Benen makes bold statements: 1) Trump is guilty. 2) Biden is not.
This is journalism? I don’t recall hearing that Steve Benen received time travel powers to scoop the verdict of some future trial. Perhaps Benen’s time travel powers could be used to go back in time to learn that the phone call in question occurred in July, but Ukraine first learned about aid being held up in August. As Breitbart reported, even the New York Times unwittingly confirmed that there can’t be a quid pro quo without a quo.
I can’t leave CNN’s John King out of this. In a recent video clip, King says, “The President constantly and repeatedly lies.” King shows Trump denying a story that claims he wanted a moat with alligators and an electric fence on the border. King said that because the President sat down to be interviewed for the book that contains that story, his denial makes Trump a liar.
Again, this is journalism? John, I could easily do the same to you. I could call you up, interview you for a book, then write false stories about you in the book. Then when you deny the stories, I could say you “constantly and repeatedly lie” because you fully cooperated with my interview!
King’s logic makes about as much sense as a soup sandwich.
Said another way, King fails as a journalist. Rather than contact the authors of the book to get a statement, he simply claims they are “two very professional ‘New York Times’ reporters who just wrote a very good book.” It’s a sad statement, but a true statement: You, Mr. King, are a deceiver.
The ripple effects of media lies
Just as William Randolph Hearst took America to war so he could sell newspapers, these Journalists in Name Only (JINOs), serving the will of the Deep State, are on the cusp of plunging our nation into a civil war merely so they can get clicks and readership and advertising dollars.
There is already a war going on for what we think and believe. For evidence, look at how Congressman Adam Schiff is running his impeachment sham. He conducts depositions in secret, and then selectively leaks what he wants to the press.
Schiff wants to manipulate what people think, and he gets his media lap dogs to play their part.
It’s exactly as GOP Chairman Ronna McDaniel reported:
- Adam Schiff must grant permission for Republicans to call a witness
- Adam Schiff can instruct a witness to not answer questions
- Adam Schiff can decide what the American public and the judiciary can see
Amazingly, according the impeachment resolution, Donald Trump’s legal counsel cannot attend any deposition. If true journalists were reporting on this happening in any other country, it would be ridiculed as a kangaroo court.
Not surprisingly, the Leftist media rapidly sucks up Adam Schiff’s carefully selected leaks. Why? Because A) they feel like they’re getting scoops and being real journalists, B) they get clicks – and advertising dollars – by appealing to the Democratic base, and C) they seek to influence voters’ thinking
Wonder if it’s working? Consider the results of a poll published this past week in USA Today. One question they asked was, “Do you agree that Trump’s impeachment is like a lynching?” The responses are quite telling:
People who trust Fox News the most: 78%
People who trust CNN the most: 10%
People who trust MSNBC the most: 2%
It doesn’t take a bank of brain surgeons to figure it out. The legacy media lies and lies and lies to A) sell sensationalist stories to gain advertising dollars, and B) manipulate people’s thinking to support an impeachment. After all, the Deep State feeds them leaks so they feel like real journalists, and then they get clicks and more money.
Unfortunately for the legacy media, if the Deep State were to ever accomplish its goal of Socialism in America, there won’t be too many advertising dollars to collect as a result of their click bait and fake news.
As one person I know recently put it, “If this keeps up, we’re going to have a banana republic, only with no bananas and no Republic.”
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is a certified behavioral analyst, best-selling author, columnist, corporate trainer, and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. In addition to working with teams and individuals to help them achieve workplace excellence through improving their emotional intelligence and improving the way they do training, he’s also a veteran and a Christian Libertarian who believes in the principles of free market capitalism while standing firmly against crony capitalism. Daniel writes on both workplace issues and political issues for multiple publications. Reach Daniel through his website, MyWorkplaceExcellence.com.