The Media Lies To Us As If We Still Believe Them

Corporate media outlets lie to us as if we still believe them.

Trust in the press reached an all-time low last week. A Gallup poll found that only 15 percent of American adults trust formerly prestigious newspapers, and just 11 percent trust the television news. Only Congress has less goodwill with Americans than the media.

Overall, trust in the industry has dropped around 30 percent since 2000. Understandably, most readers and television viewers now dismiss what the press sells as information. 

Yet, media members aren’t handling the erosion of their relevancy well. Consider them in denial as they continue to misrepresent the facts, publish deceptive photos, and choreograph outrage as if they still govern public perception.

Last week, ABC News headlined an interaction between Democratic lawmakers and Capitol police with a deceitful photograph that suggests aggressive police officers handcuffed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her perky friends away from a peaceful protest:

ABC News had hoped readers would frown upon Capitol police if they were unbeknownst to the facts: that the Squad sisters pretended to wear cuffs as a stunt after law enforcement asked them to please stop blocking traffic outside the Supreme Court.

Below’s an angle that ABC excluded from its illustration of the event:

Rather than anyone falling for the trick, ABC spent the weekend in a flood of mockery as its ploy backfired. Facts can be inconvenient, after all.

How the media wants us to envision AOC’s “arrest” near the Supreme Court

Then there’s the New York Times, the big brother of journalism. On Saturday, the Times tried to downplay a story in which a radical loon attempted to stab Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) in the neck during a rally.

First, the paper framed the attack as an unfortunate “confirmation.” A distraught civilian wanted to give Mr. Zeldin a little poke, the Times told followers. Too bad there’s an available video to contradict this spin.

Next, the Times printed a wacky conspiracy that Zeldin’s team urged the court to release the perp without bail to boost Zeldin’s anti-crime campaign as he runs for governor of New York. Uh, what? On what did the author base his little hypothesis? We can’t say for certain. He never explained.

Media companies hold consumers in a low enough regard to publish such overtly dishonest portrayals of the news. But the people aren’t as dumb as slick editors maintain.

Readers knew coming in that corporate media brands would not cover the “arrest” of AOC and her beauty without a slant, or provide the accurate telling of an attempted stabbing of a Republican congressman. ABC and the Times took their audiences for fools and ultimately furthered the waning perception of two formerly-respected news agencies in the process.

These attempted diversions affirm beliefs that selective outrage, manipulation of language, and projection have come to define modern newsrooms. Tiresome tactics like creating a boogeyman to drum up hysteria are proving counterproductive as consumers turn to independent, less compromised sources of information.

At the same time, the core business of news coverage has eroded. Bombshells are appropriately met with as much skepticism as impact. It doesn’t matter how many Pultizer Prizes an outlet accumulates. Those awards have, too, been proven fraudulent. 

The Washington Post can use the term “sources” as often as it chooses. It won’t matter. Former believers of the press will never get back the hours they spent consuming dubiously reported developments of RussiaGate.

As a result, there isn’t a single active journalist working for an establishment brand who has widespread credibility. And lying in an effective manner requires credibility.

Overused buzzwords like “white” and “existential” and “bigoted” hardly make a reader flinch. These are words of diminished value, virtue signals to a small group within the bubble.

Members of the press are caricatures of themselves. As Bill Maher said during a recent episode of Real Time, we rightfully view today’s reporters as emotionally unstable, self-entitled losers incapable of uncovering the inner workings of a story.

“If someone named Deep Throat called today and wanted to meet, this crew of emotional hemophiliacs would have an anxiety attack and report to HR they didn’t feel safe,” Maher put it.

The corporate media had an opportunity to regain a level of trust among Americans with honest reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time in which people flocked to news coverage. Instead, the industry used the period to parrot a myriad of partisan talking points.

COVID was just another nail in the coffin to the reputation of the national press.

“Mainstream” is no longer an accurate description of blue-chip media brands. Outlets have neither the trust nor reach to mainstream an idea or a lie. So expect the latest venture to re-write the definition of “recession” to wither steadily.

The public has come to expect most reports to contain overbearing preconceived notions. They know the sly tricks: determine a narrative, build from there, and pen a conclusion before examining the evidence.

Thus, the press isn’t persuading more than a small subsection of the country. Rather, it’s adding credence to its moniker as the “enemy.”

Established news agencies act as if society still turns to them as the arbiter of truth. They lie to us as if we are unaware they’ve wrongly framed each recent pressing issue the country has faced.

In actuality, media-produced lies are inconsequential as hardly anyone’s there to believe them.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

10 Comments

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  1. There is an easy solution: DON’T FOLLOW THEM. Don’t watch them on TV. Don’t click on their websites. Don’t buy the paper, if it actually is still in print.

    Money is what will hurt them. Readership goes down, advertising revenue goes down, and the “news outlet” either changes tack or dies.

    • Sadly, there are many people who still believe the mainstream media is objective. They watch and read news that does nothing but make the Dems look good and the Repubs look evil and they believe it. They cover the stories that fit their agenda and ignore the stories that don’t. We are at such a disadvantage it’s beyond frustrating.

      • There are people who use news as an echo chamber to validate their beliefs. The ones I worry about are the people who hear a story on the news, say to themselves “that can’t possibly be true,” then do nothing to learn the truth. Eventually that kind of repetition sinks and people start to believe it. Its the Clinton model of if you say a lie enough times it becomes the truth, especially if you can get someone else to repeat it

  2. I feel genuine pity for the people out there who still put their trust in these people and whose brains have been broken beyond repair by years of the self-inflicted punishment of watching. Stockholm Syndrome is an understatement.

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