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Letter: Post-truth news is not just a right-wing problem


Following the upset victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election, the “mainstream media” is searching desperately for answers. Typically, however, they are ignoring their own attempts to deceive their readers.

During the presidential campaign, CNN employees were caught conspiring with the Democratic National Convention to make Trump look bad. The New York Times, whose headline the next day read “Democrats, Students ... Face the Reality of a Trump Presidency,” actually published a sort of apology, promising to “rededicate (themselves) to the fundamental mission of Times journalism ... to report ... honestly, without fear or favor.”
Yet the CBC continues to bask in the delusion that their excrement is odourless; instead, CBC opinion columnist Neil Macdonald (CBC News, Nov. 28, 2016: “The ‘post-truth’ president flattens fact-obsessed media”) attributed Trump’s victory to the unwashed masses abandoning “fact-based” media (like them) and relying instead on “post-truth” news sites like Fox News, breitbart.com, Infowars, and, in my own case, recordings of sworn testimony given under oath, on penalty of perjury, to the Congressional Oversight Committee; all of these sources are dumped into the category of “fake news.”
Unfortunately, the mainstream media are at least as biased as the so-called “fake news” sites they condemn. The Telegram, for instance, regularly publishes opinion pieces by a gay rights activist, a leftist labour unionist, and a military historian who never misses an opportunity to criticize Israel, and pooh-poohs the notion that religious-based terrorism is a serious threat.
Meanwhile, educated, articulate conservatives are relegated to sending in letters to the editor.
Consider CBC coverage of the current “epidemic” of police shootings. In regards to the shooting of Sammy Yatim in Toronto, for example, CBC has repeatedly referred to the 4.7 inch switchblade with which Yatim tried to murder passenger Bridget McGregor as a “small knife.”
In numerous articles about the death of Ian Bush, in Houston, B.C., CBC repeatedly stated — incorrectly — that Bush was shot “in the back of the head.” He was not; according to the autopsy report (another one of those “fake news” sources I like to consult), he was shot in the side of the head — exactly the sort of injury you would inflict if you had a gun and someone grabbed you from behind and began choking you to death.
Or, consider the police shooting of convicted criminal Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La. Did I mention that Sterling was a convicted criminal? Because the CBC didn’t. Of 42 stories and articles about the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, 41 of them failed to mention that he had a criminal record. The only reference to Sterling’s criminal history was a five-second mention on “The National” the night of the shooting.
On Aug. 8 of this year, I submitted a formal complaint to CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin regarding these and other instances of biased, anti-police reporting when it came to law enforcement. Enkin forwarded it to Jennifer McGuire, editor in chief of CBC News, who ignored it. Followup emails to Enkin and McGuire on Aug. 29 and Oct. 1 were likewise ignored.
Given the appalling left-wing, anti-police bias shown by the so-called “mainstream media,” is it really any surprise that significant numbers of people are turning to “alternative” news sources?
If The Telegram, the CBC, CNN, Associated Press, New York Times and other mainstream media want to be taken seriously again by the general public — not just the left wing of the general public, but the “unwashed masses” of conservatives like me — they had better get their houses in order and start living up to their promise of providing fair, unbiased news coverage.
Calling the kettle black is no longer acceptable.


William R. Lorimer
Bell Island

 

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