According to numerous surveys, Americans of all ages have lost faith in the credibility of the news media. We’ve gone from Walter Cronkite, labeled “the most trusted man in America,” to Donald Trump’s assertion that the “mainstream media” is an enemy of the people.
I blame this most on the inability of Americans to understand the difference between news and opinion. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Rachel Maddow are not journalists; they are entertainers, propagandists focused on shifting opinion, not enlightening viewers. The Internet is also to blame since it has no mechanism to filter outrageous untruths from hard facts.
It is the role of the media to present facts and, at times, make logical assumptions. Let’s take the weather. If the temperature in Utah is 101 degrees F. the media should report it factually. However, in this scenario, the cable “news” networks would place their spin on the heatwave.
Here are the examples of their coverage:
FOX News – Pres. Trump held a press conference in which he called the National Weather Service a purveyor of fake news. He pointed out that the 1900-era hurricane that wiped out Galveston, Texas was forecast as a slight wind condition by federal authorities. “The swamp in Washington, D.C. – and that includes the weather service – exaggerates the temperature to press their fake news claim about global warming,” he said. “And let’s remember that at least eight times during the Obama presidency, the temperature hit over 100 degrees. He did nothing about it – probably because was born in Kenya and really enjoyed hot weather like the other African natives. Just say Merry Christmas, folks, and we’ll make America snowy again.”
CNN News – “We’re seeing a tragedy of mammoth proportions,” says anchor Don Lemon, “We have two guests debating the near record-breaking temperatures.”
Guest One says, “As Hillary Clinton’s campaign director, I can tell you we warned the American people about these temperatures. A country that spews fossil fuel into the atmosphere is bound to experience extreme freezing and death-causing heat. If Trump stays in office, I predict every igloo in Anchorage will have central air by 2020.”
“That’s ridiculous!” says the second guest. “Trump is trying to end the Cold War with Russia. Give him some time and he will confront the Hot Air as well. The President’s golf courses are still green, so it’s obvious that his business-like policies will work for the rest of America as well. This President has solutions, not just a thermometer which changes daily.”
MSNBC – In less than two years of the Trump dictatorship, we have seen major flooding, disastrous forest fires, and now historic high temperatures. We have also learned – BREAKING NEWS – that Donald Trump has advised his financial advisors to take a major stake in bottled water companies. In other words, this traitorous President has conveniently caused destructive heat in order to profit financially. While we Americans swelter in extreme heat, he makes a financial killing from the coming water shortage and then, when the heat gets too bad, he schedules a meeting in the colder climes of Moscow, Russia. Turn off your sprinklers and your showers, America – get ready for impeachment.”
THIS NEWSPAPER – Record-breaking heat encompasses much of Utah. It is affecting farmers, outdoor laborers and enthusiasts equally. You are encouraged to wear sunscreen, remain hydrated and keep your pets out of parked cars.
Yeah, real news isn’t quite as sexy as cable “opinion.”