Ted Koppel Media "Facts" vs. Reality
GrassTopsUSA Exclusive Commentary
By Don Feder
April 4, 2017
It was a breathtaking display of elitist arrogance the ossified, increasingly isolated, old media sneering at the new media.
"Veteran newsman (for the media, this is the ultimate honorific) Ted Koppel tells Sean Hannity he's bad for America," exalted the headline on the March 27 Washington Post story. In an interview the previous day, Koppel told Hannity: "You and all of these opinion shows" do serious damage to the political debate. "You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts."
Facts are what Ted Koppel believes. Ideology is what you believe.
Veteran newsmen have done such a magnificent job of reporting facts that a September 2016 Gallup poll showed public confidence in the media at an all-time low only 32% said they had "a great deal of confidence" in the media, down almost 20 points from 1997.
The liberal media long for the good old days, when three networks had a virtual monopoly on news coverage. Then the media's power was such that they could drive a president from office and make America lose a war for the first time in our history.
What the media call facts are at best opinions and often delusions. With all due respect to the president, the problem isn't fake news as much as it's distorted, biased and manipulated news.
Here's what the media consider factual:
1. Illegal immigration is good for America Except, they refuse to use the term "illegal." Their preferred nomenclature is "undocumented" immigrants or workers. (The documents they refer to are called visas, which allow non-citizens to enter the country legally.) The media try to whip up hysteria over attempts to apprehend even the worst of the worst among them. In early February, raids by immigration agents scooped up more than 600 in 11 states. "Immigrant Community on High Alert, Fearing Trump's Deportation Force," WAPO warned. Of those arrested, 75% had felony convictions, including homicides and rapes. Heavens, if this continues, soon they'll be grabbing Dreamers who shove 14-year-old girls into public school toilet stalls and repeatedly rape and sodomize them. Undocumented rapists?
2. Feminists are the authentic voice of American women The three broadcast networks provided the so-called Woman's March (held the day after the Inauguration) with 129 times more coverage than the 2016 National March for Life. Hillary and Company turned out an estimated 500,000 once. The right-to-life movement (the mainstream media call them "abortion opponents") has brought out hundreds of thousands every year since 1973. More than 650,000 attended the 2013 March for Life. Remember, it's only news if the media choose to cover it. And that's a fact.
3. Guns cause crime The number of crimes committed with a gun has dropped by more than half since the mid-1990s. But 56% of the public think they're rising, not falling, according to a Pew poll. This grossly distorted view might have something to do with wall-to-wall coverage of notorious shootings like the 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy. On January 2, CNN noted that there were 762 shooting deaths in Chicago in 2016 up from 480 the previous year, itself the most since 1997. What CNN neglected to mention is that the Windy City has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.
4. White racism is pervasive, especially in law enforcement Remember coverage of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Almost every news story began by relating that a "white police officer" shot an "unarmed black teen." Initially, many dutifully repeated the lie that Brown had his hands up and shouted "don't shoot," at the time of his death (according to the unimpeachable testimony of his best friend). Brown (6'4' weighing over 300 pounds and probably high) was charging at Officer Darren Wilson, when he was shot. A grand jury refused to indict Wilson and he was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Obama Justice Department. Media coverage of Ferguson helped to set off a wave of cop killings.
5. Man-made Climate Change is an indisputable fact Every alarmist prediction by the priesthood of global warming, from Al Gore (who once said sea levels would rise 20 feet in a matter of years) to retired climate scientists, gets top billing. In 2015, Reuters approvingly quoted the apocalyptic ravings of Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, who said humans could be extinct in 100 years, due to "overcrowding (with declining birth rates?), denuded resources and climate change." The most absurd Chicken Little forecasts are foisted on the unwary. Scientists who disagree are treated as the modern equivalent of medieval alchemists.
6. Islam is the religion of well, you know the rest Journalists were in danger of having their tiny heads explode, so incensed were they when President Trump used the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism," in his first address to a joint session of Congress. These are words that should be eliminated from his vocabulary, they wailed. In roughly the past 18 months, individuals and groups attached to a religion which shall remain nameless killed 84 (including 10 children) on Bastille Day in Nice; murdered 49 at an Orlando nightclub; killed 130 in the Bataclan nightclub in Paris; murdered 14 and seriously wounded 22 at a Christmas party in San Bernardino; and, on March 22, drove a car into a crowd outside the British Parliament (4 dead, more than 40 injured). In each case, the perp(s) were Islamic radicals following the Koran's injunctions on jihad. The New York Times reported that according to the recollections of those who knew him, the London terrorist was "forever aggrieved, forever not at peace, forever out-of-step" forever Muslim?
7. "Transgenderism" is the newest civil rights
movement The cover story in the March 16 issue of Time Magazine celebrated the move "beyond he or she," and excitedly informed readers about those who describe themselves as "genderqueer," "neutrios" and "two-spirit." (What about the Transphibians from the old Saturday Night Live skit?) While they use science in the climate change debate, here science is totally ignored because there's no scientific evidence that individuals are born transgendered. In the debate over what are dubbed "bathroom bills," the media focuses exclusively on the imaginary right of men who feel like women to use public ladies rooms, rather than the right to privacy of those who actually are female.
8. Conservatives are fanatics Consider how often the media describe legitimate conservatives as "far right," "hard-line," "hard-core" or "ultra-conservative," versus how many times these labels are applied to leftists. Thus, the Freedom Caucus is supposedly distinguished by its fanaticism, while Commissars Al Franken, Charles Shumer and Elizabeth Warren are "progressives."
9. Donald Trump is the sum of all evil The watchdog Media Research Center looked at coverage of Trump in his first 30 days in office and found that the Big Three (ABC, CBS and NBC) devoted 54% of their evening newscasts to the president, and 88% of the time the coverage was negative. A network affiliate in Boston gave serious attention to a resolution by the Cambridge, Mass. City Council calling for the impeachment of the president. On February 6, the anchor on the CBS Evening News noted, "It has been a busy day for presidential statements divorced from reality" and for news coverage divorced from objectivity.
Other media facts: Hillary Clinton is a martyr and victim of Kremlin skullduggery. Barack Obama was the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. Donald Trump is a deep-cover operative of the Russian Federal Security Service. Obamacare is the greatest advance in medicine since penicillin. Deficits are caused by tax loopholes. Lay-offs are due to corporate greed. And serious Christians are bigoted, superstitious dingbats.
Former Obama press secretary Josh Earnest just went to work as an analyst for NBC and MSNBC. Like George Stephanopoulos at ABC, the skills Earnest learned at the White House (manipulating, misleading and lying through his teeth) he'll put to good use in his new job.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains a Facebook page.