Friday, January 27, 2017

Calling a Lie a Lie

NPR is the latest news organization struggling with the challenge of truthful objective reporting. The NYT halfway came to their senses in August 2016 deciding to call a lie a lie due to the extremity of the Trump phenomenon, but it was really too late. Now NPR tells us they will not call a lie a lie. And this is the big problem. This is the reason Trump was able to garner the necessary popular votes to be president.
Facts without context are just flotsam in an open sea. Objective reporting requires critical thinking to place those facts in context, recognizing patterns. For all political reporting, our liberal news outlets define objectivity as reporting facts and letting others define the context for themselves. Ironically, for liberals in press rooms, when true statements supported by facts align with their political beliefs -they back away from the truth - for fear of appearing biased. Conservative propagandists love to exploit this weakness.
Conservatives define themselves for America. Conservatives define others. Bannon's rant about the NYT "The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States." tells all we need to know  - and should have figured out long ago. He might have added that the media is a weak opposition party. They try to help their readership get to the truth, but refuse to put facts in context.
So conservative strategist renamed a party once known as the "Democratic Party" the "Democrat Party" (lest anyone recognize which of the two political parties supports democratic principles of majority rule, free and fair elections, and working together in the legislature for all of the people.
Conservative strategists succeeded in renaming the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare", making it look like the work of one man, rather than the Congress with him, and deflecting attention from the benefits of the law to the object of their hatred.
Conservative strategists recast the frame away from the actual policy issues, where they stand on weak ground due to the unpopularity of those policies, toward distractions.
Another renaming that recently succeeded is the recasting of "Neo-Nazis" to the "Alt-Right". With Breitbart in the White House and a president of German extraction (which the Trump family originally concealed by claiming they were Swedish) any appearance of similarity to the Nazis needed to be swept away.
Once again conservatives play to win and do not hesitate to lie to support a deeper truth, of sorts, if the lie supports their worldview. Liberals in the mainstream press hesitate to call a lie a lie even when the fact of lying is the truth. So, in order to avoid any possible appearance of unfairness, they refuse to call a lie a lie. But isn't that lying?

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