America's trust in the media has hit an all time low. According to Gallup, only 32% of Americans still trust the MSM to report the new accurately and fairly. The all time high since they started asking was around 72% in 1976. Since then, it's been a long, slow slide down to the bottom. Well, I'm not sure that bottom has been reached yet as there is no sign of any rebound.
I think the low point for me came when the Associated Press declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the Democratic Primaries late last spring, a day before the primary election in California. MSM's relentless defense of Hillary Clinton for her email escapades in the press only served to enraged a liberal faction unwilling to accept her as nominee. The damage is done.
In the wake of this epic fail on the part of MSM, visibility of alternative media outlets have spiked. Places like Truthdig, Naked Capitalism and Truthout have become reporters of record on stories the MSM will not touch. The coverage of the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline comes to mind as a good recent example. Alternative news is all over it, but the MSM is very busy showing drug commercials on the nightly news.
Unfortunately, alternative news is getting the label of "fake news" by the MSM. According to The Intercept, more than 200 of these "fake news" sites are now identified as sources of Russian propaganda by an unidentified group of people who refuse to be named. There is a growing blacklist of news organizations that all seem to have one thing in common: they are critical of establishment politics and American Foreign policy. The Intercept has explored this trend and the group fomenting it in this article:
The group’s list of Russian disinformation outlets includes WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report, as well as Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute.So, it looks like the MSM is an equal opportunity blamer, blacklisting conservative and liberal sites, too. Just as the Clinton campaign is blaming their loss of the election on the Russians, MSM is blaming their loss of the public trust on Russia. Seems like a happy coincidence, doesn't it?
The blacklist might have held up for most Americans, but the truth is already out. There is a clear connection of collusion between the political elite and the MSM. They seem to forget that these are the days of the internet. This means, that with enough determination and time, we can take any set of facts and cross check between sources.
I have found it useful to check facts in articles between diametrically opposed sources. A simple approach is to take the most liberal and most conservative sources and review their articles for the same set of facts. It's not that hard to do with search engine at hand. I believe that in most cases, two opposing viewpoints that agree on the same set of facts will yield at least some of the truth. This is why l believe that the diversity and expression of human opinion is essential for human survival. I don't care about sources as much as I care about corroboration.
I believe that if the mainstream media are looking for targets to blame for Hillary's epic fail in November, we only need to look at her campaign and how it was run. She ran an unprincipled campaign, colluding with the DNC, the mainstream media, high level allies in the federal and state governments and in the state level Democratic parties. Who else would be able to garner the support of more than 400 superdelegates before even the first primary was held? That to me was not only the biggest insult to the liberal Democratic base they expected to show up and vote for Hillary, it was also the biggest marker that the fix is in.
The Clinton campaign was so tight with the MSM, that her campaign manager John Podesta, had the audacity to encourage the MSM to give the most coverage to Trump above all others, and to take Trump seriously. Allies in the MSM were also feeding the Clinton campaign debate questions before the primary debates. And they did everything they could to obscure and bury Bernie Sanders in the news. Democracy Now! has a great article about "How the Media Iced Out Bernie Sanders & Helped Donald Trump Win", where they show how Trump consistently got the lion's share of the air time.
For example, “ABC World News Tonight” aired 81 minutes of reports on Donald Trump, compared with just 20 seconds for Sanders. Amy Goodman reports on how Sanders was so lucky to get that 20 seconds:
I asked Sanders what he did to warrant a full 20 seconds of coverage on ABC, and he threw his head back, laughing out loud. “We had the misfortune of actually trying to talk about the problems facing America and providing real solutions,” he said, offering his take on the media’s failure. “Trump was tweeting out about how ugly or horrible or disgusting or terrible his opponents were, in really ugly terms. Perfect for the media. That is a great 12-second sound bite. But to talk about why the middle class is in decline or why we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality can’t be done in 12 seconds. And second of all, it’s not something that they are, frankly, terribly interested in.” While the media may not have been interested in Sanders’ message, the voters were. Despite the media blackout, Sanders won 23 primary contests and 46 percent of the pledged Democratic delegates.That is perhaps, the best encapsulation of how the MSM sealed their loss of the public trust. But is also a reminder of a meme I've seen floating around, to paraphrase in polite company:
"The older you get, the more you realize that no one has a clue what they're doing. Everyone's just winging it."Clinton, her team and the mainstream media have proven this in spades. Clinton had the election clearly in her grasp, had everything going for her, but refused to listen to the people she claimed to represent. That is very poor judgment, but then, poor judgment is what we can expect from people who do not see themselves as being accountable to the people they claim to represent.
Some say that McCarthyism is back. It probably is, but I can say for sure that stupidity is all the rage in the mainstream media.