Watching the MSM

I have avoided posting much about politics lately because … well, politics.

These two clowns we have running for president … well, again, what can you say? One’s clearly a more dangerous, stupid, inexperienced, corrupt, racist, misogynist, loud-mouthed clown than the other, sure. But this isn’t about that. If you want that, read Keith Olbermann’s 176 reasons that Donald Trump shouldn’t be president. Nicely summed up.

Still, straight up: They’re both clowns. Though neither is very funny and both of them are kinda scary.

What has struck me most about this race — race? — is how utterly difficult it is to get a piece of clearly unbiased news from anywhere. The Mainstream Media, and a lot of downstream media, too, are making this way harder than it should be.

You think CNN is unbiased? Nope. You think Fox is?

(Sorry: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Fox. Unbiased. Good one.)

Here are two screenshots of the digital front page of those two media giants from a recent morning (Wednesday, 9/14, at about 8:35 a.m.). The back story here is that leaked emails had just surfaced from former Secretary of State Colin Powell touching on both Hillary Clinton and Trump.

First, here’s CNN:

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-8-39-01-am

And here’s Fox News:

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-8-37-36-am

So, how do we break this down?

Powell, as near as I can tell from reading these and other reports, was unhappy as all get-out that Clinton was trying to tie him to her decision to use a private email server. That is what Fox leads with.

But Powell also said in the leaked emails, according to these and other reports, that Trump is a “national disgrace and an international pariah.” And that the Trump-backed birther movement against President Obama was “racist.”

That’s news, right? That sounds important, right?

Where’s that on the Fox News site? Nowhere on the front, that’s for sure.

Flip it back to CNN: They’re heralding reports about Trump’s foundation and its allegedly shady financial dealings as their main story. They mention the “pariah” bit from Powell in the headlines. No mention at all about Powell on Clinton’s email scandal. Nothing negative, at all, about Clinton on the front.

Obviously, there are tons of factors that are weighed in how stories are played on the front of a national website.

In the CNN morning meeting: Haven’t we heard enough about the damn email? We spent two days getting this story on Trump’s foundation and we think it’s important …. let’s let it ride. Plus, he and his dumb hat get clicks. OK, we done here? Pass the donuts, wouldja?

In the Fox morning meeting: The Mainstream Media is all for Clinton — look, CNN isn’t even mentioning email. Let’s go with that. Wow, that is one mad-looking Powell in this photo. Let’s use it. Plus, that’s what Bill O’Reilly wants, don’t you think?  Pass the donuts, wouldja?

(Another aside here, which probably shows my bias: One, I laugh at Fox claiming it is not Mainstream Media. Fox is huuuuge, much bigger than CNN. Many, many, many millions of more viewers, at least in the U.S. They’re mainstream as hell. And, two, I laugh every time I see a BIAS ALERT (third headline down) from Fox pointing out another news organization for being biased. Pot, meet kettle.)

(On the other hand, could CNN be any happier about the Fox News/Roger Ailes scandal? It’s been all over their site. And when former CNNer Greta Van Susteren left Fox? All over that, too. CNN loves Fox misery.)

My little snapshot above is completely unscientific. I’m sure many sites out there can give you a more accurate view of exactly who is biased and who is not, what is believable and what is not, who’s outright lying and who isn’t (take a bow, Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact). But you have to be careful, because a lot of so-called “news” sites claim to be unbiased, claim to tell the truth — the Media Research Center is one — and are actually conservative-fueled propaganda.

Clearly, left-leaners are out there, too. Vox is probably one. Slate is one. Huffington Post is one. My point is this: It’s hard to find the truth these days, and perhaps especially in this turtle-crawl of a race. (Will this never ennnnnnnd?) That, depressingly, makes it searingly difficult to come up with a well-informed opinion.

So you have to choose who to believe and what to believe. (If you put all your faith in one place, you’ll get what you deserve.) You have to do your due diligence. You have to check many places, read, read and read some more.

But that’s part of this stupid, beautiful process we have in America. It’s up to you, voter, to make sure you’re not being hoodwinked by the MSM. Or anyone else out there, for that matter.

3 thoughts on “Watching the MSM”

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