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The Trump Card...

Discussion in 'The Soapbox' started by muttly, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. muttly
    Relaxed

    muttly Veteran Expediter

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    Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida: light blue. Wisconsin: dark blue.
    Te he
     
  2. Turtle
    Chowing

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    When the journalist fails to be an honest broker of the news.
    Fake news is creating a partisan narrative that goes beyond, or even twists or selectively omits, the facts in order to tell the preferred narrative. It is interjecting supposition and opinion into the facts so as to distort the facts and to suggest a certain narrative.

    One example is, CNN recently had a republican lawmaker on to interview her about the status of the new health care bill. The second question asked of the lawmaker was, "When Trump Tweets "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt" does that undercut your efforts to pass a health care bill that will benefit all Americans?"

    Not only is that a question designed to move the topic of discussion away from the heath care bill to that of Trump, since a health care bill and Trump's Tweet have absolutely nothing to do with each other, but it intentionally tries to put Trump is a negative light, that of Trump intentionally trying to block efforts to benefit Americans. If the lawmaker answers "Yes" then the story becomes "Lawmakers Blame Trump for Slow Pace of Health Care Bill." If the answer is "No" it puts the lawmaker on the defensive in having to defend Trump for something that has nothing to do with what she's trying to do in Congress.

    But because she refused to give an explicit yes or no answer, the question got rephrased and asked three additional times, leaving the distinct impression that Trump was doing something bad, and the question itself, and thus an answer, takes on an artificial importance. The viewer will answer the question themselves, reaching a conclusion spurred and nudged to the answer that CNN wants them to reach.

    Fake News is using the term "Lawyered up" to describe Mike Pence taking the prudent, reasonable and intelligent step of retaining legal counsel in order to conduct matters in accord with legal formalities or so as to avoid legal risk. The term is a pejorative used to imply someone refuses to speak honestly and freely because they have something to hide. It is a term intentionally used by dishonest brokers of the news to give an opinion disguised as fact as a means to bathe those in the administration who have hired outside legal counsel in the most negative light possible. When it was reported that Mike Pence had hired outside counsel, not only did CNN use the "lawyered up" term exclusively and so ubiquitously as to be gratuitous, but they also decided that by "lawyering up" with outside counsel that Mike Pence was distancing himself from the president. That's not even remotely factual. It's pure fabricated opinion.

    Of course not. Trump is not, nor has he ever pretended to be, an honest broker of the news.

    You won't be all that surprised if you consider that poll numbers are always highly influenced by the narrative put forth by the news media. One of the basic functions of the mainstream media is, in fact, to shape public opinion. They can choose to do that responsibly by informing the public what the news means while checking their own bias, or they can irresponsibly craft a narrative that fits their biased agendas.

    Well, at the time of your posting, that particular headline was eleven down on the Politics page of CNN's Website, and it didn't even make the main page at all.

    CNN's current headline story, the same one it's been all day, is:
    Trump lawyer says President isn't under investigation, despite tweets

    To say "It is not true that the main stream media focuses continually on Trump" is technically true, because they don't focus on Trump continuously to the exclusion all else. But Trump, more specifically, anti-Trump and taking him to an impeachment, is nevertheless their primary focus. CNN could change their name to "Cable Politics News" and it would be more accurate. Even more accurate would be "Progressive News Network" which implies they are there to forward the progressive liberal agenda, which is exactly what they have been overtly doing for 16 months.

    No one is realistically saying that CNN or the mainstream media's news reporting is all fake, as in 100% fake news all the time. If one really and truly watches cable news objectively, it is easy to pick out what is fake news, what is colored by bias, and what is honestly brokered news.

    And as the Mutster correctly pointed out, weekend cable news is generally dramatically different than it is during the week. On the weekends other than the Sunday Morning shows, which is pure political theater, politics takes a back seat to all other news. The weekends are where you have the fluff pieces, the feel-good pieces, and Anthony Bourdain. All of the stories that necessarily take a back seat during the week to the desired narrative du jour. Other than the big headlines of breaking news, the news stories over the weekends tend to be less-than time sensitive and more generic.

    As I have noted in these forums in the past, when you watch cable news, the instant the news broker (show host / news anchor) turns to another reporter or "contributor" and asks a question, you can rest assured that everything that follows is pure opinionated BS. Whenever you hear a news broker utter the phrase "I think" or "it seems" then you know that whatever follows is specifically there to influence your opinion.
     
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  3. Turtle
    Chowing

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    From CNN at 17:02... (paraphrasing, but it's very close)
    The president nor his legal team have been notified that he is under investigation. The key word is "notified." Just because he hasn't been notified that he is under investigation doesn't that he's not. In fact, he could very well be under investigation without being notified.

    Within the last week I have also heard show hosts and analysts (Wolfe Blitzer, Brooke Baldwin, Gloria Borger, Alisyn Camerota, Cris Cuomo, Kate Boulduan, and Erin Burnett specifically, but I'm sure there are others) say on more than one occasion when an interviewee questioned the narrative, that "Just because we don't have evidence of collusion doesn't mean we won't find any."

    These are both examples of a pure conspiracy theory mindset. And it's incredibly irresponsible journalism
     
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  4. Turtle
    Chowing

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    Here's another nifty bit of factual news that's crafted to insinuate that Trump's up to something nefarious. It is from the Paper of Record, the lovable New York Times. The headline reads:

    Russia Renewed Unused Trump Trademarks in 2016

    The lede of the piece, which is what the article is supposed to be about, reads:

    "Amid a broadening investigation of Russian contacts with his associates and his own role in trying to stop it, President Trump fired off another angry tweet this past week repeating his assertion that he has no business interests in Russia."

    The article isn't about that at all, but it sure sets the context for everything that follows. Russian Investigation, contacts, trying to stop it... No evidence of business in Russia, but they ask the questions anyway, hinting that there probably are business interests in Russia, and Trump wants to keep them hidden.

    So in that context, we have the second and third paragraphs...

    "Remained safely in Trump's portfolio" suggests they did Trump a yooge favor, protecting him for some unstated reason. I love the second paragraph in the quote box, where it implies that despite the near-Herculean task of undermining American democracy, the Russian government somehow found the strength to renew trademark registrations... when it was time to renew them.

    Journalists and editors know full well that the vast majority of readers stop reading after the 4th paragraph, which is why in paragraph 6 we come across "Under normal circumstances, renewing trademarks in Russia is generally a routine matter, and there is nothing to suggest from the few public records available that Mr. Trump was shown favoritism." So, basically, the article is about absolutely nothing unusual, but throughout the article they keep planting the seeds that something underhanded must be going on here, even though they keep showing that there's not. It's like, "nothing to see here, but.... what if... or..."

    It's just really crappy journalism. But people lap it up. And believe the highlights and insinuations, based solely on the questions asked.

    An additional note, I love how they point out that "A Times review of intellectual property databases in April found that the Trump Organization had 157 trademark applications pending in 36 countries." Because bare numbers like that will make people go, "Wow! That's a lot of trademarks in a lot of countries!" But it pales in comparison to the number of trademarks worldwide of Apple, Walmart, Toyota, Samsung, Google, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, McDonalds, Intel, Pepsi, Gillette, among many others. Trump isn't even in the top 100 of number of trademark applications nor in countries in which applications were filed. He's not even in the top 300.
     
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  5. ATeam

    ATeam Senior Member Retired Expediter

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    Agreed.

    That said, a partisan press is not new in American history. A Google search of "history of partisan press" provides some interesting reading.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017 at 9:03 PM
  6. ATeam

    ATeam Senior Member Retired Expediter

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    Apples and oranges. A daily tracking poll asks how do you feel about the president now. An election poll asks how are you going to vote on a future date?
     
  7. muttly
    Relaxed

    muttly Veteran Expediter

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    Not my quote, but all the same, the election poll is also about how one feels about a candidate when the poll is taken. If the poll was just after the Access Hollywood tape was released, it would have a different result.
     
  8. xiggi

    xiggi Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    You completely missed the point. What I was pointing out is how wrong polls have been over the last few years. I'm not sure why a person would show much trust in them. I do believe you also stated the presidential polls were correct because they only showed popular vote leanings on a national basis.
     
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  9. Turtle
    Chowing

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    A partisan press has existed ever since Guttenberg invented the press. A partisan press nearly forced George Washington to quit midway through his second term, and absolutely resulted in him not seeking a third term. A concerted effort of misinformation and blatant lies from Thomas Jefferson and his allies via a complicit partisan press nearly thwarted the election of John Adams, and was successful in thwarting a second Adams term.

    But the term 'journalism' mainly refers to the industry that gathers and reports the news for the last 100 years or so,essentially, ever since the advent of Ethics in Journalism. What we call journalism now is radically different from the newspapers that Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin read, because they had no real journalistic ethics in those days.

    The Ethics of Journalism is guided by five important values:

    Honesty; journalist should not makeup news, or share news that give off wrong impressions.

    Independence; journalist should avoid topics they have a personal interest in.

    Fairness; a journalist should not tell the truth if it is with bad intentions.

    Productiveness; a journalist should be hard working and try to gather all the facts.

    Pride; a journalist needs to be able to accept all credit for their work bad or good.

    It should be fairly obvious that the mainstream media journalists of the 21st century adhere to very little of those five values.
     
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  10. ATeam

    ATeam Senior Member Retired Expediter

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    I am not without hope. Many who touted ethics in journalism and tout it today are themselves journalists. Reform is possible and can easily come from within the trade.
     
  11. muttly
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    muttly Veteran Expediter

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    They have too much invested with their agendas for many of them to want to change.
     
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  12. Turtle
    Chowing

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    Unfortunately, many, maybe most, are journalists who claim to be unbiased and completely impartial, yet adhere to virtually none of the Canons of Journalistic Ethics. The biggest problem isn't even the ones who pretend to be unbiased and claim to be, it's the ones who are highly biased and genuinely think they're not. He's in crowded company over there, but CNN's Don Lemon comes to mind. I literally laugh out loud every time I hear him say, "I'm neither Left or Right, I'm a journalist." The sad thing is, he genuinely believes that. That's one of the problems with the coastal mainstream media bubble, but that's another story.

    I do think reforms can happen, and it can only happen from within the industry. But it won't come easy. Not only is there the bubble problem, but as long as the currency is views and clicks with for-profit news media, there is little incentive to change, or even admit (or become aware) that there is a problem.

    I think it's totally ironic that ever since Trump became a serious candidate and CNN and MSNBC became more and more blatantly partisan agendized news, and Fox News has become less and less partisan and more unbiased (now that they've also ironically dropped the hole "fair and balanced" dog and pony show), the viewership ratings at Fox have started to slip while the ratings are on the rise at the other cable news networks. Where there are no "OMG Trump Now!" headlines, Fox wins handily, but as soon as the NYT ot Washington Post breaks a story using a plethora of imaginary "government officials" as sources, CNN and MSNBC ratings shoot through the roof. People need to get that confirmation bias fix, otherwise they go through withdrawal. The honest truth doesn't matter. Getting that fix is the only thing that matters. Until that changes, we won't see any ethics reforms in the mainstream media.
     
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  13. OntarioVanMan
    Thinking

    OntarioVanMan Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    announced on Fox....special prosecutor hires 13 more lawyers....how much more need to be spent on this hogwash where in the end no one will be satisfied anyhow....gee whiz...
     
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  14. ATeam

    ATeam Senior Member Retired Expediter

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    When Diane and I were politically active, I was interviewed by over 100 news reporters. Additionally, I was an occasional guest on the CNN and Fox news talking head shows.

    Every chance I got after each interview, as the journalists and crews were packing up their gear, I asked the journalist to tell me a bit about himself or herself. How and why did you become a reporter? I'd ask.

    Almost all of them talked about the positive difference they wanted to make by entering the business. All of them told me about working their way up through the ranks by covering local meetings, weekend crime, etc. Then many of them expressed frustration in working in a trade where the pressure from higher up exists to cover stories in a particular way. They started young, wanting to make a difference but later came to feel some of the very same frustrations we are expressing in this thread. Some felt trapped; too young to retire, too old to make a career change.

    Because of my interest in their life stories and views on journalism, I was invited to sit in on a major newspaper editorial huddle when the next day's news was being decided upon. I got to participate in a journalist conference where the state of the industry was discussed. Reporters in the capitol bureau in the Minnesota State Capitol seemed to like it when I dropped in to chat. They were a friendly and open bunch, at least to me.

    While the state of journalism today can be greatly improved, I remain hopeful because I know many in the trade want to improve it themselves. The biggest disrupter has been the internet and the fact anyone with a smart phone can be a journalist these days.

    Whatever you are trying to report or want people to believe, the battle for people's attention is the name of the game. With thousands of people and organizations now vying for people's attention every day, news organizations gravitate toward headlines that sell, and where no such headlines exist, they tend to make them up.

    To those of us who seek fair and balanced news reporting, journalism is in a sorry state these days. That said, the potential for improvement exists as the world adjusts to the internet and journalists retain the desire to be worthy of the Fourth Estate.
     
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  15. muttly
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    muttly Veteran Expediter

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    Rush Linbaugh floated a theory that Mueller is hiring all of these 'Clinton lawyers' so that when no charges are brought, they won't have anything to complain about. :D
     
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  16. muttly
    Relaxed

    muttly Veteran Expediter

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    image.jpeg Just checking in to CNN at 10:33 pm.
    Breaking News:
    'Trump defiant as Russia probe grows.'
     
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  17. ATeam

    ATeam Senior Member Retired Expediter

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    When critiquing the media, consideration must also be given to those who consume what the media produces.

    One of the reasons we have corrupt politicians is corrupt voters elect and re-elect them. Many vote for the candidates who will give them what they want by placing their personal interests ahead of the country's interests. For example, a good number of voters would vote for the candidate who promises a higher entitlement check and vote against the candidate who warns that the increase will further bankrupt the system. They will vote to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for public landscaping in their neighborhood over spending the same money to enhance law enforcement and reduce the crime rate city wide.

    No one forces us to watch, listen to or read any news source. If national interest in political programming suddenly faded and was replaced by a health and fitness craze, the news outlets would quickly shift their focus to address that interest and thereby retain their audiences (and advertising revenue).

    One of the reasons we see food-fight news programming that emphasizes conflict over cooperation and emotional titillation over responsible analysis is viewers eat it up.

    I remember when CNN Headline News was literally headline news. They ran a loop every 15 minutes reporting the top stories of the day, changing it each time a new top story emerged. Now we have seemingly all the major news sources competing for attention by identifying market segments and giving them what they want to hear.

    People do not seem to want objective reporting any more. If they did, we would see more of it, would we not?
     
  18. xiggi

    xiggi Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    I'm not sure about that CNN had absolutely abysmal ratings for years but it never stopped them from doing what they do.
     
  19. ATeam

    ATeam Senior Member Retired Expediter

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    Sad but true. So it falls to us, the individual citizens, to be responsible consumers of the news.

    Example: Washington Post headline is "Hard-fought House race in Georgia comes to an end as a referendum on Trump."

    I accept as fact that this race has been hard fought. The campaign activity has been intense. I accept as fact the race is coming to an end. Election day is today. I do not accept as fact that this race is a referendum on Trump.

    How can anyone know that it is or is not a referendum on Trump? If it is, how do you know? If it is not, how do you know? It's not a journalist's job (or in this case the headline editor) to make such an assessment.

    It would be legitimate to report that the question exists then report various views about why or why not the race is a referendum on Trump. But they do not do that. They assert a point of view. It would be legitimate but it would be even more legitimate to report first and foremost on the race itself. This is a local election of greatest consequence to the people who live in that district. That's the news of the day. All else is interpretation and commentary.

    I appreciate the interpretation and commentary. I just wish today's news organizations would do a better job of keeping it separate from the news.
     
  20. Turtle
    Chowing

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    You want to be careful about blaming the rape victim because she wore a short skirt and high heels.
     
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