Daily Briefing: Disregarding Facts That Don’t Advance Narratives: Western Media’s New Normal (July 25, 2019)


Media Fairness and Israel: The Biggest Fails and How You Can Create Change (Source: Flickr)
Table of Content:
Leave Mariano Rivera Alone:  Liel Leibovitz, Tablet, July 23, 2019
Leave Mariano Rivera Alone
Liel Leibovitz
Tablet, July 23, 2019This past Sunday, as Yankees legend Mariano Rivera was being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame—the only player in history to gain admittance into the sport’s Holy of Holies by a unanimous vote—the Daily Beast ran a piece exploring what it argued was the legendary pitcher’s “far-right politics.”Just what ideological offenses did Rivera—who grew up in a poor Panamanian fishing village and played ball using a cardboard milk carton for a glove when he was not helping his father catch sardines—commit? The piece’s author, Robert Silverman, does not mince his words. “Over the past three years,” he thunders, Rivera “served at the pleasure of a racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf of a far-right government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons. None of this will be inscribed on his Hall of Fame plaque. It should.”What follows is a masterful example of painting with the broadest brush possible: Rivera served on a presidential commission to fight the opioid epidemic—alongside the head of the DEA, a number of cabinet secretaries, a professor from Harvard Medical School, and a handful of bereaved parents who had lost their children to addiction; that commission was convened by the president of the United States of America; the president is Donald Trump; ergo, Rivera supports Trump. By that logic, of course, every single public servant still in office is guilty of the same sin, a preposterous proposition that is taken seriously only by zealots for whom ideological purity is not just a prerequisite for participating in public life but its sole purpose.Silverman is hardly more honest when it comes to Israel. A few months before the pitcher’s visit to the Jewish state, Silverman notes, “Israeli soldiers killed at least 60 Palestinian protesters in Gaza and injured thousands more.” As the piece progresses, we hear more about the suffering of Palestinians at the hands of the wicked Israelis, but not a lick by way of context: nothing about Hamas, nothing about incendiary kites, nothing about rockets terrorizing children in Sderot and elsewhere.Silverman is highly selective with his facts, presenting only the handful that fit his narrative, but in this latest he goes a step further and wraps his entire argument in the gauze of conspiracy—repeatedly referring to “conscious efforts to keep this information about [Rivera’s] private life under wraps.” So secretive, in fact, was Rivera, that only those privileged few with access to rare channels of information—like USA Today and Twitter—could learn about his visit to Israel or his service on Trump’s opioid committee.But, unwittingly or otherwise, Silverman has given us a glance of American journalism’s new normal. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]


Media Coverage of Anti-Semitism, Racism Rise in Trump Era
Kalev Leetaru
RealClearPolitics, July 20, 2019

President Trump generated an uproar this week with his widely condemned comments regarding four Democratic lawmakers of color, coupled with a campaign rally in which attendees chanted “Send her back!” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar. A closer look at media coverage of the congresswoman’s own anti-Semitic comments earlier this year raises the question of whether the current uproar will pass with as little long-term impact. Answering that may hinge on whether the media finds a new Trump angle to focus on.

Looking back over the past decade, the timeline below shows the percentage of airtime by month on CNNMSNBC and Fox News that mentioned “racism” or “racist” using data from the Internet Archive’s Television News Archive processed by the GDELT Project. From September 2010 to May 2013 there was a marked silent period in which mentions of racism largely disappeared from all three news channels. The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin in July 2013 appears to have restarted the national conversation around race. This week’s remarks by Trump appear to have sparked the most attention to the topic of the past decade.

Notably, there does not appear to be any meaningful change in mentions of racism between Obama and Trump’s presidencies. In contrast, coverage of anti-Semitism does appear to have increased sharply during Trump’s term. The timeline below shows coverage over the past decade that mentioned the words “anti-Semitism” or “anti-Semitic” or “antisemitism” or “antisemitic.” 

The topic attracted almost no attention during Obama’s presidency, but has received several bursts of coverage since Trump’s July 2016 “Star of David” Clinton tweet first prompted accusations of anti-Semitism. Interestingly, Rep. Omar’s anti-Semitic tweets in March 2019 received far less attention, with Fox News covering them more than CNN and MSNBC combined.

In each case, the story faded within a week. Looking at the broader topic of discrimination, the timelinebelowshows coverage mentioning “discrimination” or “discriminatory” or “discriminated” or “discriminating.” Beginning July 2015, the month after Trump declared his candidacy, coverage of discrimination largely disappeared from all three channels and has remained far below Obama-era levels through the present. It is unclear what may be driving this shift, since anti-Semitism coverage has increased, but coverage of racism remains unchanged.

One possibility is that the stations have devoted so much of their airtime to Trump over the past four years, with just over 9% of their total airtime mentioning his name thus far this month. Looking more closely at the timeline above, the fact that Trump’s media profile has been steadily shrinking could also help explain his attack on the four Democrats. Trump has a long history of adopting controversial and media-genic stances in periods of declining media coverage as a way to boost attention.

Putting this all together, it is likely that just as Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks this past March faded from interest within a week, so too will the media move on from Trump’s remarks this week.


Rex Murphy: Time is wrong. Today’s journalists Are Not ‘Guardians of the Truth’
Rex Murphy
National Post, Dec. 28, 2018

Time, that tattered, shrunken revenant of a once-popular news magazine, continues in its endless decline to delude itself that it has either the authority or the competence to name the “Person of the Year.” Brilliantly it named journalists — “The Guardians” — as 2018’s collective heroes, with Jamal Khashoggi given pride of place on the once-iconic cover. Time neglected to check on Khashoggi and now finds that it nominated a Qatar stooge, whose columns were midwifed by officers in the Qatar government, and whose “journalistic” career was but a distracting pendant to his many more serious activities, latterly as an anti-Saudi lobbyist, nephew to the one-time world’s biggest arms dealer, and a host of other shadowy mésalliances. The neatest summary I have read of Khashoggi, the journalist, is: “a highly-partisan operative who worked with a handler to publish propaganda at the behest of the Emirate of Qatar in other words, an agent of influence.”

As far as journalists collectively being honoured with the ascription “guardians,” that surely cannot apply in North America or Europe if we take most of their coverage of Donald Trump as the testing ground. Trump journalism will someday earn its place in medical literature, side by side with malarial fever and LSD as engines of hallucination and fitful nightmares.

Throw in the scandal saga of Der Spiegel, whose star investigative reporter, Claas Relotius, has been proven to be an industrial-scale fraud, a fantasist fictionist, who gulled Der Spiegel and its readers for years, and is now the face for “fake news” worldwide, and ask again how journalists could even be considered the heroes of 2018? The Relotius problem was correctly described in a Facebook post as “a product of an absurdly leftist writers’ fraternity that is increasingly seldom prepared to leave its own convenient moral comfort zone in favour of the facts.”

Journalism is frequently as wayward as the social media it ritually deplores, propelled by a lust-like drive to the parts of a story that accord with its prejudices and predispositions. It has long since replaced the attempt to be objective with a commitment to activism and advocacy. Much of contemporary journalism does not report on the game. It sees itself as part of the game — it seeks to massage opinion, reinforce favoured perspectives, take down its “enemies” and shield its heroes.

There is an old word, not seen much in modern writing, quite possibly in near full decay from lack of use. Which is a shame for it still remains possibly the only full semantic vehicle for certain phenomena. The word is incompossible, and its meaning (taken here from the Oxford English Dictionary) is: adj. – Unable to exist if something else exists. Two things are incompossible when the world of being has scope enough for one of them, but not enough for both. To illustrate the meaning, I offer a few sentences: Environmentalism and journalism are incompossible. Hatred of and contempt for Donald Trump and honest reporting on him are incompossible.

Place the adjective environmental to govern the noun journalism and the former swallows up, nullifies, extinguishes quite the latter. What we may call real journalists on the global warming file are, to use a familiar category, on the very sharp end of the endangered species list. The majority of environmental journalists are a choir in perfect harmony on a one-note score, the settled-science symphony of the IPCC and Al Gore. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]



Is Brian Stelter a Deranged Homicidal Pedophile?
Karl Notturno
American Greatness, Mar. 25th, 2019

Probably not. But how can we really know for sure?

After two years of hype by a captivated and deranged media, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged campaign “collusion” with the Russians was completed and the Justice Department’s initial summary of the report was released over the weekend. And surprise! It was a complete dud.

And now we will have to listen to the corporate leftist media explain why they weren’t really wrong about anything and how they actually did good journalistic work. CNN’s Stelter noted that while political commentators did repeatedly allege Russian collusion on the “rolling talk show” of cable, the supposedly objective journalists were only asking questions about it. “There is a giant difference between asking and telling,” Stelter said on Sunday’s edition of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

But there are, of course, plenty of questions the corporate big media shills aren’t asking. For instance: is it possible that Brian Stelter is a homicidal pedophile who has systematically targeted, kidnapped, raped, and killed more than two-dozen children on a private island in the Caribbean?

If there is any chance at all—if there are any moments in Stelter’s life that he cannot perfectly account for—doesn’t the magnitude of damage implied in ignoring such a possibility warrant a $30 million investigation, employing dozens of lawyers and FBI agents, dragging a fine-tooth comb through his life and indicting several of his associates on unrelated crimes to put added pressure on them to testify against him?

Remember, we are just asking questions about a prominent public person who potentially could be a serial child rapist and murderer here. Once again, we’re just asking the questions that the American people need to have answered.

We should ask legal experts and political pundits their opinions of what should happen if any allegations concerning Brian Stelter are true. Perhaps we should interview a homicide detective and have him speculate on the grisly details of how exactly (if the allegations are true) he may have used a chainsaw to dismember the poor children. Next, perhaps a psychiatrist should be consulted to suggest what conditions might cause Stelter to have such an allegedly insatiable bloodlust. After all, Stelter himself told us that speculation “helps open our eyes and our minds to what’s possible.”

Of course, we have to “distinguish between what has actually happened and what might happen,” but isn’t it possible that a deep-cover sting operation might—at this very moment—be collecting evidence to implicate Brian Stelter in a worldwide ring of pedophiles who practice occult ceremonies with the blood of children and rabid tabby cats? What charges might Stelter face, if this is the case (which it may or may not be, but it’s just a question, right)? And if it ends up being true that Brian Stelter exsanguinates children and cute kittens, what are the potential ramifications on his family life? Perhaps we should send an investigative team to go ask his wife about the possibility that her husband takes a sick pleasure in seeing the life drain from a helpless Peruvian boy’s eyes.

Oh, and has Stelter released his tax returns yet? As a public figure who has the awesome responsibility of reporting the news, shouldn’t we know about his conflicts of interest, if any? Isn’t it possible that the pedophile ring is paying him off for his silence? Could it be that he is indoctrinating his viewers for cold hard cash? Shouldn’t he just release his returns so that we can take a look at them and make sure that there’s nothing illegal going on? After all, there is a chance that the IRS missed something . . . right? … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]


On Topic Links:



Spies Are the New Journalists:  Lee Smith, Tablet, June 4, 2019 — There are two sets of laws in the United States today. One is inscribed in law books and applies to the majority of Americans.

‘J’accuse — The New Yorker is Trying to Silence Me,’ Says Dershowitz:  Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, July 18, 2019 — I recently learned, from a source close to The New Yorker magazine, that its editor, David Remnick, has commissioned a hit piece against me for the explicit purpose of silencing my defense of President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the State of Israel. Remnick despises Trump and Netanyahu, and is well known for his strong anti-Israel bias. Remnick explicitly told people that I must be silenced because mine has been the most persuasive voice in favor of what Remnick feels pose dangers to values he holds dear and that he will use the credibility of The New Yorker to accomplish this goal.
New York Times Fudged Book Sales Data To Torpedo ‘Justice on Trial’ Best-Seller Ranking:  Sean Davis, The Federalist, July 18, 2019 — The New York Times fudged book sales data in order to deny top-five billing to the best-selling “Justice on Trial,” the definitive and deeply reported account of the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which was written by Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway, a Senior Editor for The Federalist
Ignoring, Excusing, Enabling: Sorbonne Scholar Probes French Media’s Attitude on Rising Antisemitism:  Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, July 19, 2019 — In the week that has passed since the judicial announcement that the murderer of Sarah Halimi — the 65-year-old Jewish woman beaten to death in her Paris home by an antisemitic intruder in April 2017 — may be released without trial on mental health grounds, the French media has duly reported this latest development and swiftly moved on.