CNN’s Jake Tapper is taking heat from critics who claim the cable news host is far more enthusiastic about spreading fake news than cleaning up the messes he and his colleagues routinely make.
It’s been an unfortunately regular occurrence at CNN…
STEP 1: CNN hosts, guests, “experts” etc breathlessly and uncritically report the most thinly-sourced and far-fetched conspiracy theories anywhere on the planet.
STEP 2: Their audiences gorge on the fake news, becoming increasingly enraged and afraid.
STEP 3: CNN harvests all the vitriol and carnage they can. Their stories are in no way reality-based, but they pursue them doggedly and cry “BOMBSHELL!” amid every new detail no matter how mundane or otherwise entirely ridiculous.
STEP 4: It might take hours, days, weeks, months or even years — but eventually the story is revealed to be a hoax.
STEP 5: By now CNN and their discredited news media peers have moved on to their next fake news outrage. But at some point during their broadcasts they’ll do a 5-second citation: “That story we spent the last 6 months hyping turned out to be wrong. We stand by our reporting and reporters and will continue investigating.”
STEP 6: We complain that they invested exponentially more into pushing fake news and fomenting division, than they did highlighting real news and helping heal the wounds they created.
STEP 7: They, perfectly content doing this same dance with us as long as we let them, insist that “We covered that” and point back to their 5-second clean up job.
So it should come as no surprise that when Jake Tapper and a few of his CNN pals were taken to the woodshed by David Harsanyi for their years-long promulgation of recently-revealed fake news, their response will amount to nothing.
Harsanyi’s tweet is a “thread” which means if you click on it a new window will open and you will see several more tweets written in chronological order below it. Here are two that show Tapper hyping what we now know was a fake news story regarding Cambridge Analytica. (As you might expect, the story in question was yet another supporting the media’s “Russia! Russia! Russia!” anti-Trump narrative.)
And what will Tapper say?
How will he atone for so fervently and aggressively focusing so much of his energy and concern on a story that divided and scared our nation but turned out to be entirely untrue?
He’ll mention it one time.
He and the rest of the legacy news media have become so disgraced and so utterly shameless that they could legitimately say…
Well if you check the facts you’ll learn that I actually spoke to a person on the street just a few days ago and mentioned very clearly that we did in fact — perhaps — miss the mark on some of that reporting. The person I was talking to seemed fine with that explanation. I don’t know why Trump’s sycophants are still obsessed with it. We covered that.
That could easily be all the explanation anyone ever gets no matter how massive the media’s failures become. That’s how little they respect us.
And what we get from the legacy news media every single day is no less a slap in the face.
I told a friend recently: the opposite of love isn’t hate. The opposite of love is indifference. If we truly want to defeat the media, indifference must be all they get from us. We must pretend they no longer exist. We must stop letting them dictate what the headlines are, and characterizing how those stories are told. We must stop taking the bait minute after minute, filling up all 24 hours of every news cycle exclusively with that which the media want us talking about.
We need a massive push from the entire American right where our new conservative media stops dignifying the legacy news media’s garbage, and our elected Republicans get on board and stop talking to the legacy news media when they’re pushing their clearly partisan stories with their nefariously-loaded questions.
We need to simply say out loud, all together…
We see you, and we have for a long time. You’re not “just being honest.” You’re not “just asking hard questions.” You’re not “just following the facts.” You’re selecting only those stories that you believe will help the left and hurt the right, and then you’re telling those stories — characterizing them — in ways that further bolster your pro-left, anti-right worldview. To add insult to injury, you’re gaslighting and slapping us in the face with your denials. You’re operating in service to a Democratic party that has never once in its existence garnered a shred of power that wasn’t predicated on racial pain and disunity. And you’re helping that party create more of that racial pain and disunity while insisting that you’re actually the healers and uniters. We’ve long known that history will judge you and your Democrat party allies today as harshly as it does your Democrat party ancestors from yesterday. But we can’t wait for history to get here, and instead must make our own here and now. And that means we’re done letting you drive the news of the day. You can drum up controversies and manufacture chaos and lean on all the anonymous sources you want — but we know when it’s garbage, and we’re simply not going to dignify that anymore. You can chase elected Republicans all over the halls of congress and no matter what the issue is, we their voters and donors and supporters are going to forgive them for completely ignoring you. Any engagement they offer will be a courtesy to you, afforded by that individual. It is not your right. It is your job, and you’re lousy at it, which is why we’re having this talk. Also ink is now effectively free and every citizen is capable of being his or her own journalist and investigative advocate. As for conservative media outlets and the few voices we have in the mainstream media, we want them to come with us. They should stop responding to the media’s preferred stories and start doing the hard and courageous work of coming up with their own. And we will all — the grassroots activists and media consumers, the conservative media, and the elected Republicans — we will all continue on this course, completely cutting off the legacy news media, until they correct their behavior and start reporting with intellectual honesty and fairness instead of partisanship and bias.
That’s what we need to do. And until then nobody on the right is allowed to act surprised when people like Jake Tapper and the rest constantly spread lies and fear and are never held accountable for it.
They will always be able to simply brush it off and move on — “We covered that!” — because we, as things stand right now, will always let them.
The good news is that we’re on a clear path for incredibly sustained victory regardless. But it would still be nice to get a respectable media back!
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