The Federalist 6 February 2017
Family First Comment: This one example is stunning enough, but there’s 15 (!!) other examples of lies lies lies told by the media since Trump was elected. As the writer concludes..
“Why are our media so regularly and so profoundly debasing and beclowning themselves, lying to the public and sullying our national discourse—sometimes on a daily basis? How has it come to this point? Perhaps the answer is: “We’ve let it.” The media will not stop behaving in so reckless a manner unless and until we demand they stop.”
After Trump’s electoral victory on November 8, rumors began circulating that multiple transgender teenagers had killed themselves in response to the election results. There was no basis to these rumors. Nobody was able to confirm them at the time, and nobody has been able to confirm in the three months since Trump was elected.
Nevertheless, the claim spread far and wide: Guardian writer and editor-at-large of Out Zach Stafford tweeted the rumor, which was retweeted more than 13,000 times before he deleted it. He later posted a tweet explaining why he deleted his original viral tweet; his explanatory tweet was shared a total of seven times. Meanwhile, PinkNews writer Dominic Preston wrote a report on the rumors, which garnered more than 12,000 shares on Facebook.
At Mic, Matthew Rodriguez wrote about the unsubstantiated allegations. His article was shared more than 55,000 times on Facebook. Urban legend debunker website Snopes wrote a report on the rumors and listed them as “unconfirmed” (rather than “false”). Snopes’s sources were two Facebook posts, since deleted, that offered no helpful information regarding the location, identity, or circumstances of any of the suicides. The Snopes report was shared 19,000 times.
At Reason, writer Elizabeth Nolan Brown searched multiple online databases to try to determine the identities or even the existence of the allegedly suicidal youth. She found nothing. As she put it: “[T]eenagers in 2016 don’t just die without anyone who knew them so much as mentioning their death online for days afterward.”
She is right. Just the same, the stories hyping this idea garnered at least nearly 100,000 shares on Facebook alone, contributing to the fear and hysteria surrounding Trump’s win.
Maybe It’s Time to Stop Reading Fake News
Surely more incidents have happened since Trump was elected; doubtlessly there are many more to come. To be sure, some of these incidents are larger and more shameful than others, and some are smaller and more mundane.
But all of them, taken as a group, raise a pressing and important question: why is this happening? Why are our media so regularly and so profoundly debasing and beclowning themselves, lying to the public and sullying our national discourse—sometimes on a daily basis? How has it come to this point?
Perhaps the answer is: “We’ve let it.” The media will not stop behaving in so reckless a manner unless and until we demand they stop.
That being said, there are two possible outcomes to this fake news crisis: our media can get better, or they can get worse. If they get better, we might actually see our press begin to hold the Trump administration (and government in general) genuinely accountable for its many admitted faults. If they refuse to fix these serial problems of gullibility, credulity, outrage, and outright lying, then we will be in for a rough four years, if not more.
No one single person can fix this problem. It has to be a cultural change, a kind of shifting of priorities industry-wide. Journalists, media types, reporters, you have two choices: you can fix these problems, or you can watch your profession go down in flames.
Most of us are hoping devoutly for the former. But not even a month into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the outlook is dim.
READ MORE: http://thefederalist.com/2017/02/06/16-fake-news-stories-reporters-have-run-since-trump-won/