In a Thursday opinion piece at New York Times, that self-described guardian of "Real Journalism," Bonnie Tsui devoted over 1,200 words to the racist term "Asian salad." What, you didn't know that the term was racist? Ms. Tsui, whose piece will appear in print in the paper's "Sunday Review" section this weekend, is here to set you straight.
Thursday at NewsBusters, I noted that all of the major-media "fact-checking" efforts recognized by Duke University's ReportersLab.org website lean left, and that almost all of them are quite decidedly on the left. That only begins to explain how the "fact-checkers" are distorting the news landscape.
Posts over the next several days will show that certain left-leaning websites and existing left-leaning news organizations have figured out that they can employ the technique of "fact-checking," perhaps once nobly intended, as a handy device to advance a left-supporting, right-bashing agenda.
Now that Facebook and more recently Google have designated it as one of several approved "fake news" identifiers, the profile of Snopes.com, a website which has been using “fact-checking” as a shield to advance a left-supporting, right-bashing agenda for over two decades, has risen. Its quality certainly hasn't. Recently, the website shamelessly used the same sensible argument others have used for decades about the gender-based "pay gap" myth to defend Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who rejects that very same argument.
Demonstrating that the left will risk the reputation and credibility of virtually any of its cherished institutions in the name of defending the biased establishment press against its center-right competitors, the Harvard Library has published "Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda," a "research Guide" purporting to offer "a brief introduction to the spread of misinformation of all kinds and tools for identifying it."
This post was going to be about the establishment press's handling of the story of the mountainous and environmentally dangerous accumulation of trash left behind by Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. When the spring thaw arrives, that waste threatens to seriously pollute the Cannonball River — yes, the very river protesters are claiming they wish to protect from pipeline spills. What's remarkable here, though, is what was found in an initial Google search on the topic. With all the coverage out there, Google has given pictorial prominence to item from an obscure, out-of-nowhere site which is a clear candidate for the "fake news" tag. That site's story bizarrely claims that even more trash is currently being brought into and dumped at the site — "to frame protesters."
A recent item at The Onion, the online humor site which is now rarely genuinely funny, claimed that "Fearful Americans (Are) Stockpiling Facts Before (the) Federal Government Comes To Take Them Away." Naturally, it was occurring because Americans are "alarmed at the prospect of unconstitutional overreach by the Trump administration." Ha-ha-ha — as if "constitutional overreach" didn't occur at a record pace during Barack Obama's eight years in office (yes, it did). It would appear that those of us who are alarmed at the genuine power-grabbing overreach seen at the titans of tech and at social media companies really need to start stockpiling dictionary entries relating to important words so we can store and retain their real meanings. One alarming example of this need has been delivered by Google's search engine.
In a column posted at NewsBusters on December 29, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. relayed personal anecdotal evidence indicating that "This Christmas Season Was Different." Based on his interactions and observations, Tyrrell believes that 2016 marked a change in "the way we talk about what is a major holy day for the majority of the American people." In his experience, people this year were far more inclined to wish friends, neighbors and even strangers "Merry Christmas" instead of falling back on the safe but unsatisfying "Happy Holidays."
Tyrrell may have his finger on the beginnings of a broader trend.
At a Sunday press briefing in Lima, Peru, President Barack Obama concluded his response to a question referring to how President-Elect Trump might consider handling his extensive holdings during his presidency by saying that "I am extremely proud of the fact that over eight years we have not had the kinds of scandals that have plagued other administrations."
Though there are other candidates for the post, it appears that the two leading contenders to take the disgraced Donna Brazile's place as the head of the Democratic National Committee are Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and former 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean.
It appears that one of the requirements to be DNC head is being on the record as equating Republican and conservative politicians and officials to Hitler or his party. Ellison did so to George W. Bush when he was president by treating the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. and the 1930s Reichstag fire in Germany as equivalent events. Dean was more blunt on Sunday, applying the "Nazi" tag repeatedly and remorselessly to Steve Bannon, President-Elect Donald Trump's recently selected chief strategist and senior counselor.
The establishment press wants readers, listeners and viewers to believe that the search engines and social media are being overwhelmed by "fake news." Those making such allegations are, with rare exceptions, thinking of conservative and center-right web sites which have been countering their established wisdom and taking readers and dollars away from them.
Well, if that's so, at least in regards to Google and Donald Trump's nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, I'm having a hard time finding evidence of that. Instead, auto-suggested search results provided by the world's dominant search engine on Saturday took me straight to the leftist fever swamps and to a New York Times editorial which might as well have originated there.
The weekend before Election Day, Jake Tapper at CNN, interviewing Democratic Minnesota Senator Al Franken, used the classic "some people say" tactic to allege that there were anti-Semitic undertones in the Donald Trump campaign's closing ad. Why? Because three of the many people briefly pictured in the ad, in which the candidate criticized the political establishment's attitudes and actions which he believes have hurt everyday Americans, happen to be Jewish.
So you might expect that Tapper, CNN, and for that matter the rest of the establishment press would be extensively investigating and reporting on the years of anti-Semitic activities and remarks of Democrat Keith Ellison, especially now that the Minnesota congressman is in the running to be the next director of the Democratic National Committee. Nope.