What NBC’s Willie Geist spun as a rundown of the political echo chambers in America on Sunday Today, quickly devolved into a condemnation of the rise of conservative media.
“Fake news is a favorite term, as you know, of President Trump. What you consider real and fake in many cases has become a question of where you're sitting and who you're listening to,” declared Geist at the start of the segment. He ignored the fact that the term was first used to describe stories about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
According to him, reporter Hallie Jackson was supposed to talk about “media culture that has us talking past each other.” But it quickly became a hit piece on outlets they despise. “Back then, there were three,” Jackson said, touting NBC News over a clip of Camel News Caravan. “Before breaking the news down to views that we choose.”
Jackson spoke with a left-leaning progressive, who admitted she got her news from social media and NPR. “I don't know how we have a conversation with each other when we're not speaking the same language,” they told Jackson. The right-winger she spoke with lived in California and said he liked to watch MSNBC’s Morning Joe with his liberal wife since it was the only show they could agree on. “Most reporting nowadays would fail Journalism 101. It is so clear the media hates Donald Trump,” he noted.
“Today, so many choices, but many reflecting a single point of view, easier than ever to limit the ones we listen to, often leaving us in so-called echo chambers,” Jackson bemoaned. She let expert Eli Pariser explain the concept as “filter bubbles.” “We live in, kind of, our own personal information universe that is being curated by websites like Facebook and Twitter based on who they think we are and what they think we want to know,” he told her.
But Jackson’s reliance on Pariser to decry partisan media was a joke. What she failed to properly disclose was that Pariser himself was/is a liberal activist. He’s the co-founder of Upworthy.com, which is a left-wing media website which recently touted how a White House report “finally called out” Trump for fake news assertions. He was also the president of the board for the far left-wing MoveOn.org. “A society that depends on everybody, kind of, having a sense of what's going on for the greater whole that becomes a real problem,” he complained. Clearly, he prefers the left’s narrative for things.
Next, Jackson tried to show the origins of polarized media. And if you bet she was going to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of conservatives and people on the right, then you’re 100 percent correct. According to her, polarized media all started because of Matt Drudge and the Drudge Report’s reporting on President Bill Clinton's Monica Lewinski scandal.
“What was once relegated to talk radio exploded on TV. The launch of Fox News in 1996 taking it to another level, fighting against what was perceived as liberal bias in the media,” she asserted. But there was nothing perceived about it. The Media Research Center was founded in 1987 as a response to the ever present liberal media bias. That liberal media bias was the first step to a polarized media. Hint: That happened long before Bill Clinton was degrading the dignity of the presidency.
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The NBC News correspondent alluded to left-wing media when she noted that: “But when administrations changed, the pendulum swung the other way.” But there was no actual mention of left-wing outlets like MSNBC, their partner network. There was only a clip of Keith Olbermann accusing George W. Bush of “lying this country into war.” But the clip was zoomed in on his face with no indication that it was said on MSNBC nor any mention of who he worked for at the time.
“Today even more tangled with the web, the results, what can feel like permanent polarization,” Jackson whined.
If NBC News was seriously wanted to call out and shame polarized media coverage, they should have started in-house. Correspondent Andrea Mitchell was known for her steadfast reputation of being a Hillary Clinton hack. The reputation includes badgering former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell about 2016 vote recounts flipping the results. Meet the Press Moderator Chuck Todd was called out live on his show by an NBC colleague for picking sides in the 2016 election. And on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow invented a conspiracy theory about missing Trump inauguration funds based off of literally no evidence.
They have all of the flies in their soup.
July 2, 2017
8:41:53 AM Eastern
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think that we have gone to a place where if the media can't be trusted to report the news, then that's a dangerous place for America.
WILLIE GEIST: White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, this week, hitting the media for what she called the constant barrage of fake news. Fake news is a favorite term, as you know, of President Trump. What you consider real and fake in many cases has become a question of where you're sitting and who you're listening to. In our Sunday spotlight, NBC's Hallie Jackson goes inside the increasingly polarized American media culture that has us talking past each other.
[Cuts to video]
JOHN CAMERON: Network television's first daily half hour news program.
HALLIE JACKSON: Back then, there were three.
CAMERON: Sit back, light up a Camel, and be an eyewitness to happenings that made history in the last 24 hours.
JACKSON: Before breaking the news down to views that we choose.
MAKAYLA SANTIN: I don't know how we have a conversation with each other when we're not speaking the same language.
JACKSON: For professional organizer, Makayla Santin in Progressive Portland, it is NPR in the car. On her phone, Facebook. Her evenings, network news.
JOHN BARRY: Most reporting nowadays would fail journalism 101. It is so clear the media hates Donald Trump.
JACKSON: John Barry used to be part of the media in Redlands, California. He still starts his day this way.
BARRY: I still read the L.A. Times, sometimes just for laughs, it is so outrageous, that they’ll even put anti-Trump stories on its sports page.
JACKSON: But the self-described Twitter addict, now runs on the right.
BARRY: The only political show my liberal wife and I can agree on is Morning Joe. But the rule is, when Joe is not there and Mika is there, then I get to turn it over to Fox and Friends.
SANTIN: I would not watch Fox News because it would drive me insane. And it would make me angry.
JACKSON: Today, so many choices, but many reflecting a single point of view, easier than ever to limit the ones we listen to, often leaving us in so-called echo chambers.
SANTIN: We are not listening to each other at all, because there are so many choices. It’s like pick your own adventure, pick your own news.
JACKSON: And that’s what, Eli Pariser calls the “filter bubble.”
ELI PARISER: We live in, kind of, our own personal information universe that is being curetted by websites like Facebook and Twitter based on who they think we are and what they think we want to know.
JACKSON: He points to 57 indicators that Google uses, for example, to sort what you see based on everything from where you sit to what browser you're on. That could keep you inside your own news universe.
PARISER: A society that depends on everybody, kind of, having a sense of what's going on for the greater whole that becomes a real problem.
JACKSON: And that is something both sides agree on.
GEORGE W. BUSH: It is hard to unify the country, though, with the news media being so split up. When I was President, you know, you mattered a lot more.
BARACK OBAMA: Increasingly, we've become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information whether it is true or not that fits our opinions.
JACKSON: But in truth it began—
BILL CLINTON: I did not have--
JACKSON: --under another president.
MATT LAUER: The Drudge Report is a media gossip page known for below the beltway reporting. And it’s gaining a reputation as growing irritant to the White House. You are you admit a conservative and you have increasingly targeted the Clinton White House.
MATT DRUDGE: Well I go where the stink is.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: The Democrats and their fear mongering.
JACKSON: What was once relegated to talk radio exploded on TV. The launch of Fox News in 1996 taking it to another level, fighting against what was perceived as liberal bias in the media. But when administrations changed, the pendulum swung the other way.
KEITH OLBERMANN: I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war. [No indication of MSNBC]
JACKSON: Today even more tangled with the web, the results, what can feel like permanent polarization.
BARRY: It is very easy to slip into that echo chamber. I mean, I lost friends on Facebook. But right now, we're just talking past each other, we’re wired differently, we want to hear different things.
JACKSON: It’s still not clear what the impact really is. But listen to this: A recent Pew study finds about half of us on Facebook and more than a third on Twitter say we have a mix of political views inside our network. Bottom line though, in this deeply divided country there's never been more opportunity to remain so. For some, leaving us red all over, for others giving us the blues. For Sunday Today, Hallie Jackson, Washington.