ABC Spends Last Day of 2017 Wailing About Trump’s Threat to First Amendment

ABC on Sunday spent the final day of 2017 whining about the term “fake news” and insisting that Donald Trump is a threat to the First Amendment. With no mention of the network’s demonstrably fake reporting, This Week guest host Martha Raddatz complained, “There was an attack on the media, on the First Amendment that we have not seen before, really, in this country... and the profound effect that can have. This is a President, as you know well, who likes attention from the media. On the other hand, he calls us fake news.” 

USA Today’s Susan Page responded by lamenting, “Well, I’m very concerned as a citizen that a lot of Americans no longer trust the mainstream news media to be telling them the truth.” Again, there was no mention of the fact that ABC had to suspend correspondent Brian Ross for incorrectly reporting that candidate Donald Trump instructed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials.

 

 

Ross is now barred from reporting on Trump. (This is the same guy who falsely linked a mass killer to the Tea Party.) Instead of showing any sort of humility over the profession's botched reporting, fellow panelist Mary Jordan of the Washington Post blamed Trump for tearing down “one of the pillars of democracy.” 

I think the global effect of the president of the United States talking about fake news of -- when stories that he doesn’t like is dangerous. There are 262 journalists in jail around the world now by despots and authoritarian figures. The crime, for some, fake news. So when in Egypt and China and Myanmar and in other countries, leaders don’t like stories about corruption, about extrajudicial killings, what do they do? They jail them. We used to be the moral authority. The First Amendment, that democracy rests on a free press. And it is just —  he’s just made it easy now to damp down one of the pillars of democracy.

Over on CNN, Sunday, Brian Stelter wondered, “What is fake news?” Guest John Avlon, unsurprisingly, blamed others for being partisan: 

Hyper-partisan news sites that have explicit agendas that go well beyond The National Reviews and Weekly Standards or Mother Jones that have a forthright philosophy. These are places that are viewing political debate as a form of war and sometimes they function as propagandists and there are no rules in this. They are ugly and they will unleash forces against critics in any way, shape or form.

For more examples of fake news in 2017, go here

A partial transcript of the ABC segment is below: 

This Week
1/2/18
9:41am 

RADDATZ: And Susan, I want to —  I want to expand to the First Amendment. I -- I sort of don’t like to talk about the media and —  and it’s all about us. But there was an attack on the media, on the First Amendment that we have not seen before, really, in this country. And -- and the profound effect that can have. This is a President, as you know well, who likes attention from the media. On the other hand, he calls us fake news. What do you think the lasting effect of this is?

PAGE: Well, I’m very concerned as a citizen that a lot of Americans no longer trust the mainstream news media to be telling them the truth. Because we can disagree on what policies make sense, but we need to agree on what we think is actually happening. And I also think something to watch in 2018 are Justice Department investigations into leaks and whether that goes further than just rhetoric in terms of having a chilling effect on journalism’s ability to hold to accountable people in power.

RADDATZ: And Mary, you’ve spent a good deal of time -- one second, Perry. You’ve spent a good deal of time traveling around the world, being based around the world. The rest of the world viewing fake news.

MARY JORDAN (national correspondent, Washington Post): I think the global effect of the president of the United States talking about fake news of -- when stories that he doesn’t like is dangerous. There are 262 journalists in jail around the world now by despots and authoritarian figures. The crime, for some, fake news. So when in Egypt and China and Myanmar and in other countries, leaders don’t like stories about corruption, about extrajudicial killings, what do they do? They jail them. We used to be the moral authority. The First Amendment, that democracy rests on a free press. And it is just —  he’s just made it easy now to damp down one of the pillars of democracy.


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