Accountability from the media? Say it ain’t so, Brian Stelter! It’s been a banner couple of weeks for fake news. First there was Buzzfeed’s reckless insistence on unverifiable Trump collusion, and then there was the sick media feeding frenzy over the “racist” Covington Kids that weren’t racist. But there was a third that maybe you haven’t heard about: The Telegraph’s (U.K.) fabricated expose on Melania Trump, for which they’ve since apologized and agreed to pay damages, as it was composed of “a number of false statements.”
Breaking into live coverage of the Senate confirmation hearing for President Trump’s Attorney General nominee William Barr, on Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams informed viewers about the Brexit deal being rejected by Parliament in the UK. He insisted that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union was the result of Russian “election meddling.”
A scheduled vote in the U.K. Parliament on “Brexit” has just been postoned, adding to the national angst over the still-pending withdrawal by the United Kingdom from the European Union, which has been a source of bitter political fighting, and smug liberal media opposition. The New York Times has spent the intervening period mocking the majority of British people who voted for withdrawal in smug and juvenile terms, when it wasn’t actually blaming Brexit for violence and hate crimes. Benjamin Mueller and Ellen Barry revealed their sympathies through slanted labeling: “Britons on Both Sides of Brexit Take to London’s Streets in Dueling Protests.”
It was make-fun-of-the-conservative day in Sunday’s New York Times, where “digital editor” Palko Karasz filed a strange piece half-filled with insults culled from a Twitter “hashtag” mocking a pro-Brexit British conservative politician, Jacob Rees-Mogg: “Why Twitter Is Cursing A British Conservative Who’s Not Named May.” (That would be embattled Prime Minister Theresa May.) The online version lovingly reprinted no less than 10 of the mean tweets. But why?
Reporter Patrick Kingsley followed in the left-foot only footsteps of his New York Times colleague, Peter Goodman, in finding child “hunger” in the United Kingdom and blaming it on “gleeful” austerity by the ruling Conservatives, in Wednesday’s “Touring World’s Fifth-Richest Nation for Lessons on Poverty.” A Times’ front page from September warned, “Warning Sign in Leaner Times: Hungry Children.”
New York Times reporter Sarah Lyall, fiercely anti-Brexit, has made it a pastime to belittle iconoclastic, shock-haired Conservative Party politician and Brexit proponent Boris Johnson, which she does in Sunday’s paper: “Witty and Shameless, He Aims to Run Britain – A Populist, Johnson Fits Trump’s Mold.” One can assume that the comparison to Trump is not intended as a compliment. She informed readers that "Moderate Conservatives regard him as stealthy and dangerous." But she didn't try to prematurely bury Johnson's political career, as she did in 2016 when she called him a liar in a news story.
India’s Supreme Court just struck down a British colonial-era law that had made gay sex a crime. The New York Times has given the running story considerable space. Friday’s front-page story read: “Court in India Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban.” The text box emphasized the overthrow of colonizers: “A law written by British colonizers 150 years ago.” Yet the paper’s eagerness to slam colonialism ignores another India cultural tradition abolished by those “rigid" British: The barbaric custom of suttee, or widow-burning, where a widow would burn herself alive, often under village pressure, upon her husband’s funeral pyre. British officials condemned it, and in 1829 it was outlawed.
NPR was eager to spotlight enemies of the Catholic Church saying "Nope to the Pope" during his visit to Ireland. After a somewhat balanced news report, All Things Considered weekend anchor Michel Martin supportively interviewed a left-wing secularizer named Lisa Breslin, and didn't question her smear that the Catholic Church gave Ireland "years and generations of torture, neglect, and murder by this church."
The New York Times can be relied upon to push government spending everywhere, in all situations, which explains how a story from Northampton, England makes it to its front page on Saturday. The online headline: “As Austerity Helps Bankrupt an English County, Even Conservatives Mutiny.” It’s part of the paper’s series, “Britain’s Big Squeeze,” whose chief villain is spending limits aka “austerity,” which the paper is obsessively trying to discredit.
CNN’s Twitter account used an old liberal standby, “seize,” to denigrate Trump’s (factual) statement about the Tuesday morning terror attack in London: "President Donald Trump seizes on what he calls a 'terrorist attack' in London, even though the incident is still in the early stages of investigation." CNN's tweet linked to Jennfier Hansler’s equally silly story. Never mind that both the Associated Press and London's mayor had tweeted out similar statements earlier.
A major European political leader has been slammed by his own party as an “anti-Semitic racist.” So far, the networks and cable channels have ignored the public fight in Britain’s Labour Party over how to define bigotry against Jews. A Senior Labour Member of Parliament, John Woodcock, quit the party as another, Margaret Hodge, is facing discipline for angrily confronting what she saw Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s racism.
Alex Henderson is ashamed to be an American because we don’t share his fascination with rail transportation. Oh, our healthcare is bad. And lots of other things. He wrote them all down in an article for Alternet.