I was asked the other day whether I thought CNN and the Washington Post were examples of fake news. Before I attempt to answer this and relate it to one of the big stories from across the Pond – attempts to impeach Trump, I would like to first backtrack and do some damage limitation exercises.
I have, especially since Trump has been made President, been doing almost as much observing what happens in the USA as I have in the UK. One way to do this is follow what mainstream media, like CNN and the Washington Post, are reporting. Long ago, I have taken these outlets and much else from MSM with a pinch of salt because even if they don’t lie, they withold important news and provide an unbalanced picture. While not perfect, I tend to prefer Fox News and when I am really digging: Breitbart, Infowars and the Drudge Report, noting my media choice may contribute to the polarising taking place. For two years CNN and WP have led on the Russian collusion delusion and Trump’s part in it and have neglected worse crimes by his detractors. Now that this has been proved to be false, attention has turned to Ukrainian “collusion”: Trump asking Ukrainian authorities to dish dirt on one of the Democrats wanting to become a presidential candidate in 2020, Joe Biden.
If Trump had sought Ukrainian help to gain political advantage, then not only should this be investigated but if true it would be an impeachable offence. We don’t know for sure of course although we do know that Joe Biden, when he was Vice President, did threaten the Ukrainians with withholding American aid if they did not sack the special prosecutor that was investigating corruption, including Biden’s son, although we wouldn’t know that if CNN and WP were our main sources. I listened earlier to the BBC Radio 4 Today program newspaper review, and one of the items was WP castigating Republican politicians for acting like hooligans in trying to gatecrash the secret impeachment hearing led by Adam Schiff (sadly with the perspective of the gatecrasher not being presented). As for Schiff, the fact he had lied when it came to him reporting the phone call Trump had with the Ukrainian Prime President, that is also not something you would get from CNN or WP. What we do find, thanks to some undercover investigation, by Project Veritas, is that CNN CEO, Jeff Zucker, has ordered his reporter to concentrate on the impeachment story ahead of any other newsworthy story.
Trump is no saint, and while I keep an open mind, I doubt he has done something that lends itself to impeachment. I am coming to a view (again not one CNN or WP would present) that Trump is right to seek help to investigate corruption. Current moves by Schiff and his Democrat cronies to impeach Trump, using unprecedented behind closed doors hearings and leaking the juicy bits, are politically motivated and underhanded. I suspect the real reason is the same as when Trump became President – they don’t like him and fear his re-election. But if there were grounds for impeachment, there is a need for transparancy, which is not the case here. It seems to me that the best approach is to recognise our biases and to question everything. While there are other news outlets to help get a balanced picture, it is sad that the likes of CNN and WP propagate fake news and people are taken in by it. When Trump calls CNN, WP etc. the enemy of the people, he is right simply because they lie.
As for impeaching, I agree no one should be above the law, which while it includes Trump also means bringing in a whole host of his detracting wrong doers and ideological nemesis, fake news gives a free pass to, who have hitherto escaped. What we do need is a press whose mantra is jounalistic integrity and truth, that doesn’t cherry pick and does present a balanced picture, even when calling out POTUS. Besides openness, what is needed now is honesty!