The first ad in CNN’s “Facts First” initiative features nothing but an apple with a voiceover lecturing you about the need to embrace facts. “This is an apple,” an amiable man tells us. “Some people might try to tell you that it’s a banana. They might scream banana, banana, banana, over and over and over again. They might put BANANA in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it’s not. This is an apple.”
This reflects the smug and didactic disposition of many in a political media that treats a vocation as if it were a religious crusade. Considering the numerous mistakes and misleading stories CNN has produced over the past several years, you’d think that they’d be a tad less sanctimonious.
For one thing, there will always be people ready to believe fake news and conspiracy theories that buttress their worldview. This is not unique to any outlook or era. In 2006, 51 percent of Democrats believed President George W. Bush knew of or abetted the 9/11 attacks. In 2010, 41 percent of Republicans, including Donald Trump, believed Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. These days, 52 percent of Democrats believe Russia “tampered with the vote totals” and made Trump president. (I guess CNN has something to do with the latter, considering that on more than occasion it has made the misleading sensationalistic claim that Russia “hacked the election.”)
But you know what can be just as dangerous as fake news? Bad stories perpetuated by big institutional news organizations that have become too biased to notice.
Read more at The Federalist.