DISCLAIMER: I THINK. THEREFORE, I’M NEITHER
DEMOCRAT NOR REPUBLICAN.
Ah, the good ‘ol days of “…And that’s the way it is.”
Despite a meme of Walter Cronkite’s image currently circulating on (un)social media that says he would report the news each night then simply sign off with no political agenda, we must understand that ALL news agencies have ALWAYS had political agendas and leanings. Uncle Walt was no exception. He occasionally ended his broadcast with a commentary or opinion. On those occasions, he would not use his tag line “…And that’s the way it is.”
These days, however, it’s crystal clear which networks and agencies support what political party, candidate, and ideology. Most Americans know this, but few seem to actually bother reading or listening beyond the by-lines of news reports. Those first bold-captioned words will enflame, enrage, or embolden already held opinions and views of the reader. EVEN IF it's a lie.
The image above of British online publication ‘The Independent’ is a perfect example of how a news agency promotes their agenda or opinion on any given subject simply through the by-line. With Americans' attention spans shorter than a gnat, and the prevalent media bias against all things Trump, ‘The Independent’ blatantly plays this song and dance strategy to perfection.
“Trump says ’no one more competent in the world’ than daughter Ivanka to replace Nikki Haley as UN ambassador.”
Except that Trump didn’t say that. With a by-line that is an outright lie, ’The Independent’ shows it’s political bias, and ensures that all those on the Democrat, Progressive, liberal, left side of the US’s political spectrum will immediately seize the by-line moment and blow millions of gaskets.
It’s like squirting lighter fluid on smoking charcoal in a BBQ grill and creating a sudden explosive shot of flames. I did that last summer and burned the hair off my right arm.
‘The Independent’, as I suspect many other news agencies do, is hedging its bets that those seeing the by-line are simply scrolling with their thumbs, and won’t bother to actually read what Trump ACTUALLY said. You see, the by-line leaves out two key words in Trump’s comment (reported in THEIR story above, no less) that totally changes the meaning and context of what he said: “…EVEN IF…”
I won’t be surprised to see this take on a life of its own in the next few weeks as people tell other people that Trump might appoint his daughter as UN Ambassador.
And that’s the way it is. EVEN IF it’s a lie.
Rick B Baker
Rochester New York
October 10, 2018