Editorial: What’s happened to the news?

Pool Photo: Kyle Rittenhouse, right, reacts after hearing his not guilty verdict.

Column By Mike Bibb

Anyone with a discerning mind has seen the gradual deterioration of the news, particularly national news, into a murky pool of unreliable facts, disinformation, biased reporting, politically slanted opinions, and outright falsehoods.

The old standard of who-what-where-when-why has been supplanted by a journalistic philosophy predicated more upon brain dead wokeness, influenced by progressive-socialist academic tutelage, to such a degree that today’s headlines are often a tease into a story frequently twisted by a reporter’s personal views or corporate political mandates. 

The recent Kyle Rittenhouse multiple-murder acquittal in Kenosha, Wisconsin is an excellent example.  The young man was unanimously declared by a jury to be not guilty on all charges brought by an overly zealous prosecutor, but the mainstream media couldn’t handle it. 

They wanted his scalp and the facts be damned.  From their perspective, the 17-year-old teen was a latter-day racist vigilante, looking for suitable targets on the smoke-filled streets of Kenosha.  A gun-toting, white supremacist who deserved to be incarcerated for the rest of his earthly life.

He shouldn’t have been there unless peacefully rioting, burning, and looting like everyone else.  Since he wasn’t doing any of those things, and instead was defending himself from others who were attempting to smash his skull, his day in court should have rightfully concluded with the judge overturning the jury and pronouncing death by lethal injection.

Breaking news could boastfully proclaim “Justice Served.  Gun Happy Teen Given Life Without Parole.  Prosecutor Seeks Seat On Supreme Court.”  Maybe a slight exaggeration, but not too far off the mark.

This isn’t something new, rather a gradual amalgamation of news and editorial policies designed to report current events while surreptitiously giving the appearance of impartiality.

Some social media providers no longer refute the fact they will purposely censor or cancel any story or submitter they do not agree with or deem offensive to their viewers.  The articles do not have to necessarily be factually untrue, just not in keeping with company policies.  The standards, of course, can fluctuate, depending upon the topic and who’s presenting the comment.

Today, several major news organizations have seemingly abandoned any semblance of objectivity and tilted predominately left in their reporting.  CNN immediately comes to mind.  Over time — particularly since their botched coverage of the Trump-Russia collusion fiasco a few years ago — audience share has substantially dwindled as viewers have switched to other networks in an effort to receive a more balanced representation of the news.

Now, liberal CNN is gasping for air to survive in the competitive arena of corporate news broadcasting.  A proposed $43 billion merger of Warner Media and Discovery, which includes CNN, could – at least, temporarily – provide a life raft for the floundering news channel.

Multi-billion-dollar media mogul, John Malone, Chairman of Liberty Media, a major shareowner in Discovery and, reportedly, one of the largest private landowners in the U.S., recently commented, “I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.  I do believe good journalism could have a role in this future portfolio that Discovery-TimeWarner’s going to represent.”

“Good journalism” is an obvious dig at CNN’s current dismal reputation.  After years of mismanagement, fake news reporting, and contorted editorial policies, it appears if Malone’s recommendations are not heeded, CNN may go the way of the incandescent bulb – still capable of providing a little light, but not too bright.

Mr. Malone is not the only one voicing concern over CNN’s antics.  After the Rittenhouse trial, Harvard Law emeritus Alan Dershowitz recommended the teen get in touch with legal representation to counter CNN’s false reporting of the teen’s breakdown on the witness stand.

“You can watch yourself crying on TV and then you see those jerks attacking him, saying it was staged,” Dershowitz remarked.  “Imagine if it was a black man who was a member of Black Lives Matter who had killed in self-defense and who cried on the witness stand.  None of those people would have marked him.” 

“It’s racism, pure and simple.  There’s no way of getting around it” he said.  A reminder that racism not only affects blacks but anyone facing a biased situation in which an individual’s skin color or demeanor is deemed a significant factor in a news agency reporting upon a court case.

The fact Rittenhouse is white, and his attackers were also white, and the entire assault was recorded on several videotapes should have been sufficient evidence to convince CNN Rittenhouse did not provoke the confrontation, nor were any blacks involved.  The riots in Kenosha were already in progress by the time Rittenhouse became entangled in the affair.

“I support any lawsuit that he tries to bring against the intellectual thugs at CNN who persists in lying, persistent lying about the case,” Dershowitz concluded.

The question remains, are CNN’s corporate directors, legal advisors, and upper-level supervisors intelligent enough to realize Kyle Rittenhouse could build a very credible and costly lawsuit against them if they choose to ignore the warnings? 

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone appears to understand this.  Maybe the old days of slandering and libeling folks who CNN does not approve of are about to become a faded memory.

Maybe, they will once again resume reporting news as it actually happened, not as it didn’t happen.

The opinion expressed in this editorial is that of the author.   

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