The Las Vegas Sun has done something a little bit unusual. They have included articles from major conservative media outlets including Fox News, CNN and the Heritage Foundation. This is quite unprecedented, to say the least. Why would such a conservative publication do such a thing?
It seems obvious. Conservative publications are always looking for stories and information that they can use to attack the left. The media watch group Accuracy in Academia, noted this last month. The professors that write these articles have some sway in academia and therefore have a large influence over young minds. And it works, they often get on television and talk with various pundits and talk about their points of view.
Is it wrong to do this? Sure it is wrong to slant an article in a way to have a liberal slant. But is it wrong to slant an article in a way that promotes a conservative point of view? That’s another matter altogether. But isn’t doing both too much for one publication to do?
One professor complained to me over email, “A double standard exists in the present atmosphere when it comes to academic freedom and intellectual property rights.” Yet in the same breath he complained that the present administration had been trying to stifle academic freedom. So which is it? Whose side are they on?
I have often criticized establishmentarian newspapers for including articles from Slate, The Atlantic Monthly and the New Republic in their rankings of the best newspapers in the country. Sometimes the argument I’ve made is that they just want to tell everyone what they think. In these cases the critics are right.
But then I also often criticize mainstream media outlets like CNN and Fox News for not being adversarial enough in their reporting of certain events. They’ll report something that the establishmentarian crowd has written about. Then they’ll report that there are facts that dispute the initial slant or point of view. But when it comes to reporting news, the difference between the two sets of slants is clear. Slate is a liberal polemic outlet, CNN and Fox are conservative editorial poles.
And yet these two news sources, and in fact most journalists who cover national issues, will not publish anything that doesn’t support their point of view. For example, you wouldn’t ever see an article from the New York Times discussing the recent congressional investigations into the Fast Food Restaurant Chain Fast food layoffs or discussing how great Bob Edwards was as a former CEO of McDonald’s, or even the problems at Sears. That sort of thing is usually reserved for publications that lean far to the left of the political spectrum. And yet the Obama Administration and their campaign arm are doing precisely that, using their media apparatus to push the Obama Administration agenda in the swing states.
This is why I often call these things fake news, because nothing in the world produces more fake news than the press. It creates an almost impossible situation where the press can appear to be objective, while at the same time promoting one political party, and viciously attacking the other. When this type of slandering takes place it really bogs down the free speech argument. So, then is it fair for the reporters who write these biased articles to be called Fake News?
In my opinion they should be called False News, because they are not only written by journalists but are published by websites that are not known for their commitment to a balanced portfolio of perspectives. In fact these types of articles have very little value in relation to the purpose of the news media, which is to inform the public. It is unbelievable that we would have to debate this, but I think the best way to judge any piece of news is if it was published by someone not associated with either one of the parties in the debate. Please consider all this.