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20180411 160115News. Fake news. Spin. Propaganda. Left-leaning. Right-leaning. The legitimate press. The dishonest media.
So much to consider when simply trying to find out what is happening in the world. So, let me begin to help distinguish one from the other as we wade through the many possibilities.
Let's start with propaganda or, as it is more commonly referred to, FOX News. Why does FOX News fall into the category of propaganda you ask? Because the very definition of propaganda is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”
That is exactly what FOX News does and is. It doesn't use facts to support its mission, which is to support the Trump presidency. It makes up its own facts or, as Kellyanne Conway put it, “alternative facts.” Labeling Special Counsel Robert Mueller as “corrupt” without providing any specifics of what he has done that has not been by the book and completely within the limits of the law is just one example.

I often hear the comparison of FOX News to the other major political cable news outlets, CNN and MSNBC. The comparison goes something like this: what FOX News is on the right, MSNBC and CNN are on the left.
Wrong. False equivalency.
MSNBC does not make up facts. It uses facts to present a specific point of view. It dissects the very words of Trump to expose his unfitness for office or his outright hypocrisy or of his lack of knowledge or preparation on the policies he puts forth or actions he takes.
CNN makes a bit more of an attempt to be, quite ironically, “fair and balanced,” to borrow the catchphrase inappropriately used by FOX. It’s even more ironic that it is CNN which is more severely attacked by Trump.
Like MSNBC, however, CNN simply reports what comes out of this administration which, more often than not, demonstrates everything wrong with it. Asking the administration what exactly is the full plan for Syria may make the president uncomfortable, but it is a legitimate question to ask. Inquiring if the president was aware of the $130,000 payoff to keep a porn star silent about an alleged relationship with the president is a legitimate inquiry about the nation's president even if it makes the president a bit uncomfortable. Questions on the massive tax cuts of which some 83 percent benefited the top one percent of income and did not do much for the middle class as claimed is not an attack on the president as much as it is seeking the facts for the public and exposing the misinformation provided by the administration.
I can go on but the basic point is that propaganda is not news, it is spin.
Speaking of spin, let's turn to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the daily press briefings. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is, quite honestly, the master of spin. No one does it better and she does so without the least semblance of conscience. Where Sean Spicer at least appeared a bit uncomfortable spinning for the White House, Sarah Huckabee Sanders shows no such discomfort. She relishes in the spin as well as the commitment to distract from issues embarrassing to the president.
The most obvious example goes something like this: a reporter asks a simple question such as “What is the president's position on issue A?” The immediate response from Huckabee Sanders is “I'll tell you what the president's position on issue B is and he has been the greatest supporter of issue B in the history of the world. He has done more for issue B in a little over a year than Barack Obama has done in eight years.”
Clearly the goal was to get out the talking points on issue B regardless of the question dealing with issue A, which remained unanswered.
In all the time I have attended the daily press briefings, the one thing that is certain is that they will never start at the announced time. Whether the delay is intended to show contempt for the press or due to never having enough time to get all of the talking points vetted or both is not something easily determined.
The more important issue, as I see it, is the continual use of talking points regardless of the relevance to the issue raised in any particular question from the press. That tactic has been too successful in allowing Ms. Sanders to avoid answering questions of interest.
Moreover, if using talking points does not adequately avoid answering the question then there are other catchphrases in the Huckabee Sanders arsenal to avoid answering the question. I won't go through all of them, but anyone who has ever listened to a press briefing undoubtedly has heard her avoid answering a question by uttering “I'm not aware of any specifics,” or “We'll get back to you on that,” or “”Won't get into the back-and-forth on that,” or “Haven't had a chance to talk to the president on that,” or “We're pushing forward,” or a host of other similar catchphrases.
As the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is responsible for communicating to the public, by means of the press, information regarding policy and actions by the White House. There really should be no excuse for not being prepared to answer any question on the issues of the day prior to stepping to the podium.
One last observation: “fake news” is news that is not true; it is not news that is unflattering.
Claiming Mexico will pay for a southern border wall is untrue and fake. Reporting that Trump's plan to pay for that wall through tariffs on Mexican imported goods is ill-advised because it will be American buyers of those imported items who pay the tariff is not fake, it is reporting facts.
The fact that it exposes the lack of understanding of how tariffs work by the professed expert on trade, Donald J. Trump, may be unflattering but not fake.

@PKSpaul

 

News. Fake news. Spin. Propaganda. Left-leaning. Right-leaning. The legitimate press. The dishonest media.

So much to consider when simply trying to find out what is happening in the world. So, let me begin to help distinguish one from the other as we wade through the many possibilities.

Let's start with propaganda or, as it is more commonly referred to, FOX News. Why does FOX News fall into the category of propaganda you ask? Because the very definition of propaganda is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”

That is exactly what FOX News does and is. It doesn't use facts to support its mission, which is to support the Trump presidency. It makes up its own facts or, as Kellyanne Conway put it, “alternative facts.” Labeling Special Counsel Robert Mueller as “corrupt” without providing any specifics of what he has done that has not been by the book and completely within the limits of the law is just one example.

I often hear the comparison of FOX News to the other major political cable news outlets, CNN and MSNBC. The comparison goes something like this: what FOX News is on the right, MSNBC and CNN are on the left.

Wrong. False equivalency.

MSNBC does not make up facts. It uses facts to present a specific point of view. It dissects the very words of Trump to expose his unfitness for office or his outright hypocrisy or of his lack of knowledge or preparation on the policies he puts forth or actions he takes.

CNN makes a bit more of an attempt to be, quite ironically, “fair and balanced,” to borrow the catchphrase inappropriately used by FOX. It’s even more ironic that it is CNN which is more severely attacked by Trump.

Like MSNBC, however, CNN simply reports what comes out of this administration which, more often than not, demonstrates everything wrong with it. Asking the administration what exactly is the full plan for Syria may make the president uncomfortable, but it is a legitimate question to ask. Inquiring if the president was aware of the $130,000 payoff to keep a porn star silent about an alleged relationship with the president is a legitimate inquiry about the nation's president even if it makes the president a bit uncomfortable. Questions on the massive tax cuts of which some 83 percent benefited the top one percent of income and did not do much for the middle class as claimed is not an attack on the president as much as it is seeking the facts for the public and exposing the misinformation provided by the administration.

I can go on but the basic point is that propaganda is not news, it is spin.

Speaking of spin, let's turn to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the daily press briefings. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is, quite honestly, the master of spin. No one does it better and she does so without the least semblance of conscience. Where Sean Spicer at least appeared a bit uncomfortable spinning for the White House, Sarah Huckabee Sanders shows no such discomfort. She relishes in the spin as well as the commitment to distract from issues embarrassing to the president.

The most obvious example goes something like this: a reporter asks a simple question such as “What is the president's position on issue A?” The immediate response from Huckabee Sanders is “I'll tell you what the president's position on issue B is and he has been the greatest supporter of issue B in the history of the world. He has done more for issue B in a little over a year than Barack Obama has done in eight years.”

Clearly the goal was to get out the talking points on issue B regardless of the question dealing with issue A, which remained unanswered.

In all the time I have attended the daily press briefings, the one thing that is certain is that they will never start at the announced time. Whether the delay is intended to show contempt for the press or due to never having enough time to get all of the talking points vetted or both is not something easily determined.

The more important issue, as I see it, is the continual use of talking points regardless of the relevance to the issue raised in any particular question from the press. That tactic has been too successful in allowing Ms. Sanders to avoid answering questions of interest.

Moreover, if using talking points does not adequately avoid answering the question then there are other catchphrases in the Huckabee Sanders arsenal to avoid answering the question. I won't go through all of them, but anyone who has ever listened to a press briefing undoubtedly has heard her avoid answering a question by uttering “I'm not aware of any specifics,” or “We'll get back to you on that,” or “”Won't get into the back-and-forth on that,” or “Haven't had a chance to talk to the president on that,” or “We're pushing forward,” or a host of other similar catchphrases.

As the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is responsible for communicating to the public, by means of the press, information regarding policy and actions by the White House. There really should be no excuse for not being prepared to answer any question on the issues of the day prior to stepping to the podium. 

One last observation: “fake news” is news that is not true; it is not news that is unflattering.

Claiming Mexico will pay for a southern border wall is untrue and fake. Reporting that Trump's plan to pay for that wall through tariffs on Mexican imported goods is ill-advised because it will be American buyers of those imported items who pay the tariff is not fake, it is reporting facts.

The fact that it exposes the lack of understanding of how tariffs work by the professed expert on trade, Donald J. Trump, may be unflattering but not fake.

 

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