Saturday, December 23, 2017

Rex Murphy: The real fake news of 2017

...When the majority of the American media failed in their coverage of the presidential election, they had to find some excuse for their massive incompetence. The New York Times, with all their resources, and after two full years of daily coverage of the campaign, was nonetheless projecting Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory at a full 92 per cent on election night itself. That was at least better than the pathologically anti-Trump HuffPost, which had Hillary’s chances set at a modest 98 per cent! Such was the state of American journalism, these companies barely allowed for the mere possibility that Trump could win. Under their professional eye, he was just a sideshow, even in the very hours before he actually won.


These two—the Times and HuffPost—can stand for a large set of the American press, both traditional and online. Their reading of the American election was the greatest journalistic failure—the largest act of group incompetence—in decades. This failure fostered the need for some excuse for how they got so much so wrong.    

They couldn’t just step out honestly and say: “Hey, we despised this guy so much that it really warped our thinking and twisted our coverage, blocked out what we didn’t want to see. We were so mad at him we could not see.” That would have been the truthful and honourable thing to do. So, obviously, it was not adopted. Instead, the answer they did come up with, quickly and conveniently enough, was Fake News...

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