Within the past 24 hours, the mainstream media has proved that they are indeed “fake news.” Yesterday, NBC News took it upon themselves to publish a story about the supposedly strained relationship between President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Since then, the President and many people close to him have come out and denied the legitimacy of the story. As noted in an opinion piece published on The Hill, such reports are dangerous. As Bill O’Reilly stated, the dishonest press is truly taking the American people for morons.
The so-called “news,” NBC alleged that Tillerson called the President a “moron” behind his back and even considered resigning from his post, prior to a “pep talk” from Vice President Pence. The Vice President denies this, as does President Trump:
At this point, the media is not doing themselves any favors. Before accepting the word of sources who conveniently chose to remain anonymous, NBC News should have done their due diligence and verified the story with reliable witnesses.
As Bill O’Reilly stated:
“So this is where we are as far as "journalism" is concerned: All allegations against politicians or famous people, who have a very high bar if they want to sue, are broadcast or printed. They then become talk-show facts, discussed as if the anonymous accusations are absolutely accurate.”
Sadly, O’Reilly is right. NBC’s dishonesty is one of many reasons why the term “fake news” is mainstream, alive, and well. The media has brought this upon themselves. Perhaps they should fact check before opening their mouths.
As usual, after President Trump’s condemnation of the false NBC News story, many of his critics seized the opportunity, slamming him for “trashing the free press.” There are several things these people need to understand. First and foremost, like any other American, the President reserves the right to censure the media, especially when they post flagrant lies. Secondly, if the media doesn’t want to be called out, they should report accurately. This isn’t difficult, but the mainstream anti-Trump agenda is very apparent and appears to be the motivation behind false reports like the one about the current Secretary of State, something that O’Reilly touched on in his opinion piece:
“Am I the only one who sees the danger here? There is no question that most media organizations want to get President Trump out of office. A recent study by the Pew organization says that, during his first three months in office, only 5 percent of press coverage of Mr. Trump was positive. Genghis Khan got better press. But, again, this is all by design - get Trump!”
The mainstream media could stop this at any time. At any point, they could cease the fake news and simply report from a fair, unbiased position. It’s absurd that 95% of the press President Trump receives is negative. This is why conservatives consistently censure the media. This is why Trump supporters question the accuracy of the news.
What happens now? Can anything said by the media be taken at face value? Do we the people now have to fact check every story given press due to the media’s unwillingness to do so? NBC’s false coverage of Pence, Tillerson, and Trump is incredibly dangerous. If people believed in fake news before, this irresponsible, untrue coverage will only ensure that people trust the press even less than they already do.
As President Trump stated in his tweets, NBC News should issue an apology to the American people. Many people read their piece, took it at face value, and in doing so, they were deceived all for the sake of the media promoting their agenda of discord within the Trump administration. Reporters’ personal feelings about President Trump are utterly meaningless. They aren’t paid to share their opinions; they’re paid to disclose facts to the American people. If the current political climate makes it too difficult for reporters to do their jobs, perhaps they should seek employment elsewhere.
The media’s decision to knowingly promote fake news is unfortunate. They have a duty to fact-check information before they post it. As a result of the dishonest press regarding Tillerson, Pence, and Trump, Americans will be even more leery of the mainstream media. Next time they’re accused of being “fake news,” the media should remember they brought it upon themselves.