“A story we thought we knew was not the reality.”
This sentence, pronounced this week by NBC News national security reporter Ken Dilanian could be applied to a number of long-standing Trump-era “accepted as fact” reports that later turned out to be false. But in this case, Dilanian referred to a specific media narrative that is falling apart.
Last June, US parks police dispersed protesters in Lafayette Square, a park just north of the White House. Soon after, President Donald Trump walked from the white house through the park to St. John’s Church, which had been set on fire by protesters the night before.
Trump’s message was that he would not tolerate lawlessness in the U.S. capital or any other place in the country.
Reporters captured the sequence of events and immediately said the park was cleared on June 1, 2020 expressly to make Trump’s trip to the church possible. The conclusion was unanimous among the institutional media.
“Protesters dispersed tear gas so Trump could pose at church,” shouted The New York Times.
“Peaceful protesters forcibly turned out for a Trump photoshoot,” yelled CNN breathless.
“How the cleaning of Lafayette Square made the White House look a little more like the Kremlin,” said The Washington Post in an “analysis” room.
All the rage of the elite media has had the desired effect.
Political data scientist David Shor confirmed the impact as the 2020 election looms, saying last july that the episode was “when the support for [Joe] Biden has skyrocketed and it’s been pretty stable since then.
The problem is, the account was wrong, and now we know it.
The Inspector General of the Interior Ministry on Wednesday released the findings of an in-depth investigation, which determined that federal agents had “cleared the park to allow a contractor to safely install limescale fences in response to the destruction of federal property.”
Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt wrote that park police officials “made these decisions and began implementing the operational plan hours before they learned of a possible presidential visit to the park, which took place later in the day “.
Greenblatt concluded that the evidence “did not support a conclusion” that the park had been cleared for Trump to walk through.
It’s a huge media narrative, previously considered indisputable, biting the dust.
But that wasn’t the only black eye the media has suffered in recent days.
Many will remember the controversy surrounding Trump promotes drug hydroxychloroquine—Used to treat malaria for 65 years — as a possible benefit for patients with COVID-19. As is so often the case, the media provoked mass outrage because if Trump was saying it, it had to be wrong.
NBC went up to practically accuse Trump murder because an Arizona couple ingested parasitic chemicals from an aquarium to make the fish fight COVID-19, after which the husband died.
As the communications director on the Trump 2020 campaign, I have had the misfortune of appearing on CNN from time to time when she wanted someone to reprimand. On one of these occasions, the ‘conversation’ turned in the Trump side. optimistic view of hydroxychloroquine.
“it kills peoplethe CNN presenter shouted shortly before cutting the interview because I allegedly created a public health risk by daring to say the name of the drug.
Today, almost a year later, a new study shows that hydroxychloroquine, combined with zinc, triple the survival rate of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Delete another fake media story and put it away.
These two examples are just the latest cemented media positions to collapse recently.
For almost a year, the same media – en masse – were absolutely sure the coronavirus hadn’t leaked from a lab in China, and that anyone suggesting such a thing was a racist, a loonie, and a conspiracy theorist. marginal.
Suddenly, with Trump out of the White House, the “lab leak theory” is all the rage, as reporters reluctantly admit that this may indeed be plausible.
The list of media incidents is long and includes the infamous New York Times report that Russia was paying premiums to the Taliban fighters who killed American soldiers in Afghanistan. The Times article, based on anonymous sources, claimed that US intelligence officials “concluded” that the Russians had “secretly offered rewards for successful attacks.”
The story sparked numerous clamors for an explanation of why Trump had not responded to protect US troops.
Trump’s White House has denied that such a conclusion has been drawn, explaining that this information must always be reviewed and verified before reaching the level of a briefing for the president.
Nonetheless, the media fury was searing and provided campaign material to Biden, who called him “betrayal of the most sacred duty we as a nation must protect and equip our troops when we send them into danger.
But here is where we run into a familiar problem with the narrative. The intelligence reported by the New York Times was exactly what Trump’s White House said: inconclusive.
The story was finally filed almost a year later, when an administration official said there was “low to moderate confidence” in the claims.
This assessment came from — you guessed it — the Biden White House.
Listen, journalists are human and they make mistakes.
But we see a disturbing tendency among members of the news media to report the same things, with the same statements and conclusions, all at once and with great conviction. It’s called package journalism, and it establishes an extremely difficult narrative to shake.
Journalists who have doubts about a particular story are likely to hush up those concerns for fear of being the only one walking away from the pack.
No, the press enjoys the security of numbers. It is the American people who risk being misinformed by the media, which are often wrong but are certain of their correctness.
This piece originally appeared in The daily signal.