Been Had

It's not too often that I write posts that talk about politics anymore but, since the release of the Mueller Report a lot of the news organizations I once read on a daily basis have gone silent on the sitting president of the United States. There is still the occasional article here and there, but gone is the fever pitch, the pitch forks, and the forking priorities1. Given the adamant insistence these news organisations had just two weeks ago about Trump's ties with Russia, I am left wondering how accurate these depictions were now given the crickets that have taken up residence on the websites that screamed for two years about the injustice of a widely unpopular person leading the most powerful nation in the history of humanity. Where is this fervour now? Was the rage just a sham to boost page views? Have we all been had?

There's no question in my mind that Trump and his motley crew of enablers have done questionable things, lied incessantly2, and made the world a more dangerous place. That said, the radio silence from the various news sources that I read makes me wonder just how much of what they've reported was presented accurately and without the convenient bias that makes it possible to hide, bury, or otherwise obscure the whole picture behind an event. What's odd is that in addition to the radio silence, there appears to be more articles about the large number of people crossing the southern border in the US, giving credibility to a long-standing claim that Trump has been making for two years. It is as though these news sites are trying to give the appearance of being balanced in their reporting despite the two years of overtly negative reporting about anything and everything related to the United States.

Again, I wonder if we have all been had, and for what purpose. Ad revenue? An attempt to defrock a wanna-be dictator?

This post will likely come across as less cohesive than the general stream-of-consciousness articles on this site because I'm genuinely troubled by what I see in the news media. It's always been a challenge to separate the signal from the noise. However, if these last few years of siren calls and "exclusives" have been intentionally painted in such a way as to drive traffic at the expense of accuracy, then I'm going to question the accuracy of everything that I've read. Not just the articles about the United States, but those involving the various societal and political issues in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and South America. How much of what is reported is real? How much is blown out of proportion? Despite my best efforts to understand the world from many angles, there's only so much time in the day. If I can't trust that my sources of information are accurate, then why continue to give them the benefit of the doubt?

I strongly believe in "read, but verify". Verification often involves reading a corroborating article on a different site. Echo chambers do exist, though, and this could result in a misunderstanding about how accurate a story is. If the left-leaning media organisations have over-played their hand, then the unexpected result of the Mueller Report could signal the end for many of these organisations.

  1. Forking for this last item being a homonym for something else.

  2. Often without reason. This is the most damning of all, as a person who lies when they're innocent is often considered guilty of other things regardless of reality.