Good Sunday morning — or afternoon, possibly evening, depending on when you read this — and welcome to my latest article in a series of thoughts of mine on freedom of speech and how we must cling to and protect those principles of free thought and the ability to offend people on occasion.
There is a delicate balancing act that has always been in play since the United States Constitution was ratified and the first 10 amendments — the Bill of Rights — were adopted. This has become increasingly more urgent to me as I have survived the first wave of P.C. drivel and now am moving in and possibly out of wokeism while wondering what the next movement will be to silence speech and the free-flow discussion of ideas.
We truly must be able to safeguard our ability to think and possibly offend those with whom we are having discussions no matter how butthurt some may become.
This idea has intensified for me in the past couple of weeks as I have seen discussions become incredibly heated over the terrorist organization Hamas’s invasion of Israel.
Yet part of that liberty that we have been blessed with in this country is called “the Fourth Estate,” also known as the media. Probably anyone who is reading this site knows that, at times, the media have flat-out misrepresented and lied about stories that they are promoting in trying to serve up a certain narrative for you, the public, to buy.
So, as I was perusing this morning, I came across these articles from the Salem Media family and found these articles of interest.
One, from our sister site Townhall, was this post from Sarah Arnold: Media Outlets That Accused Israel of Bombing Gaza Hospital Have Yet to Apologize for Their Mistake
Left-wing outlets were quick to blame Israel for the bombing of a Gaza hospital that killed more than 500 people earlier this week.
However, the Department of Defense confirmed the deadly incident was the work of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The terrorist organization launched a rocket intending to kill Israeli civilians, but it fell short and hit the Al-Ahli hospital instead.
Headlines from CNN, Reuters, and the New York Times rushed to accuse Israel of the attack. However, they have yet to issue retractions or apologize for their mistake.
Another Townhall offering but this time from media guru and RedState fav Brad Slager was this: In a Horrid Week for the News Industry, Has the Washington Post Been the Most Horrendous?
This week has been a monumental failure for the journalism complex in this country. The completely unethical manner in which the Gaza hospital-bombing-that-wasn’t was delivered, the repercussions those fraudulent reports generated, and the lack of any earnest corrections and admissions of wrongdoing have further impacted an already tarnished industry. While numerous major news outlets were culpable of the deeply flawed hospital reporting, the Washington Post exhibited a collection of reports this week, any of which are disqualifying in nature.
- It was part of the flood of outlets delivering the error-ridden Hamas-fed report of Israel bombing a hospital.
- The next day, there was a scathing article condemning misinformation, but pointing at social media helping Hamas, as it was ignoring its own actions of this nature.
- Even after it was shown that the hospital had not been directly hit and that the rocket originated from inside Gaza, hours later, WaPo filed a new report repeating the disproven claims.
Then finally, RedState’s very own Mike Miller who penned this interesting piece about a favorite of all of us here at RedState, former CNN contributor Brian Stelter, who tripped across the truth this week on media malfeasance: WATCH: Even Ex-CNN Host Brian Stelter Blasts Media for ‘Atrocious’ Gaza Hospital Reporting.
In a Wednesday appearance on NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live,” Stelter shredded the media for their “atrocious” coverage of the blast — and then some.
Abrams began the segment with a declarative statement before welcoming Stelter.
Hamas is not a credible source for information, period. And yet, so many in the media treat them as if their statements are just as reliable as any other government statement.
Correct. Then, out trots Stelter to jump on the condemnation of the media bandwagon. The question is why? (emphasis, mine)
You know, sometimes Dan, you’re out there criticizing the media and I want to defend the media. But there is no defense here. This was an atrocious series of mistakes by many different major newsrooms all around the same time on Tuesday. And unfortunately, I don’t think there’s been a follow-up or accountability to make sure doesn’t happen again.
I’ve noticed oftentimes in breaking news stories, breaking news scenarios when information is lowest interest is highest. By the time we actually know the facts, people move on. Well, this was one of those cases, but it was even worse because when the stakes are highest, it seems the standards were the lowest and it should be the opposite. The standard should be the highest when the stakes are as high as they are. Right.
That Stelter finally made a sentient observation gives me hope that anyone can sober up logically.
As someone with more of a libertarian/conservative mindset, I’m very wary of the government getting involved in any way, shape, or form to police content. That notion is way too Orwellian for me, and we already have a demonstration of that sickness on Facebook and Google through their magical fact checkers who smack stuff down that, months later, is proven to be correct — and they never apologize.
That, of course, is how private platforms exerting rules on a sliding scale can do things. Yet, once again, it’s a private platform, and you have the choice of whether or not to use that platform or skip right past it.
So, as Sarah points out above, the media outlets that clearly got it wrong were just taking spoon-fed sound bites from Hamas, stating that Israel had bombed the hospital in Gaza and still have not corrected that.
Should there be anything done to them?
As Brad points out above, his semi-favorite outfit, The Washington Post, not only did not correct itself on the same Gaza hospital story but it filed a new report stating the same disproven claims.
What punishment, if any, should be doled out to Jeff Bezos and his Washington Post?
Maybe the embarrassment of Brian Stelter blasting them all is punishment enough?
Ultimately, though, I’m going to fall on the side that there should never be government intervention, and the minute a politician, Republican or Democrat, says they want to legislate truth in any way, shape, or form, you should immediately tell that politician to stand down.
If a reporter from a news organization gets something wrong, call them out on it, and plaster their name and their email everywhere to let people know where they can contact them and their bosses. Specifically, call out what they got wrong and ask when they will post a correction.
I know this suggestion gets people’s stuff in a knot occasionally, but I’m pretty sure that the reaction that Bud Light got with that Dylan person is probably the best way to handle any of these situations. If a news organization constantly gets stuff wrong, find out who their biggest advertiser is and let them know it’s not kosher.
That is the only way to fight this in a truly American way — by keeping a watchful eye on those who are supposed to be the watchdogs.