How the Media Lies by Omission

How the Media Lies by Omission, by Scott Adams.

A few days ago, Mike Cernovich broke the news that ex-Obama advisor Susan Rice had asked for the identities of Americans caught up in electronic surveillance of foreigners, including some Trump associates. After Mike broke the story, the big news organizations followed. I asked my well-informed Trump-hating friend what he thought of the story.

He said he hadn’t heard of it.

I was surprised. It was the headline news. While we were on the phone, he checked CNN’s website on his computer and informed me that no such story existed. In his words, it was probably “fake news” that he assumed I saw “on Breitbart” or some other site he considers below his standard of news excellence.

So I asked him to navigate over to Business Insider (partly owned by Jeff Bezos) to see if the story was there. And sure enough, it was. Prominently. My friend read the story and agreed it should have been covered on CNN as well.

That’s when I had the entertaining experience of explaining to my friend that his news habit of relying on CNN and the New York Times made him more of a victim of manipulation than a consumer of news. I explained that unless he is sampling stories from both sides (left and right), he is being completely misled by one of the sides.

Both sides get the facts right, usually, and eventually. The manipulation comes in the form of what they emphasize and what they deemphasize. CNN apparently decided that the Susan Rice story was not important news. Coincidentally, this particular news also made them look like ridiculous turds for mocking the Trump “wiretapping” claim non-stop as a sign of the president’s character and perhaps his sanity.

We don’t know all the facts yet, but we do know that Trump’s claim of being “wiretapped” by Obama is starting to look dangerously close to something similar to the truth. CNN did not see that coming, and it would be awkward to walk-back all of their mocking. So they just sort of ignored it.