The past week has seen two egregious examples of “journalism” that have made it clear that anything you read in the news or on the internet should be examined critically. First came a Buzzfeed article that alleged that President Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a Trump real estate deal in Moscow. That led to cries of impeachment throughout the mainstream media. But there was just one problem: the story wasn’t true.
And how do we know that? Because special counsel Mueller’s team went public and specifically denied key allegations made within the story, issuing a public statement denying the story. It doesn’t help things either that the Buzzfeed reporter who broke the story, Jason Leopold, has a history of fabrication. But who cares about the truth when you have to push the narrative that “Orange Man Bad”?
Close on the heels of Buzzfeed’s flop was reporting on a group of Catholic high school students from Covington, KY who allegedly taunted American Indians who took part in the Indigenous Peoples’ March in Washington, DC on Friday. The teenagers, who were in town for the March for Life, were depicted in a video as being boorish and obnoxious in what media characterized as a racially-tinged incident. In response, the Diocese of Covington, Covington Catholic High School, the March for Life, and of course numerous left-wing media outlets rushed to judge the boys and deride their alleged behavior.
As the smoke has cleared, however, and more video has reached the internet, it has become clear that the boys’ actions were horrendously mischaracterized. They were themselves the victims of racist, homophobic, and anti-religious slurs, and the Indian man who got between them and their harassers was not taunted by the boys, who were perplexed at what exactly was transpiring as they were waiting for their bus. That hasn’t stopped the left-wing hordes on Twitter, who doxxed the wrong boy, claimed that people who weren’t there are lying about not being there, and in general just don’t care about the facts because they want to push their narrative.
Social media and the internet can be powerful tools for spreading the truth, but they can also be powerful tools for enabling online lynch mobs who have no concern for the truth but only in spreading their own agenda. The boys from Covington have found that out the hard way. But for the rest of us who are concerned about truth and justice, the takeaway is to always take everything we read with a grain of salt and look at it critically. Many in the media aren’t interested in presenting the facts as they are, but only a selectively edited version of tidbits that fit their agenda and manipulate the gullible into seeing the world as the powers-that-be want them to see it. Don’t fall victim to their ploys.