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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Why Smart People Don't Trust the Press

Silverfiddle Rant!
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- At a time when Americans are relying heavily on the media for information about the coronavirus pandemic, the presidential election and other momentous events, the public remains largely distrustful of the mass media. Four in 10 U.S. adults say they have "a great deal" (9%) or "a fair amount" (31%) of trust and confidence in the media to report the news "fully, accurately, and fairly," while six in 10 have "not very much" trust (27%) or "none at all" (33%). (Gallup)

Kylee Zempel at The Federalist provides reasons for that well-founded mistrust:
is it because the media constantly race-bait them with false narratives? Ma’Khia Bryant? “Hands up, don’t shoot”?

In this case, the alternative is the same media that smeared Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist.

It’s the media that fell for the Jussie Smollett hoax and the Russia hoax

... and that cut video footage to paint a Catholic teenager as a smug racist.

It’s the media that saw the Hunter Biden laptop story and said “nothing to see here,”

...that stood in front of burning buildings and called it “peaceful protests,”

...that wrongly claimed Trump tear-gassed “peaceful protesters” in Lafayette Park for a photo op.

...wrongly insisted MAGA insurrectionists bludgeoned a Capitol Police officer to death with a fire extinguisher.

They concocted a false narrative out of thin air about Gov. Ron DeSantis and Publix pharmacies when they needed to make a successful Republican leader look bad.

They opted for comedy hour with Gov. Andrew Cuomo instead of asking him and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer real questions about their lethal nursing home policies.

They lied about Russian bounties and downplayed Fauci’s emails.
What say you?


  1. Communist active measures and it started a long time ago. 1960's. See Yuri Brezmanov, former KBG agent on youtube made around the 1980's. The short vids are good enough.

  2. Sure, smart people don't trust the media. Just as fair to say that smart people don't trust politicians. But, writ large, ostensibly smart people trust the media and politicos that mirror their ideology/party/worldview.

    Media bias should be called for what it is, when it occurs, but most people only care about it when it's seemingly in opposition to the narrative that they follow. If people are fine with their own politicians lying to them, it follows that their fine with 'their' media lying to them as well.

    Kylee Zempel followed this model in her Federalist piece.

    So the, what's the point of what is explicitly.....intellectual masturbation?

    1. The Federalist author has marshaled facts and evidence to make her admittedly partisan case. I see nothing wrong with that. Did she ignore counter evidence? That is the question

    2. I agree with your larger point, that people do criticize those they disagree with, while being overly credulous towards those to which they are ideologically disposed.

      I will now arrogantly exempt myself from that group. My views would tend towards all of those right-wing outlets, but I became fed up with them years ago, for exactly the reasons you cite. I have become a big fan of the intellectual dark web. I highly recommend Brett Weinstein and Heather Heyer and their dark horse webcast.

    3. I just subscribed to Dark Horse, and I'll check it out. Much appreciated.

    4. Don't knock masturbation, it's the thinking man's television.

    5. Absolutely. But it also has a point.

    6. SF - You may have read this, but if not, should find it interesting.


    7. CI: I have not read that, but I am a huge fan of substack. Unfortunately, I can only read free content since I don't subscribe to any substacks.

      It is spilling over with good--true--liberals who have been defenestrated by doctrinaire leftists. I have said it before and I'll say it again: Conservatives will not win this battle. Good liberals will, and to win this war, we need to stop slinging shit at the good liberals and instead practice some mutual toleration.

    8. Dark Horse can get extremely scientific sometimes, but it is one of the few places where COVID, vaccinations, and the science of viruses is discusses dispassionately and from the basis of science, not politics or ideology.

      The Quillette Podcast and the Brendan O'Neill podcasts are also very good, and they do discuss contemporary cultural issues from a soft libertarian or classical liberal perspective.

  3. Just a point about Gallup...they are fake news too..

    First, I was surprised to learn that they have a number of polling contracts with the government. How can one remain independent with this nefarious regime? How can they do Presidential political polls and yet retain their “objectivity”. (From an earlier post)
    Gallup sued by DOJ – Funny, GOP poll numbers tank
    October 11, 2013
    Anyone else noticed the sudden shift in Gallup’s poll results?

    From: Brian in Oregon Email: Date: Sat, Sep 08, 2012 – 10:46 PM ET Website Address:

    Note the improved poll numbers

    “Got my mind set right, boss. See? Obama’s numbers are up, boss, way up”, Cool Hand Gallup.

    After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit that appears damning on its face. …

    After that fiasco-
    Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Biden's job approval ratings on a daily basis.


  4. The Federalist (who should never be trusted) article is loaded with inductive conclusions to arguments they present as binary, peppered with a few facts to somehow justify those conclusions.

    The Trump machine successfully convinced his followers to adamantly dismiss major news outlets such as CNN, NYT, WAPO, etc as fake news. This was rather silly considering these businesses that have been around for decades and some even centuries and had worldwide viewers would cash that all in and distribute fake news over a man that could not have possibly been in office for more than 8 years.

    Trump tipped his hand when Lesley Stahl asked him:
    “Do you know what you told me a long time ago when I asked why you keep saying "fake m-- media"--

    President Donald Trump: Yeah? Yeah?

    Lesley Stahl: You said to me, "I say that because I need to dis-- discredit you so that when you say negative things about me, no one will believe you."

    So a great deal of the distrust of the press came as a result of people being told to never trust anything negative about the leader of our government BY the leader of our government.

    And these smart people swallowed it like a hog swallowing slop.

    1. So where does Leslie Stahl's superior expertise come from? A degree in history from Wheaton College? That makes her a subject matter expert about questions of governance? And that makes her qualified to be a journalist?

      If anyone's swallowing hog slop, it's the viewers of 60 Minutes.

      We distrust the media because the vast majority are unqualified buffoons writing stories to suit a fictional grand narrative for an hourly wage.

    2. ...and why do people accept Leslie Stahl as some sort of "authority" on "everything". Because she controls what her audience see's of any argument, editing out half the truth to never see the light of day. She's a fraud, and so is "journalism."

    3. Farmer: BOOM! +++

      Ronald: Please point out the factual errors in the Federalist article.

    4. The problem with The Federalist and like outlets is that they stretch speciousness to the breaking point, manipulating deductive reasoning with rhetoric and buffoonery.

      The media did not “fall” for the Smollet hoax but rather reported the accusations which were made. To my knowledge, no credible news source removed the word “alleged”. It was simply reporting what was claimed. As the story changed and other information became available, those changes were reported as well. Yet the article attempts to connect this with Trump echoed references of the “Russian hoax”, omitting the fact that the investigation produced multiple charges and convictions of many in Trump’s orbit while never exonerating Trump.

      And the same is true MaKhia by making a straw man argument that the media race baits. Kavanaugh, the least vetted I’ve seen in my lifetime was a political fight which the press covered. Were they suppose to hide the allegations thrown at him, which by the way, he was never really cleared of? Someone must have missed the recent “reporting” of how the FBI investigated it.

      We witnessed in real time and on live camera Trump’s infamous Bible thumping dog and pony show and it’s only from his own administration have we heard it was coincidental.

      Trusting the “press” or “reporting” is like my poker buddies and I trust everyone including newcomers but we have a table rule requiring the deck be cut each deal.

    5. Ronald, you are an indoctrinated buffoon.

      In this nation, one is innocent until proven guilty. It is not on someone to "exonerate" themselves. It is on the accuser to prove the accusations. If you are still gnawing on the Kavanaugh bone, you are sick and need help.

      You are also Trump deranged. Mueller could find no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to throw the election, but the indoctrinated anti-intellectual left--of which you are foaming, raging member--cannot accept facts and reality. You are tragically unhinged, and you have refuted nothing I listed from the article.

    6. And it isn't the job of the press to prove ones innocence or guilt. It's their job to investigate and report allegations. It's also the job of the press to hold our elected officials feet to the fire, to inform us of their actions.

      This is where Trump made Nixon look like a choir boy in his relentless attacks on news outlets that reported unfavorably of him.

      I'm reasonably sure that you were the one who invoked Kavanaugh in your copy paste but if believing my response to it is me "still gnawing on it" is therapeutic for you, so be it. I realize I've struck a nerve with the reality of the Mueller investigation. You've always been rather intolerant of facts that go against your agenda.

      Rants, insults, and name calling doesn't change the facts.

    7. Ronald, you brought up kavanaugh, not me. So, with kavanaugh, and with a meal report, please cite the facts that we are overlooking.

    8. Very well, the 2nd paragraph of Zempel"s article you pasted obviously states differently than what I'm reading or, or, something.

      I'm reading from the Federalist, an outlet which I consider to be an arm of the Trump propaganda machine, that the media smeared him as a gang rapist. The reality is that these allegations came from Christine Blasey Ford along with a few other women claiming sexual misconduct. Then there were notations pulled from his yearbook.

      These were things "reported" by the press, not invented by the press as the propaganda machine would like for us to believe.

      The Mueller investigation produced 37 indictments, numerous guilty pleas or convictions, and referred 14 criminal matters to the DOJ. It produced almost 200 pages describing “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign.” Mueller said he could not charge Trump because: “The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” Over 1000 prosecutors signed a letter stating that if it were anyone other than a sitting president, that person would face prosecution as well.

      I could go on and on but I'm wondering why you want to beat this dead horse. The report is there for all to see.

    9. If Mueller's Report was so convincing, why didn't Congress use it to impeach Trump instead of inventing a new "Ukrainian telephone call" BS excuse? Your conclusion as to it's veracity appears to be another TDS induced non sequitur.

    10. ...that IS the "other process" you spoke of, after all.

    11. FJ, it takes 2/3 of Congress to impeach.

      Trump could have traveled the country tossing hand grenades into maternity wards in broad daylight and on live camera, admit to it with a promise to do it again, and we still would have never achieved that number.

    12. Compare the press blaring every ridiculous Kavanaugh story, despite eyewitnesses saying no such thing took place, to the media's coverage of candidate Biden and his son.

    13. The press SHOULD blare accusations and year book signed drunken date rape binges of a potential SC Justice who would tip the ideological scale of either party.

      The Hunter laptop conspiracy was a nothing burger. To use FJ's logic, why hasn't he been charged? From a legal and non-conspiracy tabloid rational, probably for the same reason every court in the land including Trump hand picked judges slammed the door on the Big Lie.

    14. ...because just like w/Socko, people who open their mouths and tell inconvenient truths get thrown into the laundry basket and the lid gets closed.

      Think Nancy Pelosi will disclose who killed Ashley Babbitt as part of her RINO enhanced National Show Trial?

    15. FJ, Is this Socko person you speak of Mick Foley?

      If so, this explains considerably of what you believe is true and what isn't true. Or perhaps, it doesn't matter to you if it's true or not.

    16. America's about to experience a lethal dose of Chinese-style authoritarian socialism. You'll be either a Han Chinese, or a Uighuhr with a zero social credit score. Your choice. "Offficially," Tiananmen Square never happened.

      And Nancy Pelosi's show trials won't address who killed Ashley Babbitt... but she's putting on the Babbitless show for those few Democrats who still pretend that we live in some sort of democracy.

    17. ps - re: "Socko": Try following the whole thread instead of skipping all the parts where only you're talking.

    18. FJ, pardon me if I don't partake in your socialist Chicken Little dance.

      I'm more interested in the evil left media reporting of Trump instructing his justice department to just call the election rigged and that he'd take it from there and that his tax returns are heading to Nancy for review, hoping Americans will never make this god awful mistake again.

      It generally takes the likes of the Federalist, GatewayPundit, Epochtimes, et al a few days to concoct a spin so I realize you probably aren't attuned to such recent media reporting.

    19. Trump stopped being President 6 months ago. Your "fresh reporting" will make for an interesting chapter in next year's update of Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States". Marxists like you can all buy a copy for your home library of books that'll collect dust and never get read.

    20. I prefer my news and journalism to be about things "new" and "forward/ future" moving, and not just resentment-fueled subjective perceptivity replacement reflections upon events long since past (ala Zinn's "People's History".

    21. ...or at least about "universal" or "objectively considered" experiences. :P

    22. As Jordan Peterson once said, "How do you know if something's a delusion?

      1)Hardly anyone thinks it
      (a problem you probably think new media solves)... and

      2) if you act on it, does your ship sink? But if you act on your delusion and things get better, then maybe it wasn't a delusion.

      ...or worse than a delusion, a "media popularized" Zinnism.

  5. FJ, I never insinuated Stahl had superior expertise nor did I suggest one way or the other of her journalistic skills.

    But good distraction of Trump's admission of his strategy of discrediting news sources who reported negatively of him.

    SF, if you can't look at the article and find multiple factual spins, you obviously believe that Trump won by a landslide and that the AZ recount is a credible, legitimate, and a flawless process, that the GOP voter suppression movement built on the Big Lie is needed to make the snowflake conservatives feel better about the voting integrity, and that Trump was absolutely correct when he stated during the debate that COVID was "rounding the curve". And if that is the case, there's no possible pointing to facts that would be accepted in your alternate fact world.

    1. Ronald,
      Cut the crap and spare us your indoctrinated talking points. This isn't the usual leftwing toilets you visit. We deal in reality.

      This post is not about any of the crap you blathered about in your comment above.

      Your next comment had better be you pointing out factual errors in the linked article, or a fact-based refutation of what is in the article, or I will delete your comment.

    2. Nice Motte and Bailey move, Ronald.

      First you trash the journalistic skills of "The Federalist" for the reasons I cite later re: 60 Minutes. Then you trash Trump for trashing the journalistic skills of MSM news outlets. Then you trash Trump for admitting to Stahl what you, I, and everyone already knows about journalism (both sides). Then you insinuate that Trumpers are singularly "stupid" for having heard what Trump said to Stahl and so we are now blindly believing him (like we didn't already know what idiots journalists are before he said it). And now you accuse me of creating a "distraction" to divert attention from your self-contradicted and grossly flawed original argument. Get a life. There isn't much "good journalism" at present. That Motte was long ago captured by progressive journalists who have since torn it down from the inside.

    3. ps - You'll notice that sf's reasons from "The Federalist" article didn't list Trump's attacks on "Fake News" as a reason why conservatives don't trust the MSM. That's because they're all examples of REAL reasons to hate the lying b*stards of journalism.

    4. I will grant you ne point of your argument. No one before Trump had the balls to call journalism out in public. In that sense, Trump was the boy who shouted that the "Emperor was naked" and so now we all know that we all have mutual knowledge that journalism is a sham.

    5. Marshall McLuhan uses the term 'message' to signify content and character. The content of the medium is a message that can be easily grasped and the character of the medium is another message which can be easily overlooked. McLuhan says "Indeed, it is only too typical that the 'content' of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium". For McLuhan, it was the medium itself that shaped and controlled "the scale and form of human association and action".

      ...but since Trump unveiled the medium's "character", not so much.

    6. ...and the best part is that the character of "journalism" in print/tv/radio/internet form is ALL suspect now. We've both seen and experienced the "character" of the tech giants guiding out most recent/modern medium. The puppeteers of our "society of control" are no longer "invisible". Their cloak of Gyges has partially slipped off.

    7. "No one before Trump had the balls to call journalism out in public"

      What was Jon Stewart going on about all that time?

    8. His show was anti-press satire? I thought it was journalism for illiterate progressives. When did he ever mock the LIBERAL press and why did the Liberal press so LIONIZE him?

    9. Jon Stewart wore the Press' faux "Authority" like an overcoat.

    10. I'm sure his numbers were strong with illiterate progressives, but he never was a journalist. I don't know if you count these as liberal, but I remember him attacking cnn and msnbc, for examples. I concede that Fox was his most reliable target, but can you blame him? How does that old adage go? Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; give Jon Stewart a barrel of fish and a shotgun, he'll produce the daily show.
      The liberal press may well fawn over him but they haven't actually taken heed of what he had to say; I don't recall him exempting leftist journalists from his admonishments. They lionize him for the simple reason that their audiences overlap and they want to reflect their readers' tastes.

    11. "Jon Stewart wore the Press' faux "Authority" like an overcoat."
      agreed, his main satirical target was the newsman's pomposity, right? Colbert took the same joke further.

    12. Does that mean that Stephen Colbert was the first person to ever warn the public that politicians lie?

    13. Stewart/Colbert used the cool-sophisticated (cynical) "veiled/ indirect" innuendo of comedy that contributed to "individual knowledge" (1st part/Fargo example of this video). Trump used the "explicit/ direct" on-the-record awkward-feeling (kynical) speech of the boy who laughed at the emperor and that contributed to mutual knowledge.

    14. We need a remake of the emporor's new clothes where the boy who points out his nakedness is himself naked and wearing tassles.

    15. No, Trump was the naked emperor who revealed the nakedness of the cynical/ sycophantic reporters of his Court as well.

    16. ...the ones who had spread the word of former Emperor Obama's elegant fashion.

    17. I'm not saying that Colbert or Stewart were trail-blazers, only that they predated Trump.

    18. ..and I'm just saying that they were cynical, whilst Trump was kynical.

  6. Such agitprop garbage. The "press", not this blog, obvs.

  7. Replies
    1. ^^Hates all dissent but his own^^

    2. The Republicans have a point. Nancy Pelosi knows Trump supporters are dangerously detached from reality and should have increased Capitol security on January 6th...

    3. ....but then she would have lost her Press platform for influencing the midterm election.

    4. I fear Mr. Lindell has been hitting the meth pipe again...

    5. At this point in the saga, making fun of those still clinging to the "Trump really won" nonsense is starting to feel like kink-shaming.

      The media gave away $3 Billion in free airtime to achieve Donald Trump becoming the worst President America will ever have. The payoff was that Republicans lost the House, the Senate, and the White House and if that achievement even seems to be approaching jeopardy, all the media has to do is give a Republican a microphone. Point, set, match.

    6. At this point in the saga, making fun of those still clinging to the "Trump really won" nonsense is starting to feel like kink-shaming.

      Nah....the political LARPing is fascinating. I'm not quite ready for it to end yet.

    7. There's no end in sight. There's even more tu quoque fallacies and whataboutist non sequiturs over the next hill. The dumpster fire burns eternal.


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