The media lies to and manipulates the American people. In 2012, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote a piece in The New Yorker connecting Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. That’s the same connection the Bush administration was using to argue for the Iraq War. Goldberg’s story was ultimately debunked—long after Americans had deliberated and the die had been cast. So, sometimes the media makes very big, false allegations. But the media is also always gently distorting the truth in day-to-day reporting, and thereby shaping national opinion based on falsehoods. The below snippet is from an article in The Daily Beast, and it is quintessential mainstream media reporting. In an article reporting on the ACB hearings, The Daily Beast said:
This was not an admission. Barrett was making a statement of fact, not expressing an opinion. Barrett made clear to Klobuchar how she defined “super-precedent” in the article. Here is the transcript of Barrett’s point:
The way that [super-precedent] used in the scholarship and the way that I was using it in the article that you’re reading from was to define cases that are so well-settled that no political actors and no people seriously push for their overruling. And I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category. And scholars across the spectrum say that doesn’t mean that Roe should be overruled. But descriptively, it does mean that it’s not a case that everyone has accepted and doesn’t call for its overruling.
All over mainstream media (e.g. The Washington Post), Barrett’s comments to Klobuchar have been framed as “an admission.” By leaving out the definition that clearly makes her point purely a descriptive one, the media is telling the public that Barrett confessed she is gunning for Roe. This type of subtle twisting is typical of the mainstream media. When every single issue has this type of distorted slant, it deforms our whole society in furtherance of an agenda.
Remember Goldberg of the Iraq War debacle? He was the author of the anonymously-sourced Atlantic piece alleging Trump has disdain for the military. Every article you read from a mainstream source—whether it is on Trump, police brutality, foreign affairs/China, the Supreme Court—has these sleights of hand that warp the truth and deceive you. It is ok for Americans to disagree, but Americans deserve the truth so they can freely make up their minds. If you are reasoning from falsehoods, your conclusion is not your own—it has been predetermined by someone else through the manipulation of the facts. Stop swallowing whole what your side of the aisle is telling you and start critically thinking for yourself. Do you hold your views because you reasoned to them from solid premises, or because you were deftly handled by media with an agenda?