In a new Prager University video, veteran journalist and former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson notes that "trust in the media is at an all-time low … and for good reason."
"We in the business of journalism have exempted ourselves from the normal rules that used to govern us, and so the most egregious kinds of reporting errors are becoming more common," she says.
"Formerly well-respected news organizations and experienced national reporters are making the sorts of mistakes that wouldn’t be tolerated in journalism school," she explains. "When these mistakes are corrected at all, it’s with seemingly little regret."
Atkisson describes how the mainstream media went from simply reporting the news to offering their commentary as fact.
"First, firewalls that once strictly separated news from opinion have been replaced by hopelessly blurred lines," she adds. "Once-forbidden practices, such as editorializing within straight news reports and the inclusion of opinions as if fact, are not only tolerated … they’re encouraged. The result: It’s never been harder for Americans to separate news that’s real from news that’s not."
She cites the infamous New York Times article "Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved with Women in Private," where staff writers Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey interviewed one of the president’s ex-girlfriends.
Barbaro and Twohey describe the president as a chauvinist who treats women very poorly behind-the-scenes. After the article was published, the former girlfriend called out the Times for deliberately deceiving and twisting her words in the article. The former newspaper has never issued an apology.
Atkisson is well-equipped to discuss fake news infiltrating the mainstream media. She resigned from CBS after having her perceived negative article on the Obama Administration shut down. She wrote about the experience in her books Stonewalled and The Smear.
Watch the new PragerU video below:
Atkisson currently hosts the news program Full Measure with Sharyl Atkisson for the Sinclair Television Group.