The most important ethic in journalism is accuracy. “Even in a world of expanding voices, ‘getting it right’ is the foundation upon which everything else is built,” summarized The American Press Institute. But the legacy media have twisted the facts, reported things that never happened, and at times invented quotations that promote their left-wing narrative on everything from the popularity of President Joe Biden to the viciousness of middle-class Americans who favor conservative principles.
Here are five examples of the media simply making things up in order to promote its agenda:
1. ‘Let’s Go, Brandon’ vs ‘F*** Joe Biden’
Sports fans didn’t need Real Clear Politics to know that President Joe Biden’s approval ratings had slipped. Their fellow sports fans announced the president’s dipping poll numbers in the form of a profane, three-word chant that swept college football, the NFL, and at least one fateful NASCAR race. As The Daily Wire’s Hank Berrien reported, on October 2 NBC sportscaster Kelli Stavast was “interviewing NASCAR driver Brandon Brown at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama after Brown scored his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win [and] stated in a video that the crowd was chanting ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’ when in reality they were chanting ‘F*** Joe Biden.’”
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 3, 2021
NBC’s attempted act of auditory misdirection has spawned a newer, cleaner slogan that has adorned t-shirts and online complaints about inflation, been chanted in the Eternal City of Rome, and become the title of iTunes’ number one hit on the hip-hop charts.
2. Border Patrol ‘Whipping’ Haitian Minors
In September, the legacy media’s misinterpretation of photos and videos sparked a federal investigation that may yet result in Border Patrol agents being fired for a lie. The controversy began on September 19, when the El Paso Times published a story claiming that a Border Patrol “agent swung his whip menacingly, charging his horse toward the [illegal immigrants from Haiti] in the river who were trying to return” to U.S. soil illegally. The next day, Sawyer Hackett — the executive director of a political action committee founded by failed 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Julian Castro — tweeted photographs and a video which he claimed showed the “Border [P]atrol is mounted on horseback rounding up Haitian refugees with whips.”
Here’s the video pic.twitter.com/itFwZfYN45
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) September 20, 2021
The story instantly went viral on social media and then on NBC, CNN, and virtually every other major media outlet. The White House soon announced the end of a mounted Border Patrol and, by week’s end, President Joe Biden himself vowed, “I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences.”
In reality, Border Patrol agents don’t carry whips, none of the photos showed their reins touching anybody, and agents would swing their reins to prevent people from getting hurt by their trampling horses, the power of media misrepresentation moved the rumor from Democratic activists, through the national media, to the Oval Office in one business day. As of last week, the federal investigation into these Border Patrol agents remained ongoing.
3. Baseball ‘Dinger’ Vs. N-word
As outfielder Lewis Brinson of the Miami Marlins stood at the plate during the ninth inning of their August 8 game against the Colorado Rockies, a fan yelled a word that became the focus on a national controversy. Many people, including the announcer, heard the Denver fan scream a racial epithet at Brinson, who is black.
The Colorado Rockies rushed out a statement saying they were “disgusted at the racial slur by a fan directed at the Marlins’ Lewis Brinson during the ninth inning of today’s game.” Condemnations poured in from other parts of the league. “It is a painful reality that progress continues to be elusive in a world where ignorance and bigotry remain all too commonplace,” said Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. “The abhorrent racial animus displayed today highlights that there is still much to be done.”
The problem is: The fan did not yell the racial slur, or any slur. An unprejudiced review of the audio shows that the fan screamed, “Dinger!” — the name of the Rockies’ mascot who appeared to be standing nearby.
Looks a lot like the Rockies fan who is accused of yelling the n-word at Lewis Brinson was trying to get the attention of the mascot, whose name is “Dinger”
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 9, 2021
After a thorough investigation, the Colorado Rockies “concluded that the fan was indeed yelling for Rockies mascot Dinger in hopes of getting his attention for a photo, and there were never any racial slur that occurred.”
Unfortunately, the conclusive, comprehensive investigation did not put Brinson’s mind at ease. He continued to review the audio dozens of times after their announcement. “Personally, I keep hearing the n-word,” Brinson said, although he admitted “personally, I’ve never been called that,” on or off the baseball field.
— WSVN 7 Sports (@7SportsXtra) August 9, 2021
4. ‘Bury Obama With Kennedy’
Legacy media lies are nothing new. One such lie smeared the nascent Tea Party movement when tens of thousands of Americans gathered for The Taxpayer March on Washington, on September 12, 2009. The late Ed Schultz of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” snarled the protesters brought “tasteless signs,” including one sign bearing a reference to the recently deceased Senator Ted Kennedy: “Bury Obama With Kennedy.”
As Schultz read what he purported to be the words of the sign, the camera showed a full-screen, still-shot of the sign in question, which clearly said: “Bury ObamaCare with Kennedy.” One may quibble with the propriety of likening any political program to a recently departed individual — but the sign plainly did not say what MSNBC claimed it did. But a lie was born — and it took on a life of its own. One day later, former President Jimmy Carter condemned “scatalogical language” like “the sign that I saw on television last night, ‘We should bury Obama with Kennedy.’” The one-term president’s remark provoked audible gasps throughout the audience at the Atlanta event. “Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate of whether we should have a national program of health care or not,” he said.
The lie promptly metastasized to CNN by way of Democratic strategist James Carville, who further embellished the sign during a discussion with Anderson Cooper. “Let me show you something they were all carrying here. It says, ‘Bury Barack Obama with Kennedy.’ Now, a senior CNN executive told there were thousands of these signs out there.” Sometimes-Republican strategist David Gergen immediately deemed the mythical sign “deeply offensive.”
5. George Zimmerman’s Make Believe Racial Slur
The least of the media’s sins during the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman involved misinterpreting a recording of his 911 call. NBC famously spliced together his remarks to make him sound like he was obsessed with Martin’s race. But Zimmerman also uttered a comment, muffled by his whisper and swallowed by a gust of wind, that media outlets insisted sounded like the racial epithet “f***ing c**ns.”
Wolf Blitzer introduced reporter Gary Tuchman, who had audio of Zimmerman’s 911 call enhanced in CNN’s “state-of-the-art” facilities, only to find Zimmerman said, “f***ing cold.” The night of the shooting was reportedly unseasonably cool and rainy.
Rather than drop the matter, Tuchman played the comment no less than 30 times in three-and-a-half minutes, concluding that the controversy would continue.
The Takeaway: The legacy media are so committed to the left-wing narrative that it often affects their ability to perceive reality clearly. Where most people hear words like “Dinger,” their unshakeable faith in the deep-seated racism of American society forces them to hear racial slurs. Their equally religious commitment to presenting President Biden as a hero renders widespread, full-throated chants belittling him indecipherable.
The media’s bias works in contradictory ways to keep the left-wing narrative of America front-and-center. On the one hand, they turn inoffensive comments into the most hotly charged racial statements; on the other, they hammer the most incendiary anti-Biden comments into mundane support for a NASCAR driver. The only common element is the effect: Their reported perceptions align with their political bias.
The bottom line is that the legacy media are so deeply mired in the “context” of left-wing radicalism that they cannot perceive reality, much less convey it to their viewers, readers, and listeners.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.