Mainstream Media Still Doesn’t Understand Why Fake News Label Exists

The arrogance of the mainstream media is perhaps at its highest. While free press is a necessary element to a free society, the idea is fading. The fading of the free press isn’t because of President Donald Trump ripping fake news outlets or his supporters trolling networks like CNN. It’s fading because the networks being targeted continue to get stories wrong and assume that it does nothing to their integrity.

As major providers of the news, mainstream media sources have an enormous responsibility. This responsibility to the American people doesn’t include flashy headlines, clickbait new stories, or misreported facts. The responsibility, which is a dying art, is to provide thorough analysis of the facts. People should be given information that isn’t manipulated.

We shouldn’t have to think of journalists as propagandists, but we have to in this day and age. Part of this is because of human nature. We all have our personal preferences and political biases, so to a degree, that is going to seep on through. But this is where editors come into play. They should refocus the facts and weed out the opinion from news. They should ensure claims are verified and stories are tight.

This doesn’t happen anymore, and another incident of false reporting occurred at CNN as a result of their poor standards.

The story in question involves Wikileaks, the whistleblower organization that has come under fire for alleged connections to the Russian government. Last year, Wikileaks notably leaked massive amounts of information from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. This was especially damaging for the Clinton campaign, as it exposed numerous elements of the operation.

CNN released an “exclusive” story claiming that various Trump presidential campaign officials, including Trump and his son, received a website and decryption key for access to hacked Wikileaks documents. The e-mail was allegedly sent, according to the network, on Sept. 4, 2016. The story was exclusive because it was a lie while other agencies actually focused on the facts.

As it turns out, the e-mail was sent ten days later on the 14th. The timing here is extremely important because of other events that occurred. On September 13, Wikileaks released a massive trove of stolen Democratic National Committee documents.

If the Trump campaign received the information on the 4th, they had advance knowledge and thus coordinated with Wikileaks. If the Trump campaign received the information on the 14th, they’re only getting access to information that’s already publicly available. So when CNN originally stated the 4th, it implied coordination with an organization widely alleged to have connections to the Russian government. The appearance here is that CNN is trying to feed the Russian collusion narrative, instead of simply reporting facts.

CNN announced the writers of the story would not be disciplined, because they still followed editorial procedures. What does the inability to fix a broken story say about the organization’s editorial process? What kind of editors work at CNN? Is this a conspiracy ordered from the top. Videos released by James O’Keefe of Project Veritas seem to suggest so.

This is ultimately why mainstream media sources are criticized and why their work is labeled fake news. They rush out stories either because of carelessness or malice. CNN has long gone to war with President Donald Trump over his opposition to the network’s agenda, but it appears once again that there is truth to the claim that CNN is indeed fake news.

Chris Dixon is a liberty activist and writer from Maine. In addition to being Managing Editor for the Liberty Conservative, he also writes the Bangor Daily News blog "Undercover Porcupine" and for sports website Cleatgeeks.

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