Here’s how the Wall Street Journal twists real news into fake news
I’ve written before how even the Wall Street Journal news section, as opposed to its hideously biased op-ed pages, slants and spins the news in a favorable way towards Republicans and Trump, at the expense of giving its readers the truth. Several of my readers have asked me for proof of this, so here we go.
Headline, weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal: “Trump Didn’t Know of Flynn’s Work for Turkey.”
As soon as I read it, I thought, How does the headline writer know that Trump didn’t know? Can he read his mind? Then I read the first sentence: “President Donald Trump was unaware Michael Flynn had recently been consulting on behalf of the Turkish government when the president picked him to be his national security advisor, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday.”
You see how it works? If you’re a typical reader, you first read the headline, then the first sentence, and you take in the sentence’s information in the order it’s given. In other words, you’ve had it drummed into your head, not once but twice, that “Trump didn’t know.” Only after this dual reinforcement do you come across that spectacular qualifier, “White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday.”
This is a teaching moment in how to package propaganda in the guise of “news.” Let me ask you a question: Do you believe everything Sean Spicer says? Most of it? Some of it? None of it? The Huffington Post (which publishes this blog), recently compiled a list of 100 lies Trump and his team, including Spicer, have dumped on the American people. Spicer has lied on behalf of Trump so many times, it’s become a joke—even to him. At Friday’s presser with the White House media, someone asked him about Trump’s celebration of the most recent jobs report, when Trump had previously complained that previous job reports were “totally fiction.” Spicer’s reply: “Yeah, I talked to the President prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly – ‘They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.’” (Laughter.)
Spicer is Trump’s water carrier, repeating his lies; when he knows that everybody in the room knows he’s lying, he grins and lets it be known that all he’s doing is saying what the President told him to say. (The fact that there was so much laughter in the room following his “joke” is a sad commentary on the White House Press Corps, which is increasingly right wing and hand-picked by Spicer.)
But back to how the Wall Street Journal manipulates even the regular news to get into peoples’ heads and influence how they interpret events. Any objective, truthful, honest paper, in reporting the Flynn-Turkey scandal, would have had a headline that reads something like, “Aide Says Trump Didn’t Know of Flynn’s Foreign Work.” But the Wall Street Journal is not an objective, truthful, honest paper, it’s a shill for the Republican Party. This is also a good time to point out once again, as I did last week, that “Wall Street Journal staffers are increasingly concerned that the paper’s coverage of President Donald Trump is not critical enough and too willing to defend his actions rather than serve a watchdog role.” If I had written the Flynn-Turkey story (which was by Ted Mann, James V. Grimaldi and Gordon Lubold), I would have placed the Spicer connection in the headline; or, of those guys didn’t write the headline (headers usually are written by editors), I would have included something in the article to indicate that I, the writer, am well aware of Spicer’s sketchy reputation of playing fast and loose with the truth, and covering up for his boss. And if I were the actual headline writer—whose name we don’t know–I certainly would have included the “Aide Says” qualifier.
But then, Wall Street Journal headline writers and reporters report to senior editors who report to the Murdoch family. Look, it’s intentionally misleading what the Wall Street Journal does on a daily basis. But that’s precisely why they’re just about the only major national paper that Trump doesn’t routinely criticize as publishing “fake news.” Because, folks, that’s what they do.