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Willful Blindness in the Media

August 6th 2017

Paper Stack

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” That quote is attributed to Mark Twain. It resonates today. A number of newspapers have attacked the parent company of this station.  Here’s an example.

Politico first reported that President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner claimed the campaign “struck a deal” with Sinclair.  That characterization was mindlessly echoed by countless outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Hill, Salon, The Nation and others.

But what they didn’t report was that Sinclair made identical offers to both Trump and Hillary Clinton for campaign coverage.  In fact, nearly 30 offers were made to the Clinton campaign. Shockingly, Politico refused an offer to see correspondence with the two campaigns.  Refused to look at it. What’s that say about Politico’s agenda?

The Society of Professional Journalists criticized the so-called deal after the reading the Politico story. But apologized after examining the correspondence that Politico refused to look at and realized the Politico story was inaccurate.

Any fresh-faced reporter could have found the SPJ’s comments endorsing Sinclair’s ethical standards.

That these other newspapers didn’t report it means one of two things.

They didn’t find all the facts which means they are awfully incompetent.

Or they found these facts but did the unethical thing and didn’t report them. This makes them awfully dishonest.

They’re either awfully incompetent or awfully dishonest.

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