Red Caps and Yellow Journalism
Red Caps and Yellow Journalism
When the Founders of the United States established our Republic, they designed a “Checks and Balances” system that for the most part works well. At some point the Press interjected itself into the cultural framework of our government, having neither checks nor balances to prevent its very real capacity to damage ordinary citizens. Especially when journalists practice “yellow journalism” and fail any adherence to their own standards of practice.
According to their own standards of practice, “Reporters are expected to be as accurate as possible given the time allotted to story preparation and the space available and to seek reliable sources.”
Twitter is a reliable source? Seriously? What about Instagram or Facebook? Hey, how about the bathroom wall of the local gas station? The only difference between platforms is the method of delivery, and rate of infection spread.
Next they’d like to have the story to include, “Independent fact-checking by another employee of the publisher is desirable.”
For the record, your fellow journalist re-Tweeting the same information is not a method of independent fact checking.
Seriously, guys, these are YOUR guidelines. It seems as though almost every reporter or journalist acquired amnesia, and jumped on the Lynch-Mob wagon to eviscerate a child. Ohh, a child should have extra protections! Well, they do. In the haste to “get the story our first, and generate clicks” the professionals overlooked yet another of their guidelines. Sorry, my bad. I used the singular form. They ignored ALL of these guidelines
Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage.
Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort.
Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention.
Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy. Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
When that love is for oneself it’s even better. When CNN, or as I like to say “Certainly NOT News”, picked up the narrative of a poor Native American Man being tormented by a MAGA-hat wearing example of White Male Toxicity they failed the standards of journalism. But they weren’t alone by any stretch. Media pundits picked it up and ran like they were racing against Usain Bolt.
Exactly what are CNN’s standards for journalism and ethics? We’d love to share them with you dear reader, but CNN is in court preventing them from being shared with the public. Yes, a news outlet that demands transparency in others, is actively hiding its guiding principles. The Washington Post is highlighting the story and associated concerns.
Meanwhile, CNN is waging a legal battle in Florida in part to keep its internal news standards guide out of the public realm. That guide, it says in court documents, contains “privileged, confidential and proprietary information about CNN’s business practices.”
I’m confused as to why CNN would go to court to HIDE their news standards. It should be easily associated with the standards of the “Society of Professional Journalists.” Is it because the standards ascribed to your agency allow a complete deviation from those expected by professionals? Standards that clearly allow your verified Twitter account to post inflammatory reporting?
Video shows a crowd of teenagers wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats taunting a Native American elder after Friday’s Indigenous Peoples March at the Lincoln Memorial https://t.co/2bYADuaUV2 pic.twitter.com/NDtiifPjoo
— CNN (@CNN) January 20, 2019
I have yet to see CNN publicly state they were wrong to jump the gun, and run with an incomplete story. It took a day, and a lot of “citizen” journalists armed with secondary video to re-direct the narrative. Even then, the best that CNN can do is tweet this:
— CNN (@CNN) January 21, 2019
Same picture of course, and the ever present MAGA hat comment. As if the hat is the actual issue and the child secondary. The time stamp on the “updated” post is well after the other video emerged. CNN’s twitter feed was full of engrossing topics like Michelle Obama’s book, and the Buzzfeed SNAFU. But it took them a while to update their page on what was certainly a hot enough topic that it had to be sent out before applying any of the standards of journalism.
The best CNN can bring itself to do is publish a story about how the Twitter account responsible for the initial tweet was deleted by Twitter. Then writes “In four days, three viral videos showed us there’s always more to the story.” Included are insightful statements like,
Yet, to others, Sandmann’s beguiling expression and the group’s choice of gear betrayed their true intentions.“Bottom line, if this kid had any respect for elders he would have walked away and left it at that. His body language and facial expression are pretty clearly taunting and not helpful to the situation at all,” another CNN commenter said.
“The MAGA hat, like the Confederate flag, wouldn’t elicit outraged reactions if it were only a piece of cloth that harkened back to bygone days never to be relived. But it isn’t. It is a signifier for those who believe America was great during some point in the past they dare not name, knowing if they do, it would reveal a time when it was worse for people of color.”
Really…? Ya think? Hmmm. Have we gone so far down the rabbit hole of insanity that we overlook the vile behavior of ADULTS and blame it on kids because they wear MAGA hats? What planet do we live on where verbal assaults are less offensive than a hat. The hat may elicit a visceral response, but it’s not yelling profane and vulgar insults. It’s a hat, and unless one is in a “Harry Potter” film, hats don’t talk.
Of course, those hats “remind everyone of the Jim Crow era” and are a “modern day stand in for a Klan hood.” At least that’s what the masses are led to believe. Not even a man enjoying some wings is safe from an overreactive response, shared here by Jodi Giddings. Please disregard that he’s actually a Black American. We know that the liberals are very kind to Black Conservatives….
“Check yourself before you wreck yourself” is a popular phrase in my house. Loosely translated it means that reckless behavior will have consequences. Our Framers built in a system to keep a check on the Government. Journalism has no such mechanism. The best recourse is through Civil Court and lawsuits for Libel, Slander, and Defamation of Character. Unfortunately, the Civil Court process takes place after the damage is done. Every boy at Covington Catholic school is smeared by jump the gun journalism. The boys at the March for Life are forever defined by the Lynch Mob looking to hang them on the tree of Twitter. Future employment, college acceptance, dating, even renting a home are all impacted by the repercussions of a single tweet that grew mainstream media legs. These kids and their families are in very real danger from actual mobs. In fact, their school had to close to ensure student safety after repeated threats.
We’ve seen it with Tucker Carlson both at home and a family dinner. We’ve seen it with Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In violation of their own terms of service, Twitter is allowing media personalities to demand violence against innocent people. Looking at the lunacy on the left, is it a stretch to think that something bad will happen to these people? No, it’s just a matter of time. Already an innocent family has been subjected to Doxxing and harassment by unhinged mobs. The family in question has a son who “sort of” looks like one of the boys in the video. VG’s own Kim Hirsch covers some of it here.
Even a more complete video isn’t enough to change the media tone of blaming the kids. Despite having this video on their website, People magazine writes “Refusing to move, Sandmann peered down at Phillips in the clip while a large group around them, many of whom were also wearing MAGA apparel, laughed and seemed to make fun of Phillips’ chants. Others in the group clapped along. One boy got into an argument with an activist in Phillips’ group.” Watch the video yourself here, and see if the rules of journalism are being applied. Especially the one that states, “Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.”
Donald Trump is well known on Twitter. I find that often his tweets and comments are inflammatory, doing more harm than good. In this case, I find that I agree with his tweet. The media and journalists have run with a bias so contradictory to their own standards, yellow journalism is an apt description.
Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be. They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good – maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
Featured Image: Victory Girls blog