Another Self-Inflicted Media Bloodbath

Many readers, mostly younger ones, won’t credit there was a time when journalists were held in high regard,  especially by scriptwriters sketching the spirit of day. Lone hero beats odds and sundry assassins, proves vast conspiracy, gets dossier to the New York Times or Washington Post in the confident assumption, shared by audiences of the day, that it would be published without fear or favour. Post-Watergate, having brought down a president, America’s press enjoyed the greatest measure of public confidence it would ever see, and even as late as 2009 some 40 per cent of Americans still placed “great confidence” in what they read and were told. As to current public confidence in the press, it has seen since then — that word of the moment — a bloodbath.

Those old movies —  Three Days of the Condor, The Parallax View, All the President’s Men of course — put the press on a pedestal and helped fill journalism schools’ lecture rooms for decades after, not just in the US but throughout the West. Do good, do well, do journalism, set the world straight — that was the ideal. America’s journalism still frames for the wider world what goes on from sea to shining sea and sets the example, a dismal one, of how to report it, in the process daily demonstrating the gulf between fact and political fiction. It would be a very trusting cinematic hero who turned these days to Big Media in the belief it would report a disagreeable truth except, perhaps, accidentally.

That  the mainstream press is singularly left-eyed has been undeniable for decades, so long it’s hard to say exactly when mere bias became overt activism. Was it in 2004, when Dan Rather went public with accusations and forged documents asserting George W. Bush dodged service in Vietnam? The hoax was exposed within hours, but Rather to this day and against all evidence continues to insist they were real. Aiding and abetting a fraud, Hollywood weighed in as well with a flick, Truth, starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, that had the chutzpah to depict Rather and Mary Mapes, his producer, as noble victims of wicked right-wingers. Still, while he skimped on the due diligence, you could argue CBS’ main news anchor honoured at least one traditional standard, that of giving Bush the right of reply.

Or was it with Russiagate, which began 12 years later, when a dirt dossier filled with the most fanciful scenarios was shopped about Washington and relayed to the world. The right of reply was still there, but only as a pantomime charade whose real purpose was to repeat the allegations. ‘Mr Trump denies paying Moscow prostitutes to urinate on his pillow ‘ — that sort of thing, but the courtesy was only token. The weight of mainstream reporting tilted for four years to amplifying lies, leaks and smears with only the most perfunctory consideration of a Russiagate provenance that led directly back to Hillary Clinton’s lawyers and dirty trick dark operatives. Shameful as it was, none of this ruffled the media’s professional standards. Indeed, the NYT and WashPo bagged swags of Pulitzers for their Russiagate scoops, none of which was even remotely true.

This week, though, came the worst and most spirited abuse of the old standards with a massive media deception whose flagrant and obviously bogus allegations were taken up and rebroadcast far and wide, even popping on our very own ABC, where two very different analyses were published, the second amusingly refuting the first.

It all began when Donald Trump told an audience of auto workers in Michigan that the Biden administration’s green mania for electric cars would be a disaster for Detroit as Chinese vehicles assembled in Mexico flood a market where internal combustion engines are to be hit for the sake of Gaia with punitive levies and taxes. In a typically fractured stream of ad hoc Noo Yark sentences and fragments encouraged by a misbehaving TelePrompter, Trump predicted “a bloodbath” for the native auto industry and, for emphasis, he said it twice. In the old movies, the spectacle of reporters stampeding to the pay phones with a breaking story was a staple, and just such a mad scramble was given a Cyber Age update as newsrooms fell over themselves to pump out via a million voices, apps and websites the lie of Trump promising violence if he is rejected on November 5. The immediate headline saw only slight paraphrasing across all media, the message boiling down to this: Trump has ordered his cultists to be armed and ready to rampage.

It was dishonest, absurdly so, and easily demonstrated as such, so after a frenzy of warnings that Trumpists would go all Port-au-Prince should he be denied victory, the outright lies about what he said and meant subsided. And here is where it gets interesting because, as our very own ABC demonstrated, the fun of placing ‘Trump’ and ‘bloodshed’ in the same sentence was too much for newsroom partisans to resist, even those on the other side of the world. So how to phrase it, tap that guilt-by-association inference while avoiding any hint of the truth? The national broadcaster’s wordsmiths handled it this way:

Vermin, bloodshed, scum — these are some of the words audiences are now hearing regularly from former President Donald Trump at campaign rallies.

Recent events too have begun with a recording of the national anthem, performed by jailed January 6th insurrectionists. So, what’s behind the escalation in violent rhetoric by the former President?

Masterfully done, you must admit. By the morning of March 18, when Radio National aired that preamble before its interview with Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley, the “bloodbath” furphy had been refuted absolutely, not least by YouTube and Rumble clips which present the speech spin-free and as spoken. Stanley was introduced as the author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, thus suggesting from the get-go visions of a jackbooted Trump stomping on the face of American democracy. Stanley then proceeded to recite pretty much every talking point issued the night before by the Democratic National Committee‘s war room.

What makes Radio National’s hatchet job so laughable, quite apart from seeking analysis only from an ardent Democratic activist and frequent financial supporter, a fact RN also neglected to mention, is that, two days later, Planet America refuted the ABC story by actually telling the truth, a rare thing at Their ABC. Trump wasn’t promising bloodshed on an industrial scale or anything like it, the hosts agreed, while diplomatically skipping any reference to the ABC’s Trump-promises-bloodshed beatup(s).

Sooner or later new ABC  Chairman Kim Williams will make his first appearance at Senate Estimates, where a two-part question could prompt an interesting answer. It might go something like this: Given the ABC’s audience can’t vote in US elections, why the energetic presentations of Trump as rogue and villain rather than, if the latest polls are believed, the clear leader in 2024’s the presidential stakes? Wouldn’t Australians be better served, should Trump regain the White House, by straight-bat reporting that explains how such an alleged scoundrel could possibly have won the hearts and votes of his countrymen?

Forgive the optimism. The ABC, after all, has yet to correct or apologise for the incoherent three-part Four Corners travesty in which the unquestioning Sarah Ferguson roamed the world to misreport every hare-brained allegation of Trump being Putin’s puppet. Apart from a spouse already on the payroll, an aggressive gullibility would seem a job guarantee and key performance indicator for the broadcaster’s highest-paid gigs.


NOT that the ABC is alone in broadcasting what its correspondents prefer to believe  when they snatch up the latest anti-Trumpery and give it the full marquee treatment. For an even more egregious example of swallowing and regurgitating American media organs’ misrepresentations, call up a recent dispatch by the Nine rags’ US correspondent Farah Tomazin. In a feature piece covering the Biden camp’s plan to take North Carolina, this paragraph appears:

[Biden] is also hoping to capitalise on a controversial state governor race that will also play out this year, in which Trump has endorsed Republican Mark Robinson, an extremist who has described LGBTQI people as “filth”, referred to feminists as ‘Fem-Nazis’ and suggested that the Holocaust was “hogwash”.

Here, once again, we have an example of what happens when Australian reporters accept without checking or questioning the assertions of their left-canted US colleagues, for not a single claim in the above paragraph is true.

Did Robinson brand gays as filth? Nope, he assailed the teaching in classrooms of white guilt and anti-Americanism plus “transsexualism and homosexuality”. It’s not gays he attacked, as can be seen in this clip, but the promotion of alternate sexualities in the curriculum and, more generally, standard-issue leftist teachers’ assaults on pride in country, white skins and a worldview shaped by teachers rather than parents. Interesting to note is that, true to US media’s one-eyed form, the Fayette Observer story in which the above clip is embedded makes no mention of the lusty applause the greeted Robinson’s remarks. Rather than acknowledge his position enjoys widespread support amongst North Carolinians, the newspaper found a local tranny to moan about how tough it is to be born in the wrong body.

At a subsequent campaign stop, Robinson should have been able to put the anti-gay meme to bed for good with this statement:

Let me be clear: I will fight for and protect the rights of all citizens, including those in the LGBTQ community to express themselves however they want. That is their right as Americans, and I don’t think the government has any role in telling them otherwise.

However, the idea that our children should be taught about concepts of transgenderism and be exposed to sexually explicit materials in the classrooms is abhorrent.

Robinson hates women and feminism? Watch the clip below and decide if he wants to strip women of the right to vote, as has been laughably reported. Few Quadrant readers would take exception to his words and sentiments.

Finally, there is the Nine papers’ blithely tossed off assertion that Robinson dismissed the Holocaust as “hogwash”. One might well assume and conclude Ms Tomazin consulted the clips, googled a bit and then opted to repeat the received falsehoods of others. A preconceived notion of Trump and his endorsed candidates harbouring a contempt for Jews is sad but it being asserted should not come as a surprise. Bad people believe bad things and do bad things, so why wouldn’t Trump — as bad they get in the eyes of the liberal media — have anti-Semitism painted on his escutcheon along with all the other perceived deficiencies of character, conduct and decency the American media finds so reprehensible?

Below is the “hogwash” quote in its entirety. Far from dismissing the Holocaust as so much tommyrot, he’s actually telling the Second Amendment enthusiasts amongst his Facebook readers not to debase the Holocaust by equating Germany’s disarming of Jews with the arguments and intentions of American gun control advocates. That’s the hogwash he’s denouncing, not the murder of six million innocents.

The center and leftist leaning Weimar Republic put heavy gun ownership restrictions on German citizens long before the Nazis took power. This foolishness about Hitler disarming MILLIONS of Jews and then marching them off to concentration camps is a bunch of hogwash. Repeating that hogwash makes the conservative argument against the current attempts by liberal Marxist to push unconstitutional gun control measures in this nation look FOOLISH.

It’s never been difficult to check a story before repeating it in print or pixels. In days gone by newspapers maintained vast libraries of old clips and stories as well staffers to help reporters find them, and it’s even easier today with all the information the web can offer. So why in the US, Australia and elsewhere do reporters insist on getting it wrong? Might it be that, while jettisoning all the finer traditions of the hack’s craft — fairness, balance, truth — there is one ancient staple that’s just too valuable to abandon?

That would be to never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

14 thoughts on “Another Self-Inflicted Media Bloodbath

  • nfw says:

    “So why…do reporters insist on getting it wrong time after time after time?”

    1. They are NOT reporters, they are stenographers; and
    2. They are both lazy and stupid, so they simply regurgitate the press releases and never investigate the lies of politicians, officials and the various (insert preferred thieves here)-industrial complexes.

    • ianl says:

      Disagree – most current journos are not stupid, but they do have a strong malicious streak. And yes, most are scientifically illiterate and mathematically innumerate – for which they care not.

      Notwithstanding yet another anti-Trump frenzy, the recent blackout sequence in Victoria, this time affecting ALP electorates in Melbourne, is instructive of this deliberate malice. The widespread power losses were caused by storm winds knocking over transmission towers – this leaves the nightmare of live, broken, trailing 50Kv cables flapping about all over the roads, highways, houses, paddocks unless the power is cut instantaneously at the source. This is exactly what Loy Yang and all power stations are designed to do. We all know the common term *tripping out … an obvious design safety necessity.

      Yet this was reported as “coal fired generators failing” … and most of the ill-informed public believe that, as the journos deliberately mis-reporting this meant them too. The AFR amongst others was unashamed in doing this, even putting the term tripping out in quote marks to emphasise it as a coverup lie. Malice indeed.

  • pgang says:

    It’s interesting that the left have taken the anti-Semitism meme to Trump, while the left itself is wearing anti-Semitism on its lapel these days. It’s their key trick – to blame others for what they do themselves.
    It is MAGA that is actually one of the most pro-Semite-Israel of all political bodies, so you wonder who the left are trying to convince. I guess they do this because they are devoid of any moral standards at all and therefore have to borrow from those who do have them, in the same way that they are happy to abscond with other people’s money. So they pick a moral standard that the others seem to think is important, pin it to themselves while exhibiting the opposite behaviour, then accuse the others of lacking morality, thus effectively inverting reality.
    It’s cunning genius really, confusing your enemies with an incoherency that they can never decipher, leaving them fumbling constantly in a fog of chaos, and hitting them over and over again with ever greater nonsense so that they can never escape your entrapment. Then, without them even realising it, you’ve raided their castle and become the new lords of the manor, and they your serfs.

    • Ceres says:

      Yes indeed. Or put it another way , confuse the enemy by baffling brains with BS so you’re left scratching your head at the word fruit salad they come out with.

  • Andrew Campbell says:

    Their ABC is frothing at the mouth at ex-President Trump’s ‘insulting’ assessment of ex-Prime Minister Rudd, However, Kevin Rudd’s assessment of Donald Trump is no less insulting. ‘The most destructive president in history. He drags America and democracy through the mud. He thrives on fomenting, not healing, division. He abuses Christianity, church and bible to justify violence. All aided and abetted by Murdoch’s FoxNews network in America which feeds this.’ This is from his Twitter (X) account which is ‘managed by the Former Prime Ministerial Office in Brisbane.’ Probably paid for by our taxes. That is hardly a ‘think-tank’ as Rudd dishonestly claims. It is a throughly unbecoming and undiplomatic interference in a US election; and diminishes the role of Australian Ambassador and past Prime Minister.

    • STD says:

      The irony being that Ban Ki-Moon appointed Mr Krudd to be placed in charge of the UN’s program for Third World Sanitation- presumably start at the bottom Kevin potty mouthed Rudd and work your way up to Socialist Secretary General (SSG).
      If memory serves Kevee poorly, it was one Malcolm Bligh Turnbull who thwarted the parochial efforts of Kevin 11 ‘behind the scenes’ foul mouthed Rudd for the UN’s top slot.
      For what it’s worth Andrew, in my opinion, The Trump is far more fair dinkum than Kevin Rudd; and for my money Kevin Rudd reminds me of all the mealy mouthed political, corporate and Banking types of personalities, and these people are about as un-Australian as un – Australian gets.
      May God bless all the real Australians, the honest and the hardworking good decent people… the WW1 and WW2 and all the other veterans past and present who are the real honest, forthright and the genuine backbone of this much diminished country, that has become the idolatrous plaything of Marxist’s, Socialist’s and the progressive liberal misfit’s of both persuasions.
      PS, at least Donald Trump loves his Country unlike most of our pro Voice politicians and corporate BSD’s.

    • en passant says:

      It’s called ‘foreign electoral interference’ and should get Rudd expelled forthwith, only because he has diplomatic immunity.

  • DougD says:

    The MSM in the US has long been this way. When there’s a Republican in the White House, most journalists want to be Woodward or Bernstein. With a Democrat in the White House, they want to be Monica Lewinsky.

  • Peter Smith says:

    The Left live in an empire of lies, as Victor Davis Hanson puts it. The mainsteam media is now predominantly part of the Left. In September last year, for example, a correspondent for The Australian newspaper repeated the lie that five cops had died as a result of the Jan 6 event. He knew it to be a lie, as presumably did the newspaper’s editors. They printed it anyway. They are shameless. Treating with liars is like treating with lunatics. It can’t be done.

  • Michael Mundy says:

    That the mainstream press is singularly left-eyed has been undeniable for decades, so long it’s hard to say exactly when mere bias became overt activism
    Three paragraphs in and this is the best you can do? Rupert would disagree.

  • MargieCJ says:

    Yes, Americans should talk about the real “Blood Bath” that is happening at their Southern Border.
    There is a war going on at the American southern border thanks to the criminal Biden/Obama/ Democrat/ Deep State Administration; it is responsible for opening the flood gates into America of fit young fighting-age men from China, Iran, and many other countries in the Middle East, Russia etc. Terrorists, murderers, rapists, child molesters, drug cartels etc are streaming into America.
    They have simply walked across the Southern Border and the Border Force can do NOTHING to stop them because of the directives from the traitorous Biden administration. However, Texas has successfully taken action to protect its citizens against orders from the Biden Administration.
    Since Joe Biden took office:-
    * There have been at least 8.7 million illegal crossings nationwide.
    * Over 20,000 Communist Chinese nationals have illegally crossed the Southern Border since FY24 began in October.
    * There have been 1.8 million known gotaways who evaded U.S. Border Patrol.
    In 2023 alone, Border Patrol agents have encountered thousands of illegal aliens with prior criminal convictions, including assault, rape, and murder. The true extent of crimes committed by illegal aliens remains unknown because of the unaccounted for “gotaways” since Biden’s term began.
    It is important to understand that the FBI is not releasing data separating crimes committed by illegal aliens from crimes committed by citizens of the USA.
    So many of those illegal aliens have been enslaved by the criminal Cartels into sex slavery, forced fentanyl drug distribution which has killed hundreds of thousands of people etc. Also, many men, women and children, have been raped and murdered by these criminal illegal invaders. That is most certainly a “Blood Bath” and those in the criminal Biden Administration are fully responsible for it.

  • dtu31393 says:

    Thank you, Roger. Hitting the nail right on the head as usual.

  • EJP says:

    If you ask me it was with Woodward and Bernstein that things first really went to hell. If you read ‘All the President’s Men’ with the benefit of hindsight and distance it is clear they had no justification to publish anything about Watergate whatsoever. No second source. Woodward’s subsequent career of writing a couple of dozen interview-based books where all the interviewees subsequently came out saying they didn’t say what he said they said doesn’t inspire confidence either.


  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Ever since Trump was misreported with cries about ‘his stupidity’ saying at the start of Covid that he wished to put bleach into a vaccine in order to conquer Covid, it’s been a constant journalistic barrage of fake ‘Trump said ..” pieces. Trump at that time was simply saying he’d like scientists to find something that killed Covid just as bleach killed bacteria in a petrie dish. This media pounding of the man has never stopped since, all in the same vein of total misrepresentation, and we note here in Argentina now that Milei is in power it hasn’t stopped for Milei either.

    ‘He’s too aggressive’ said one young ‘educated’ woman when we asked, feigning ignorance as travellers, what was wrong with his policies, which seemed to us to be working. She had to ask her friend for the word. ‘Aggressive’ they agreed it was, because on TV he looked it and they were told that’s what he was. Yet Milei has so many supporters too, we find, especially workers in tourism who are benefitting from the devaluation, and some in shops too who think the truly rampant inflation is slowing now. As in Australia, it is young women who are the most susceptible to the journo’s media misrepresentation and spin.

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