Hey, It Was All Fake News, I Guess

This happened a few days ago, but I think it is such a perfect example of the press collaborating with Republicans to cover up any bad news for them that I want to say a few words about it.

First, here is what happened:  A Jewish group held a peaceful demonstration at an ICE concentration camp in Connecticut (yeah, these camps are everywhere.)  I guess most people can understand why Jews feel rather sensitive about concentration camps, but anyway, a prison guard, apparently aping the behavior of Islamic terrorists, deliberately drove his truck into the demonstrators, injuring a couple of them.  Here is a sample of how the press treated this story:

Boston Globe:  "R.I. prison worker placed on leave after truck pushes through ICE protesters"

"Truck pushes through protestors"- apparently on its own initiative, without any human involvement.

Time:  "A Rhode Island correctional officer has been placed on leave after a truck he was allegedly driving rammed into peaceful protesters on Wednesday night outside the Wyatt Detention Center, a Rhode Island prison that contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."

"Allegedly" driving.  Once again, notice that the truck apparently "rammed into peaceful protesters" without any assistance from a human driver.

San Jose Mercury News:  "Truck drives into crowd of protesters at immigration center"

And more of the same.  Not even worth a mention that an actual human being, employed by our government, had a thing to do with the truck's behavior.

Associated Press:  "The Latest: 2 hurt, 1 seriously when truck hits protesters...The Latest on the investigation of a driver whose truck menaced a group of immigration protesters"

The driver's truck menaced a group of protesters.  Not a suggestion that the driver might have menaced them.

New England Public Radio:  "Corrections Officer On Leave After Truck Drives Toward Protesters At R.I. Detention Facility"

And on it goes.

KTVN TV:  "Rhode Island's attorney general says he's investigating after a truck appeared to drive at a group protesting federal immigration policies at a detention center."

Until we reach this point, where "news media" state that the truck "appeared to drive at a group protesting federal immigration policies," failing to even note that the truck hit the demonstrators, injuring some of them. 

And this horrible story of Nazi behavior on the part of a government employee has now essentially disappeared from the news.  Mission accomplished, guys!


Poll P. said…
Good work, G.E.
BB-Idaho said…
Nazi behavior disappeared? Perhaps briefly:
"I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,"
"In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you're being very disloyal to Israel,"
'Art of the Deal' should have been called 'Mein Kampf'.
Green Eagle said…
How about Mein Krapf?
ice9 said…
I agree with your claim but this evidence is weak. In each case I'd guess an editor backed off. The paper will cite the truck as a survival mechanism. They give the truck agency because it's certain. It is a definitive fact--the truck did it, we can be safe in that as an unsourced assertion. See, the truck can't sue for libel and throw enough PAC- and Dark Money-financed lawyers at the case that they either win or grind the paper down. And a paper that loses a libel judgement, or even has to fight one, might not survive.

Until it's adjudicated the driver of the truck has to be allegedly responsible. Our new right-wing overlords are all-powerful and correct, but they are also pathetic delicate flowers who sue at the slightest hint of rough treatment. The Justice Department and the Executive, counting on their captured judiciary, are yapping about 'changing' libel laws, which are already robust on paper but highly flexible in actual practice when the plaintiff is wealthy (see Gawker, former news organization). Any more decisive reporting on the truck incident is risky, especially when that reporting implies intent. You can't safely allege intent. A few (prominent) segments of the press are complicit in the current difficulties, but by omission and cowardice in the face of existential threats, not by open sympathy. The journalists I know (and I) are more than happy to take our shot when it falls within our best practices--both because we want to be good at what we do, and we want to meet our obligations to the public. It is a fact that ignorance of press ethics and best practices is widespread; that ignorance has always been used as a shield and weapon by the corrupt and the wrong. It would be nice if those who knew better...well, knew better.

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