Media madness

By Christopher Harper 

I usually don’t tell new acquaintances that I worked in the media for more than 25 years.  That way, I avoid trying to defend the indefensible.  

For example, the Russia dossier finally fell apart last week when one of its principal sources was arrested. 

But much of the media haven’t admitted their errors. As Axios puts it: “It’s one of the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history, and the media’s response to its own mistakes has so far been tepid.” 

BuzzFeed News, which made waves in 2017 by publishing the entire dossier, says it has no plans to take the document down. It’s still online, accompanied by a note that says, “The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.” 

Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn began reporting about the dossier before the 2016 election. Asked whether he planned to correct the record, Corn said,” My priority has been to deal with the much larger topic of Russia’s undisputed attack and Trump’s undisputed collaboration with Moscow’s cover-up.” 

To its credit, The Washington Post corrected and removed large portions of two articles. Its media critic, Erik Wemple, has written at length about the mistakes made by The Post and other media outlets in their coverage of the dossier. 

But that’s not the only scandal hanging around. 

It is unthinkable that Chris Cuomo has lasted this long after breaking almost every ethical guideline in the book by shoring up his brother.  

In his discussions with his brother’s support group, Chris “encouraged his brother to take a defiant position and not to resign from the governor’s office, people familiar with the conversations said. At one point, he used the phrase ‘cancel culture’ as a reason to hold firm in the face of the allegations, two people present on one call said.”  

It was an embarrassment to have Andrew Cuomo around for so long. It is just as bad that CNN continues to have Chris Cuomo around.  

But there’s more. The media look ridiculous in supporting President Brandon’s ban on travel to the United States from African countries when news organizations called President Trump a racist for similar acts.  

In 2017, President Trump imposed travel restrictions on six predominantly Muslim countries over concerns of improper vetting. Much of the media called his actions a “Muslim ban.” When the pandemic began, Trump blocked travel from China and six other countries, including Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. Biden, a presidential candidate at the time, called Trump’s actions “xenophobic.” 

It’s disheartening to see how far the media have fallen, particularly when I used to play a role in trying to prop up many of the organizations I now criticize.  

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