This is Townhall's daily VIP feature, where we will focus coverage on the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in the mainstream media.
Presentation Paradox – CNN
With all the hysteria surrounding Georgia passing stringent voter integrity laws, and other states with similar legislation, CNN adds to the frothing reactions with this headline: "Georgia Removes 100,000 Names From Voter Registration Rolls."
Once we move past the outrage-stoking, we learn this is a rather pedestrian activity. "There is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls," Brad Raffensperger announced in a statement. There is a far less nefarious motivation behind these moves.
- "Georgia regularly removes the voter files of convicted felons and the dead on a monthly basis, according to the statement. The 101,789 obsolete voter files that will be removed include 67,286 voter files associated with a National Change of Address form submitted to the U.S. Postal Service; 34,227 voter files that had election mail returned to sender; and 276 that had no contact with elections officials for at least five years. In each of these cases, the individual had no contact with Georgia's elections officials in any way...for two general elections. The full list of 'obsolete and outdated' names that are being removed was published publicly with the statement."
So this is a regularly scheduled maintenance, one that is fully revealed to the public, and the same type of voter roll cleanup seen in most other states. In other words, it hardly counts as news.
Hoax And Change – TIME / David French
In an unintentionally amusing bit of casting the reliably incorrect, David French appeared on the ironically-titled "Reliable Sources" yesterday. Dave was addressing the perceived problem with what he dubs "the nationalization of outrage." What he is describing is the supposedly new action on the Right of elevating small, local news stories into nationwide grievance-driving narratives.
- There's always somebody doing something crazy somewhere," so there's always "fuel for the grievance fire." But these outrage cycles end up communicating "inaccurate information about your political opponent," he adds.
We will chalk it up to poor timing that he raised these concerns about the conservative mindset when a local story in Florida of an accident at a Pride parade was blown up into a national story of it being a hate crime inspired by laws signed by GOP Governor Ron DeSantis. That inaccurate information about your political opponent was shown to be an accident committed by a member of the Pride community.
Prose And Contradiction – THE ROOT
It has been a vexing reality that this past Saturday, the Juneteenth celebration was embraced by many non-POC individuals, and this has led to controversy over the past week. It almost sounded like there were factions who were more interested in using the holiday as a tool rather than a means of developing harmony.
At The Root, they offer up a helpful guide for whites on the proper way to celebrate the day, informing us they "created a CRT-free educational curriculum to help colonizer Americans resist the urge to gentrify this celebration."
While written with a sense of some humor, this piece devolves into some poorly conceived tropes, such as this passage.
- "Juneteenth might become a day when you parade around in African headwraps drinking Hennessy just like y’all celebrate Mexican Independence Day on May 5 by donning sombreros and taking shots of American tequila."
It is with a small amount of amusement that in this lecture on cultural propriety, an editor had to add a footnote that Cinco de Mayo is, in fact, not the Mexican Independence Day.
Body Checking The Fact Checkers – THE DEBUNKER GUY
- The always amusing reality of a fact-checker needing to fact-check themself.
Mike Rothschild is a self-styled fact-checker and author, and he took on the recent viral video of a POC gentleman at a school board meeting who was giving an impassioned speech against Critical Race Theory. In the man's rant, he mentioned political pundit Candace Owens as his "L'il sis," and Rothschild was on the case to get to the facts – CANDACE IS NOT HIS SISTER!!!
After this rather insipid "debunking," Rothschild had to come out and issue a correction...to his "correction" of the facts.
Apparently this guy is NOT Canadce Owens' brother, despite an IG post where he calls her his "lil sis." He is Ty Smith, a conservative activist who runs the YT channel "Modern Renaissance Man." What matters is that this video is fake and a setup, not who his sister is. https://t.co/SHoXanyiPm— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) June 18, 2021
Now, after thoroughly discrediting himself as an arbiter of the facts, he insists that the video he addressed was fake. Rothschild states the video was staged, that the man is not really a parent because he is a conservative, and that his claims of medical degrees are spurious as well...except every fact was, in fact, factual. The man did attend this school board meeting, his child will be attending, and he does have two medical degrees. It would be tough to find a fact-checker who could be more monumentally wrong about an issue he "corrected."
Just to help you save time, Mike, do not feel the need to delve into a family tree at every instance someone calls another "Bro."
News Avoidance Syndrome – CNN
Brian Stelter was convinced he caught Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo in a blatant dose of misinformation. He captured a graphic she posted of some of the biggest media lies, and Brian felt he caught her foisting Qanon-level conspiracies about the Capitol riot. The debate about it being an armed insurrection continues, with many noting that until this past Thursday, there had not been any weapons charges. Those in the press need to counter this reality by insisting people had numerous other blunt instruments they had weaponized.
So even as this element can be discussed, what cannot be mentioned by Mr. Stelter are the other four rather glaring lies that were listed. These need to be avoided at all costs.
Want to peek through the right-wing wormhole? Then look at this screen grab from Maria Bartiromo's Sunday morning show on Fox, listing the "biggest lies" of the media and the left, including "armed insurrection..." pic.twitter.com/yzskZghpEE— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 21, 2021
Artisanal-Crafted Narratives -- PLAYBOY
- Hatred proven with a lie is a poor look for a journalist.
Recently, the White House press office opened up the daily briefings to a full complement of journalists, and the recently deposed Brian Karem – who had his press credentials denied by the WH Correspondents Association this year – is not taking it well. This was evident in his unhinged reaction to a tweet sent out by author Dan Winslow, who was taking exception to Sen. Mitch McConnell showing a supposedly unacceptable level of wealth on tax records.
Because he is Satan’s fluffer: A self-centered narcissistic criminal taking advantage of the system to feather his own traitorous, putrid, foul smelling, despotic, cancerous, morally crippled, rancid nest. https://t.co/JdtvyP5h9D— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) June 20, 2021
Lost on both men was the pesky detail that the bulk of the accrued funds they carped about came from McConnell's wife receiving a large inheritance some years back.