"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage of the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.
(The news breaking late last night that the Colorado gay nightclub shooter was a non-binary member of the community created problems for the press, who spent days blaming the conservative media for the murders.)
Pre-Written Field Reports – CNN
- But…but…we were promised it was hate from the Right!
When the news broke about the Colorado shooter being a non-binary individual, you knew it would become a problem for the press. This was displayed in real time when the story was first reported on CNN. Alisyn Camerota was hosting after the 10 pm hour when it came across her teleprompter, and the way she struggles to process the information typifies the reaction felt across the media spectrum after numerous reports attempted to lay the blame on conservatives and Republicans.
Watch as @AlisynCamerota gets the first report on the Colorado shooter identifying as non-binary, and her inability to grasp the reality of a week's worth of narratives about this being a conservative-inspired shooting. pic.twitter.com/9EGllpF4Vq— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) November 23, 2022
Gilded reframe – NBC NEWS
- Admitting a slanderous error is the last thing a professional would do.
Ben Collins is the self-described “misinformation reporter” for the network, and he has been busying himself in recent months to become elevated into a television fixture. NBC appears to be complying with his wish, despite being regularly shown as a hack.
Collins has been targeting the Libs of Tik Tok, and has shown to be a fool on the topic, and has said we will lose our democracy if we do not censor people. He was wailing about how Twitter would implode on election night with its staff let go (there were no problems at all cited) and was assuring the public there would be post-election violence.
Collins has spent the past week assuring anyone who listened that Breitbart and the conservative media were motivating the shooter. Now as actual facts emerge, Collins takes a decided new tack on the story, exposing every reason why NBC should stop listening to a reporter who is himself a source of dystopian misinformation.
Two updates on the Colorado Springs case. The suspect Andrew Aldrich is requesting to go by them/them, according to court docs provided to the NYTimes. https://t.co/VBR8z6Q27R— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 23, 2022
Low Octane Gas Lighting – NBC NEWS
- The last thing to do is allow facts to dissuade a network from its narrative.
Also at NBC, one of its producers was faced with the conflicting facts of the Colorado shooter case – and decided to claim that those details actually prove the right-wing was behind this after all or something like that.
This is what desperation looks like.
If the shooter is non-binary, it doesn’t change the fact the right-wing media is continuing to stoke hatred towards LGBTQ people after 5 people were killed at a gay bar. https://t.co/H9L0U378H8— Benjamin Goggin (@BenjaminGoggin) November 23, 2022
News Avoidance Syndrome – MSNBC
- Well, if it doesn’t fit, why even try carrying the content in the first place?!
On the morning show "MSNBC Reports," the assembled panelists faced this new information about the Colorado shooter and did the only logical thing as a response – they completely ignored the new details and continued on the path of blaming figures on the right, such as Lauren Boebert.
Calling for those who these “experts” deemed to be responsible to be punished over the shooting for which they had zero involvement was quite the precious touch.
Presentation Paradox – HUFFINGTON POST
- The real surprise is that it took years for anyone to actually research this information.
At HuffPo, one of their pride writers (this is accurate) decided to embark on a research project to bring down author J. K. Rowling of "Harry Potter" fame. Rowling, as you probably know, has been a lightning rod who absorbs all manner of criticism from the LGBT+ community due to her insistence that females and women have autonomy.
Writer E.J. Rosetta set out three months ago to compile a list of all of the intolerant comments from the writer and came to a conclusion: she really has not been hateful and intolerant all this time.
3 months of dedicated research & I cannot find a single truly transphobic JK Rowling quote that stands up against the scrutiny of journalistic integrity.— E J Rosetta (@ejrosetta) November 22, 2022
The abuse JK has endured is beyond forgiveness. Every death threat, r*pe threat & torrent of abuse, she has born w/ grace.🧵
This is a rather remarkable conclusion in the face of years of journalists repeating the charges against Rowling while not exploring the actual content.
Gilded Reframe – BUSINESS INSIDER
- Having a blast while not doing their job – sounds like the old regime at Twitter, honestly.
At Business Insider, they had a report that Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase involved a $100 million cash infusion from Sam Bankman-Fried. Musk was quickly able to go on his platform and blast that report out of the water, and slam the outlet at the same time.
False. Also, Business is still not a real publication. Just give up.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2022
Next, entirely on the defensive, The Global Editor In Chief Nich Carlson responded by trying to point out that from an editorial standpoint, they used the word "reportedly," which then excused them from any culpability for the story being incorrect. He then flippantly mocked Musk while seemingly bragging that they do not do actual investigative journalism regarding stories about corporations – at BUSINESS Insider.
Our readers (including you!) are smart enough to know what "reportedly" means.— Nich Carlson (@nichcarlson) November 23, 2022
That story reflects what Semafor reported. (We've included your denial in the story.)
Why would we give up when we are having so much fun reporting stories like these?https://t.co/OQDiRRG6id