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How the Media Lies to People

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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You’ve probably never heard of Jane Coaston, and who could blame you if you haven’t? She’s an employee at the New York Times who does podcasts. If you’re riveted by NPR or have a closet full of PBS tote bags, you’re likely a fan, otherwise not so much. She was on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (who doesn’t seem to be on the show ever, weirdly) and, without meaning to pick on her specifically, demonstrated how the media lies to their audience.


First, remember when Sunday shows were “important”? They were an opportunity to smart people who knew what was happening in the world would come together and inform their audience in an in-depth way. To be a panelist on the “roundtable” segment meant something; you had to have information and knowledge the average person didn’t. If you weren’t a newsmaker you were talking to them, getting the inside dope. You knew what you were talking about it. 

Now, all it takes to be a “contributor” to these shows, and therefore a member of roundtables, is to have a large social media footprint and/or have job at some left-wing media outlet. Somewhere along the way, TV bookers stopped getting people with direct knowledge of subjects in the news and started booking people with opinions on the news. Like post-digested food exit ports, everyone has those and most stink. 

That stink is almost all of cable news, and now the Sunday shows. 

So, how does that empower the media to lie to people? Simple: the power of television. 

When you see someone on TV you assume they know what they’re talking about, that the “news outlet” putting them on checked to make sure they are knowledgeable on the subject at hand. They do no such thing. 

Panelists on “news” television are booked well ahead of time, most times a week or more. The topics are not discussed until the morning of. There is no concern with whether or not they know anything about it, just a story to read and be prepared to discuss. Anyone can talk for 30-60 seconds about a news story they’ve just read, it’s honestly easy. With panels, you don’t get much more time than that. Knowing what you’re talking about isn’t necessary.


That brings us back to Coaston. It is abundantly clear she knows very little about Republicans, and even less about conservatives. That doesn’t matter in the media, she has stereotypes and narratives. That’s enough for This Week and, honestly, every media outlet these days on both sides.

Anyway, demonstrating ignorance, Coaston told the panel, “I think the most important political priority for any political party is to not be the people telling people what to do. For the last five years, we've heard from Republicans, especially even during COVID, about how freedom was going to reign and that they were just going to let people make decisions for themselves. They want to be the cool mom of politics. Well, that era has ended. And I think that there's a specific type of libertarianism that is very popular in America. Unlike the Libertarian Party. But there's a specific type of, don't tell me what to do, let me make my decisions. Let me make my decisions for my family, that is very politically profitable. And I think that if Democrats are able to say that we are the party that says you can make these decisions. You can make decisions for your family. Your family can make decisions for themselves. I think that that will be politically profitable. And I think that for Republicans, it's going to be challenging to try to sound simultaneously like cool mom and the moral majority that so many of us grew up with.”


Democrats seek to control every aspect of life, or force everyone else to pay for the one area they support the concept of “choice.” You don’t get to tell the government to get the hell out of your life and your bedroom but leave your wallet on the dresser on the way out because you got to pay for and “celebrate” everything happening in there.

Coaston can’t really believe Republicans are trying to tell people what to do, can she? Want to send your kid to a school not assigned to you by the government? You’re on your own. Want your daughters to not shower with boys? Tough. Like driving a car you can afford to own? Forget about it. The one issue where Republicans could be considered to be attempting to tell people what to do would be in preventing the surgical and chemical butchering of children. Joan either doesn’t know this or is cool with it. 

It’s not just her, it’s all of them. So much of the media is wildly ignorant and designed to keep the audience corralled. They’re terrified someone might hear some piece of information that counters the narrative they’ve constructed that the very concept is treated as dangerous so people immediately turn away from it should they accidentally be exposed. Maybe it’s time to drop the “news” part of cable news?

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses, and host of the weekly “Week in F*cking Review” podcast where the news is spoken about the way it deserves to be. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.


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