In late January, the Huffington Post, named for its founder and now Editor-in-Chief, noted liberal Arianna Huffington, announced that all Donald J. Trump related content will bear the following disclaimer:
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
It seemingly unrelated news, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Michelle Fields, then of Breitbart News, scuffled in early March at a Jupiter, Florida Trump rally.
Fields alleged Lewandowski’s contact with her resulted in bruises. The police charged Trump’s right-hand man with battery and released a video weeks later showing the incident. Lewandowski would not apologize and Fields (and a few of her Breitbart colleagues) quit her employer after its editors would not defend their reporter publicly, privately advising fellow staff to steer clear of the incident.
The prosecutor in Palm Beach County (where the incident occurred) dropped the charges filed against Lewandowski a month after the incident occurred.
Then it was announced in late May, the former reporter for Breitbart or “TrumpBart” as some critics refer to it for its obsequious coverage of the billionaire showman, had joined none other than Huffington Post, as – you guessed it – the Trump campaign reporter of record. This “news” about the news warranted almost 600 words in the “Paper of Record,” The New York Times and similarly fawning coverage at Politico and CNN.
As Shakespeare might note, there turns “Giddy Fortune’s furious fickle wheel.”
So good for Fields, she’s back in the journalism game, but what of the readers of these various “news” outlets?
If you read HuffPo, you may be missing out on the best Trump coverage (regardless of potential bias) since as the outlet’s Washington Bureau chief admitted, Huffington Post won’t be credentialed anytime soon by the Trump campaign. No access, no good stories, it can be inferred.
Back to Huffington Post’s disclaimer though. As a former producer for an unnamed major television news outlet, that isn’t of the left or the right per se, I can say “Standards and Practices” a.k.a. the ethics division are arbiters of all things “true” and “fair”— down to the language reporters use and blaring headline banner content. (See the Associated Press’s 2013 decision to stop using ‘illegal immigrants’ to describe the individuals that break immigration laws in this country).
They are, in fact, Orwell’s Thought Police with their newspeak, and are incredibly effective at altering cultural attitudes through language and fact choices. (The Library of Congress – ostensibly an arm of the GOP controlled House and Senate– “retired” the term this year as well.)
So don’t laugh when Huffington Post, AP, The New York Times et al decide (under immense political pressure from activist left groups and their good liberal consciences) to re-write the English language or insert “disclaimers” that fit a narrative they agree with.
So, it’s time to fight back. All the media the right controls – online, in print, and on air – should start a counter-campaign to take back the truth from the left and its affiliates.
Let’s start with Hillary – since turnabout is fair play.
She deserves her own disclaimer a la Huffington Post’s Trump note.
Here’s what I suggest should be attached to all coverage of Mrs. Clinton:
Editor’s Note: Hillary Clinton is a proven fabricator, is currently under investigation by the FBI for mishandling classified information and is party to a House Select Committee investigation into the Obama Administration’s response to the Benghazi attack which took the lives of four Americans, including the first U.S. Ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. Clinton led the Administration’s efforts to mislead the American people about the nature of the attack. You can watch Ms. Clinton’s serial mendacity for 13 minutes here.
It could be much longer but I don’t want to bore you with facts you already know.
Sean Kennedy is a writer based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was a U.S. Senate aide, a television news producer, and a fellow at public policy think tanks. He can be reached via Twitter @SeanKennedyDC.