Q&A – Addressing Fake News, Media Bias & My Role In Exposing It

Today’s entry - From my commentary/story on the politicization of Elijah Cummings’s death, in which I was highly critical of the coverage by most news media and touched on several other misreported or non-reported stories from the week. There are several points and accusations throughout today’s entry that I’ll address individually. 

Hi Brian, In the car going to work and happen to hear you rattle off a few things that I see differently. You’re part of the news media too!

Guilty as charged. Working in the journalistic, content creation and opinion sides of the business provides me with the perspective of the pervasiveness of bias in the industry. And while there are numerous issues with the state of journalism, news gathering and reporting these days, the most pervasive form of bias in news media is omitting information. Bias is one thing, and many consumers of news are trained to identify it quickly but if you’re never presented with important information, that’s a big problem.

Just because a newspaper or news outlet misreports an incident, doesn’t make it FAKE news. I agree that several news outlets misreported the potential active shooter at the Town Center Mall in Boca. In my opinion, they were quick to judge and acted on a false assumption. That is indeed a shame and a mistake. And unfortunately, the term “Active Shooter” is a real problem in the world in which we currently live in. In my opinion, that’s not FAKE news. That’s misreported news.

Call it misreported if you don’t like the term fake news. I’d agree with your concerns about the term “active shooter”, that seems to have taken on a life of its own. Now, if you’re attempting to impugn my use of the term, however, facts are on my side. 

So, based on my belief (and I know it’s shared by many), your slant on reporting the story could also be deemed FAKE news. You also report as it’s fact, when in fact... it’s just your editorial.

You make an unquantified statement and proclaim to speak for many? This is the kind of nonsense I get when someone wants to disagree with me but can’t on the issue(s). Give me something specific. There is not a specific statement of fact I made in Friday’s story that I can’t support. 

And who makes you or any other news reporter with a microphone or camera (or both), the moral judge and ultimate decision-maker of what is FAKE news and what is not FAKE news? 

Again, facts are facts. It’s all quantifiable. Facts and moral authority are kind of two different lanes, but I guess Webster’s Dictionary if you’re looking for a specific answer? 

In the eyes of most Americans, you’re all part of the news media! Both sides are slanting news stories to promote and advance personal beliefs, opinions, and agendas. Quite the SHAME, when all we want as Americans are the facts, the truth, and the news!

There’s a lot of truth to what you’re saying here. Where you’re wandering out is when you choose to speak on behalf of Americans. I get your frustration and share it. That's why I believe in establishing the premise. Yes, I often offer strong opinions but only after I’ve established the premise and facts of a story. You’re welcome to agree or disagree with my views, which are based on where the facts take me not preset ideological desires, but the facts are the facts whether you, I or anyone else like them. 

Let’s face it, we believe what we want to believe. The key is to have a healthy and honest respect for another person and their opinions and beliefs. Did I hear you correctly this morning that you called someone who doesn’t share your opinion and beliefs a Godless Soul??? Really???

To be clear, it’s godless, soulless and slanderous news media with which I was and occasionally refer to. Now, that’s one that I do for effect, to get the attention of people. Many people complain about the state of news media. I wanted something that cut through. See, it worked! I reserve that distinction for news media that deliberately provides false information.

Let’s not put President Trump on a pedestal for lowering the flag to half - staff for Elijah Cummings, when in fact that’s what any decent person (never mind President) should do for a long-standing serving member of Congress.

This is my quote from that story: Did you know that President Trump ordered flags at half-staff for Elijah? That’s placing President Trump on a pedestal? I simply reported what he did. You sent me a note seeking objective information and reporting in news media. I provided it and you’re critical of me for it. And this is the most instructive point of all. You seemingly have convinced yourself that you’re objective and open-minded. Your feedback potentially suggests otherwise. If the truth and facts make you uncomfortable enough that you feel that you want to challenge the person delivering facts, you’re probably not as objective as you’re suggesting. 

As for me, I live with facts. Anyone is always welcome to challenge me on them. I'm not perfect, but I’m honest, and in the very rare instance I share misinformation I’ll always correct it.  

Submit your questions by using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Getty Ima

 
 

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