Fake News: Media Coverage of Protests

Presentation: https://prezi.com/uwenmqzotrx7/fake-news/

***Disclaimer***

The information presented in this write-up does not express the authors’ views.  The purpose is to inform the reader of the truth, or lack thereof, of media.

Seven Articles Cannot Be Trusted

            An argument could be made that because abortion is such controversial issue news sources do not report past the “tip of the iceberg” due to the fact that they do not want to offend people and lose readers. When examining media controversy on the March for Life through seven articles, none of them can be considered trustworthy for several reasons. First, multiple articles include quotes from protesters or speakers who attended the March for life, their words cannot be legitimate. Multiple articles contain poll results; therefore, they article must be trying to convince the reader something else through lies. Lastly, the articles were written by reporters who actually attended the event and all of them have pictures from this year’s march, two major reasons why the articles must be false. The liberal New York Times contains quotes and videos of Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway, President Donald J. Trump himself, and numerous marchers (Peters, Alcindor, Weiland, 2017). Another left-leaning source, The Washington Post, also includes quotes and videos of Pence, Kellyanne Conway, numerous accounts of protestors, and Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, as well as a 2016 nationwide poll conducted by Pew Research Center (Zuazmer & Bailey, 2017). The Central News Network (CNN) presents a more neutral stance through quotes from Pence, Conway, and Trump along with a video and two polls from the Pew Research Center (Scott & Murray, 2017). Similarly, the Central Broadcasting Station (CBS) uses photos, videos, and quotes from people at the march, including multiple federal officials, to influence readers (Bat, 2017). A conservative source, The Wall Street Journal, also has quotes from Pence, Conway, Trump, Mancini, and protestors (Hackman, 2017). Fox News, another right-leaning source, includes a video and quotes from Pence and marchers (Hickey, 2017). Seventh, The Washington Times, contains a photo but is focused on a quote from President Trump (Riddell, 2017). All seven articles, covering the entire political spectrum, must be considered invalid because of all the primary sources and facts they include, if not for anything else.

Photoshop Hides the Truth

            With the massive advancement of technology in the past few decades it is nearly impossible to know if a picture has been edited to hide the truth. The photographs and videos that authors attach to their articles can be changed in small, subtle or blatantly obvious ways. There is no real way to prove that images have been edited unless someone comes forward claiming they did. A picture says a thousand words, meaning that the few images included in articles can have a large impact. Writers can use false or edited images to influence the reader regardless of what they are actually reporting on. News sources utilize photographs and videos that are not true and therefore cannot report on protests because they will be giving the readers lies about the meaning of the protest, what happened at the protest, or worse.

Not My Presidents Day Bias

            Through a close analysis of two articles on the protests during 2017’s Presidents Day numerous fallacies were discovered, causing the articles to be considered untrustworthy news. As if containing fallacies is not enough, each article has other reasons for why they cannot be legitimate. The first article, from the extremely conservative Breitbart, uses logical arguments to convince readers and only had a couple fallacies (Poor, 2017). The article is rather short and is focused on a transcript from a radio talk show (Poor, 2017). Therefore, because the writer does not use a majority of his own words, includes quotes from an established nationwide source, and presents the information in a logical and easy to follow way the article must not be reporting correctly on the protest (Poor, 2017). On the other side of the political spectrum, Huffington Post, in addition to half a dozen fallacies, appeals to its readers through their emotions rather than logical arguments (Abbey-Lambertz, Miller, Bellware, 2017). Due to the fact that the article contains numerous quotes from protestors, embedded social media posts, videos, and tweets from President Trump it must be discarded as a reliable source (Abbey-Lambertz, Miller, Bellware, 2017). Furthermore, every piece of writing has bias. Therefore, all articles and reports cannot be trustworthy if all writers are trying to persuade readers. The nine articles mentioned are no different; they are all filled with lies from the authors who want to influence readers in some way.

Real President, Fake News

            The President of the United States is voted on by all eligible American citizens; therefore, the elected President speaks for all of the American people. Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States, which means that at least half of the United States supports him. As President, Trump represents the United States and is the face of America to the rest of the world. Trump takes advantage of Twitter as a way to communicate with the public and has said such things as, “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” (Trump, February 17, 2017). Two months later, “The Fake Media (not Real Media) has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth!” (Trump, April 17, 2017). When he says that the news is fake it must not only be true, but the majority of America must agree with him. Logically, fake media cannot report accurately on protests.

True News Would Not Require Fact Checkers

            With the thousands of articles published daily, numerous websites have been created to check the accuracy of the reports. There would be no need for such websites if news sources only told the truth to begin with. The fact checker websites would only be telling the people what they already know, it would be redundant. The mere presence of such websites proves that all media is lies and must be closely examined and researched in order to find the truth. Articles on protests are no different; they too do not contain the truth.

Media Does Not Accurately Cover Protests

            No article can be trusted, especially when talking about protests. Authors who attended the event and include photographs and videos, quotes from marchers and speakers, and information from polls cannot possibly be considered accurate representations and must be ignored. In the digital age, photoshop distorts and hides the truth; therefore, all articles must be false because of the possibility of containing manipulated images without any actual proof. Fallacies and different approaches in all articles, as well as the bias every author has means that no article can be trusted. When the President of the United States says the news if fake it must be true and all people should never rely on the news for information again. Lastly, obvious proof, fact checker websites exist to tell the truth about the lies reported, if there were no lies such websites would be repetitive and unnecessary. The media cannot be trusted for anything, protests included.

References

Bat, J. (2017, January 27). March for Life attendees express hope for Trump presidency. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/march-for-life-attendees-express-hope-for-trump-presidency/

Trump, D. J. (n.d.). Twitter. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump

Hackman, M. (2017, January 27). Vice President Mike Pence Addresses ‘March for Life’ Antiabortion Rally. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/vice-president-mike-pence-to-speak-at-march-for-life-antiabortion-march-1485528430

Hickey, J. (2017, January 27). ‘Life is winning’: Pence fired up March for Life crowd. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/27/massive-attendance-at-march-for-life-could-extend-crowd-size-chatter.html

Abbey-Lambertz, K., Miller, H., & Bellware, K. (2017, February 20). Thousands Rally At Anti-Trump ‘Not My Presidents Day’ Events. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/not-my-presidents-day-protests_us_58ab1f9ce4b07602ad56cece

Peters, J. W., Alcindor, Y., & Weiland, N. (2017, January 27). Pence Tells Anti-Abortion

Marchers That ‘Life is Winning’. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/us/politics/march-for-life.html?_r=0

Poor, J. (2017, February 21). Limbaugh: ‘Not My President’s Day’ Protests an ‘Abject Failure’. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/02/21/limbaugh-not-presidents-day-protests-abject-failure/

Riddell, K. (2017, January 27). ABC deletes Trump’s March for Life reference in its online transcript. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/27/abc-deletes-donald-trump-march-life-reference-its-/

Scott, E., & Murray, S. (2017, January 29). Pence, Conway cheer on March for Life. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/politics/trump-march-for-life-call/

Zauzmer, J., & Bailey, S. P. (2017, January 27). March for Life: Pence speaks as thousands assemble at Washington Monument. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/march-for-life-thousands-assemble-at-washington-monument/2017/01/27/7d880d52-e40a-11e6-ba11-63c4b4fb5a63_story.html?utm_term=.b9d546af1330

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