In the age of Trump, headlines have become even more polarizing. What makes matters worse is that the media increasingly employs them with a deliberate intent to deceive. Many in the media are willing to present misleading or, at times, even objectively false information — while leaving out crucial counter-narrative details — in order to gaslight the public to push an agenda. Sometimes, the headlines even contradict the very content of the article. However, due to our busy lives and time constraints, many fail to get the full story and mistakenly take the headlines for fact. Here are seven recent headlines from multiple mainstream outlets — including CNN, the Associated Press and The Washington Post — that attempted to mislead or misdirect on important issues, and always in ways that benefited leftist promoted narratives, including downplaying rioting, painting Trump’s actions as racist while lauding Democrats, and promoting leftwing talking points on “systemic racism” and the pandemic.
1. CNN: “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests After Police Shootings”
While not quite a traditional headline, CNN’s risible title for an on-air graphic amid the Kenosha protests and riots seemed better suited for The Onion or The Babylon Bee. It’s as though CNN “out-spun” itself in its obvious and vain attempt to present the mayhem which continues to this day as “mostly peaceful.”
“CNN has been mocked on Twitter,” Newsweek reported, “for displaying a chyron that said protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin were ‘fiery but mostly peaceful’ as its correspondent on the ground reported while standing in front of burning cars.”
2. Associated Press: “Trump downplays legacy of slavery in appeal to white voters”
The Associated Press sought to repudiate President Trump’s assertion that “America’s founding ‘set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism and built the most fair, equal and prosperous nation in human history.’”
Such a statement is apparently rife with controversy, according to The Associated Press, because “he did not mention the 246 years of slavery in America, including the 89 years it was allowed to continue after the colonies declared independence from England. Nor did the president acknowledge the ongoing fight against racial injustice and police brutality, which has prompted months of protests this year.”
According to many in the media and elsewhere, any praise or homage to our nation, even with its complex history, ought to be immediately condemned as “racist” no matter what, especially if it’s coming from Trump. This is not reporting. This is manufacturing a false narrative out of thin air.
3. Washington Post: “Coronavirus kills far more Hispanic and Black children than white youths, CDC study finds”
The headline boldly states that a disproportionate number of minority children are dying from coronavirus. The article even opens with an equally alarming statement to reinforce the headline:
“The coronavirus is killing Hispanic, Black and American Indian children at a much higher number than their White peers, according to federal statistics released Thursday.”
When such sensationalism is removed from the actual data, the supposed evidence is not only suspect, it’s statistically meaningless. Here are the CDC’s findings, cited in the Post’s piece:
“Among 121 SARS-CoV-2–associated deaths among persons aged <21 years reported to CDC by July 31, 2020, 12 (10%) were infants and 85 (70%) were aged 10–20 years. Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native persons accounted for 94 (78%) of these deaths; 33% of deaths occurred outside of a hospital.”
This piece attempts to present roughly .06% of reported fatalities attributed to the coronavirus as evidence of “systemic racism.” Basing such a provocative conclusion on such scarce data is nothing other than disingenuous journalism at play.
4. CNN: “Thank God for Andrew Cuomo”
In a now darkly ironic March editorial piece, Jill Filipovic lionized Governor Cuomo in no uncertain terms, stating:
“In the midst of a pandemic, Americans need real leadership — and the New York governor has risen to the occasion. In the face of a feckless, reckless president spreading disinformation by the day, Cuomo has stepped up, using his platform to share accurate public health information and demand action. It makes him, disturbingly, an outlier. And it reveals how the growing right-wing cult of Trumpism is endangering all Americans.”
The fact is, Cuomo’s mishandling of the pandemic has directly lead to, at this moment, the second-highest death toll among states. As The Guardian reported, Cuomo was “no hero” and “should be one of the most loathed officials in America right now.”
City Journal states Cuomo’s abysmal pandemic record quite succinctly:
“New York State has seen about 34,000 Covid-related deaths, out of a national total of 170,000, which means that New Yorkers have died at a rate close to four times what would be expected based on their proportion of the U.S. population. Moreover, Cuomo bears considerable responsibility for at least 6,700 deaths in care facilities, and possibly many thousands more, because of his health commissioner’s mandate in March that nursing homes admit Covid patients after being discharged from hospital. It’s widely acknowledged that this was the catalyst of the spread of Covid-19 through facilities left under-equipped to deal with the disease. When the nursing homes begged Albany for masks, Cuomo dismissively remarked that ‘it’s not our job’ to supply private facilities with protective equipment.”
5. CNN: “Kansas City Chiefs fans booed players during a moment of unity against racism”
The intention of this title seems to indicate an attempt to malign an entire fan base solely along political lines. However, the content of the piece itself states that the intention of the booing was “unclear” and goes on to contradict the actual headline:
“Boos, lasting about 5 to 10 seconds, could be heard from the crowd as the Chiefs linked arms and the Texans made their way to the middle of the field to join them. It’s unclear if the fans were booing the Texans for not being on the field for the National Anthem or if the boos were directed at the moment of unity. The crowd eventually applauded once the chain was formed, and the teams then broke apart to get ready for kickoff.”
In reality, fans began cheering during the climactic moment of unity. Beyond being a simple example of a sensationalized story, this is an inherently nonsensical report that appears to be fueled by political motives.
6. Bloomberg CityLab: “How Structural Racism is Linked to Higher Rates of Police Violence”
As this particular title suggests, the theory that implicit bias and racism are at the root of recent police shootings is now being presented as an assumed premise:
“The question that typically pops up when black people are killed by police is whether racism had anything to do with it. Many studies do show that racism plays a part in causing police to pull the trigger more quickly on black suspects. That’s usually because of the implicit racial biases of the individual police officer involved. Law enforcement officials often try to rule out racism by arguing that you can’t tell what’s in a officer’s heart when these killings happen.”
Such assertions remain rooted in the emotional, dogmatically assuming the novel psychological theory of implicit bias – a theory that still doesn’t hold up under critical scrutiny. The implicit association test (IAT) used to gauge implicit bias is very much a pseudoscience, according to The Cut, but one that has become so pervasive and popular, it’s readily accepted as fact:
“A pile of scholarly work, some of it published in top psychology journals and most of it ignored by the media, suggests that the IAT falls far short of the quality-control standards normally expected of psychological instruments. The IAT, this research suggests, is a noisy, unreliable measure that correlates far too weakly with any real-world outcomes to be used to predict individuals’ behavior — even the test’s creators have now admitted as such. The history of the test suggests it was released to the public and excitedly publicized long before it had been fully validated in the rigorous, careful way normally demanded by the field of psychology. In fact, there’s a case to be made that Harvard shouldn’t be administering the test in its current form, in light of its shortcomings and its potential to mislead people about their own biases. There’s also a case to be made that the IAT went viral not for solid scientific reasons, but simply because it tells us such a simple, pat story about how racism works and can be fixed: that deep down, we’re all a little — or a lot — racist, and that if we measure and study this individual-level racism enough, progress toward equality will ensue.”
If we consider the many recent white victims of police brutality, it becomes nearly impossible to find a causal link between police brutality and racism. For example, Arizona officers responding to a call killed Ryan Whitaker in his home in May of 2020. His death was similar to the death of Breonna Taylor. Linden Cameron, a 13-year-old autistic boy, was recently shot by police in Utah. Both shootings, however, have yet to receive any public outcry or protests.
7. Nature: “Stillbirth rate rises dramatically during pandemic”
The implication of this particular headline, published by one of our most esteemed scientific journals, is that COVID-19 may now be responsible for stillborn deaths. It brings to mind the Zika virus that lead to all sorts of grave complications for newborns. In effect, it’s the kind of fear-mongering which continues to drive the pandemic narrative.
The piece opens with an alarming statement:
“A slew of studies from around the world has reported a disturbing trend: since the coronavirus pandemic started, there has been a significant rise in the proportion of pregnancies ending in stillbirths, in which babies die in the womb.”
In fact, lockdowns and inadequate healthcare resulting from COVID-19 restrictions are leading to a rise in stillborn deaths, according to the piece itself:
“Researchers say that in some countries, pregnant women have received less care than they need because of lockdown restrictions and disruptions to health care. As a result, complications that can lead to stillbirths were probably missed, they say.”
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