CNN promotes itself as a defender of truth and self-righteously scoffs at President Donald Trump when he labels the network “fake news” and an “enemy of the people.” How deliciously ironic then that CNN gave its “Journalist of the Year” award in 2014 to a scammer who it turns out invented stories.
Journalist Claas Relotius received the award while working for the prestigious German news magazine Der Spiegel, but his former employer has come out warning news outlets about the notorious liar after discovering that he invented at least 14 out of his 60 articles for the outlet since 2011. Later, it emerged that he also faked stories for another German newspaper.
In one of his articles, Relotius fabricated a telephone conversation with the parents of Colin Kaepernick. In several other articles, he made up the interview subject altogether.
So why did CNN give this con artist an award? He bad-mouthed America, and apparently, that is enough for the network to skip fact checking.
Fake News Type 1
To be fair, CNN rarely makes these kinds of mistakes – when it comes to stage-managing the news, they know what they are doing. Fake news can be lumped into two different categories, and the legacy media only acknowledges one of them: factual errors and inaccuracies. Whenever they brand President Trump as a serial liar, they accuse him of this type disseminating false narratives. For instance, when Trump said that he had seen on television that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims were cheering in the streets in Jersey City celebrating the 9/11 attack, the media immediately came out and stated that it was fake news.
Only about 100 people or so were seen celebrating the attack in the New York area that day, so Trump was partially right, but not about the numbers. Most likely, Trump misremembered the event because the media did show thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in the streets – in Palestine.
Fake News Type 2
The second kind of fake news, however, is far more sinister and serious: lying by omission and selective editing. This method consists of reporting things that are factual but strung together in such a way as to grossly misrepresent the truth.
One common example, which is repeated by all leftist media outlets, is the lie that women are discriminated against because they only earn 77 cents on the dollar that men earn. This figure is “true” but conveniently leaves out crucial facts, including that men work more hours than women, and that women typically choose careers that pay less. Men often choose riskier and inconvenient jobs that pay more, but therefore also have more work-related accidents and deaths.
An honest approach is to compare apples to apples.
An honest approach is to compare apples to apples. That is, to compare gender differences in the same type of work, with the same workload, and same experience. When compensating for all such factors, the pay gap all but disappears.
When outlets such as Liberty Nation focus on fake news in the legacy media, it is the second, more insidious kind that is usually pointed out – because it involves purposeful manipulation that is designed to be difficult to detect. Because we value objectivity, we recognize that CNN in the case of Relotius made an honest mistake. They were sloppy and did not fact check the journalist because they assumed that Der Spiegel had vetted him.
That is a kind of objectivity and fair reporting you would rarely find on CNN when it comes to the White House these days.