In the runup to the recent Presidential election, I was astonished by how blatant, how uncaring the bias of the news media had become. They no longer even bothered to hide it. That's continued since the election. It's as if the journalists and editors concerned have decided that facts and truth are no longer important - only the 'spin' they put upon reality has any meaning.
Two recent articles reinforced this impression. First, late last month, Rolling Stone ran an anti-gun hit piece titled 'All-American Killer: How the AR-15 Became Mass Shooters' Weapon of Choice'. The fact is, however, that the AR-15 is not a weapon of choice in almost all mass shootings. Most involve handguns; some involve other long guns; but seldom is an AR-15 involved. Rolling Stone cites only four recent shootings where it was used. The headline takes isolated incidents and fabricates a narrative around them. In other words, it's a deliberate, eye-catching lie.
Next, last weekend the Guardian ran a so-called exposé of Gab, a new social media platform (of which I'm a member). Its headline: 'Inside the hate-filled echo chamber of racism and conspiracy theories'. I'm on Gab literally every day. I have yet to see more than a couple of isolated posts by members with 'racist' or 'conspiracy theory' attitudes, compared to thousands by others who are as normal as you or I. I'm sure there are more of them, and that they gravitate to each other's home pages on Gab, or friend each other, or follow each other's posts: but if you choose to avoid such nonsense, you don't even notice it. Gab is no better or worse than Twitter or any other social media host platform in that regard. By taking the nastiness of such individuals and seeking to paint the entire platform in such hues, the headline is yet another deliberate lie.
I must confess, I truly don't understand such behavior. In normal life, I seldom run across people who are determined to warp and twist anything into lies and negativity. It's as if these journalists, editors and outlets live with malice aforethought towards everything and everybody. In my training (which has been extensive), I was taught to regard such attitudes and conduct as psychopathic . . . but I'm sure the people involved in such 'journalism' would reject that label indignantly. So what is it? What makes otherwise 'normal' people into willing liars, looking for the worst in everything and everyone and fabricating it when they can't find enough to satisfy them?
I do have an answer from my faith, of course. We call that 'evil'. Perhaps C. S. Lewis had it right in The Screwtape Letters:
We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.
That probably describes the reports above, and those who wrote them, I suspect.