Monday, January 16, 2017
Is the Washington Post becoming yet another 'fake news' leader?
I used to have moderate respect for the Washington Post. It was clearly left-wing in orientation as far as US politics were concerned, but it appeared to work towards at least some semblance of balance; and, where it didn't, one could usually 'read between the lines' of its reportage to get at the root of the matter.
Since the election of Donald Trump, that seems to have changed. Two recent examples in particular have caught my eye. The first was the Post's insistence that a Russian 'operation' had 'hacked' a Vermont power utility. It's since corrected the article, but only after days of prodding by other news sources, demonstrating conclusively that the report was inaccurate. The second, just a couple of days ago, was the alleged 'removal' from office of the commanding officer of Washington D.C.'s National Guard, in the middle of the inauguration festivities. It rapidly emerged that he had not been 'removed' by the incoming Trump administration at all; in fact, the transition team had offered him the chance to stay on for Inauguration Day, but he had himself insisted on leaving at the scheduled hour.
If the Washington Post continues in this vein, it'll rapidly become as untrustworthy - and distrusted - as the Gray Lady herself, the New York Times, which is not only a shadow of its former self as a newspaper, but is almost a parody of its own slogan - "All The News That's Fit To Print". It now appears to print verbatim only the news that fits its political, social, economic and ideological agenda, and slant everything else until it does fit that agenda. If the WaPo goes down that road, it'll end up as a parody of a news site - a little like the editor of Buzzfeed insisting that his outlet's publication of the fake Trump dossier was appropriate, while appearing on CNN, another outlet that publicized the fake dossier. Talk about the pot and the kettle getting together, to call everyone else black . . .
One wonders whether the editors and owner of the Washington Post really want that to happen to their newspaper. If they do, they may find it backfires on them rather spectacularly, not only as far as the Trump administration is concerned, but in terms of the reactions of ordinary Americans.