It’s clear to most objective observers, including 90%+ of Republicans and even 35% of Democrats that the Legacy News Media publishes politically slanted opinions rather than “just the facts ma’am” beat reporting. Sure, they do sprinkle a few facts in their stories, like a lone cherry on a cherry cheese cake. But their cheese cake isn’t nearly so wholesome. It’s a bitter, triumphalist harangue inventing enmities between classes, races, sexes, home owners and renters, the employed and unemployed, and political parties. By law and by the Constitution the US was founded as a nation with no classes or class divisions. Everyone had the rights of an English noble to free speech, self defense aka the right to bear arms, liberty aka freedom of movement, and all the other rights that existed.
It’s in the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, specifically the ban on titles of Nobility that give one class of people superior legal rights and privileges over another class.
But that’s a tangent. We can discuss the inherent nobility of virtuous humans and the American vision some other time. Today we are here to discover how to pan for golden facts in the river of ideologically toxic discharge that is the legacy, narrative news media.
We need a filter. Here are ten easy steps to pick out the golden nuggets of truth from the baloney & sophism (BS) the media publishes every day.
- Begin by assuming the narrative is false propaganda but there might be some facts scattered about to give it the ring of authenticity.
- Keep “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, and “how”. Those are the facts. “Why” isn’t a fact. More on this in the next entry.
- Filter out any imputed motive that would require mind-reading to know (“why” someone did something is not ever a fact).
- Filter out any moral judgment from a click-seeking journalist (they’re only trying to get views by appealing to a morality they do not share).
- Filter out any quote you cannot verify (preferably with supporting video).
- Filter out any prediction of the future. There are no prophets in the news media.
- Filter out any historical narrative. Everyone knows how hard it is for a liar to keep their truths and lies straight. When people lie habitually they usually can’t remember the truth about past events. And if they do remember they’re likely to gaslight instead of admitting a fact against their narrative-pushing interests.
- Filter out logical arguments since any logical argument based on false premises and logical fallacies produces a false result.
- Filter out obvious logical fallacies such as ad hominem, claims of urgency, bandwagoning, and appeals to authority.
- Filter out anonymous allegations, because anonymous allegations are the definition of rumor.
Now you have the golden fact nuggets that remain. If this seems like a lot of work, that’s why most smart people have stopped reading the newspaper and watching “news” broadcasts to find out what’s happening. There’s a new citizen journalism, desperately being suppressed by the social media giants and the legacy media, that is doing the dirty work of describing reality as it is.