The Bleating Heart of the Mainstream Media


The Washington Post is being tossed into the dustbin of history. Here’s why.

When I was checking the news this morning, I happened across an article in The Washington Post by Joshua Partlow entitled “Guatemala and Honduras sided with Trump on Jerusalem. Here’s why.”

Before proceeding any further about this piece of “journalism”, I must emphasize that this is not about the content of the article. There will be no discussion of the UN vote, nor any argument about the pros and cons of President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This is about the process of ostensible news reporting in The Washington Post and other esteemed outlets of the dying legacy media. How the news is selected, concocted, shaded, and spun to guide the public to opinions and conclusions that are considered correct by Those Who Know Better.

This is the first paragraph of Mr. Partlow’s article:

MEXICO CITY — Amid the roar of condemnation over the Trump administration’s stance on Jerusalem, there were bleats of support from far-flung corners of the world. [emphasis added]

This is a news story, mind you, not an op-ed. “News analysis” is probably the full description, but it’s not an opinion article. It’s supposed to contain facts, plus logical conclusions drawn directly from those facts. If this were actual journalism, the reporter’s feelings about the facts and conclusions would not be allowed to intrude into the flow of his prose. There would be no tendentious, loaded words inserted into the text to signal to the lumpenreader how he is supposed to feel about the opposing political positions described in the story.

Now let’s suppose The Washington Post were not published by an exquisitely Progressive outfit. Let’s imagine that it held the opposite opinions. And I don’t mean those held by The Washington Times, nor any other publication cranked out by what Matt Bracken calls “Conservative Inc.”, but truly dissenting opinions. Here’s an alternate version of that first paragraph using tendentious words weighted in the opposite direction:

MEXICO CITY — Amid the screeches of condemnation over the Trump administration’s stance on Jerusalem, there were resonant declarations of support from far-flung corners of the world.

This would give Joe Prole an entirely different message about which position he should be supporting.

And, as a refreshing change, here is the paragraph as it should be written, without any weighted vocabulary designed to push the reader in one direction or another. Just the facts, ma’am:

MEXICO CITY — Amid the chorus of condemnation over the Trump administration’s stance on Jerusalem, there were voices of support from far-flung corners of the world.

“Voices” and “chorus” are equally neutral. The word “chorus” simply implies that there are more opponents than the few supporters implied by “voices”. Which are exactly the facts of the situation described.

When I write a polemic, it’s clearly marked as such. There’s no sly pretense that I don’t have a strong opinion. My editorial prose is packed with tendentious, loaded words, filled with invective, a confection of passionately held beliefs, often accompanied by the Ranting Man just to make sure everyone gets the idea.

But when I write a simple news account — such as those that we occasionally produce when we live-blog an event — I strive to make my descriptions as factual as possible and eschew any opinions. I assume our readers are intelligent and perspicacious enough to be able to assess the facts and draw their own conclusions.

In a properly-managed newspaper, if a news reporter were to slip and let his opinions color his description of events, he would have a copy editor who is supposed to catch such gaffes and remove or replace them. Above the copy editor would be managing editors and all the other layers of redaction put in place to provide quality control over what eventually goes to press.

The fact that The Washington Post could let such a jejune lead paragraph appear in one of its “news” articles is yet another indication of why the paper is so rapidly circling the cultural drain, en route to the Great Sump.

17 thoughts on “The Bleating Heart of the Mainstream Media

  1. Yes, yes, yes … we are being manipulated: every day, hour, even minute. The chorus of biased pieces of news never stops; the brainwash is now almost ubiquitous; the slant is the new norm; the balance of journalism is jettisoned in the name of politkorekt lie.

    That’s why our president’s tweets may be considered “unadulterated voice” – like them or not, they are AUTHENTIC.

    I am hearing that Panama is next … one after another, small and big, coming. That’s called “following the lead”; that’s called leadership. Trump’s leadership.

    • You went straight from process to content without passing “GO” and collecting your $200.00 …

      It’s very difficult to examine the first without being distracted by the latter and following that path instead. I know, because I did just that in answering commenter indyjonesouthere.

    • British TV is a full-on propaganda outfit – programmes and adverts are more concerned with the subliminal message than they are with their stated function.

      • There’s nothing subliminal about BBC “programming” these days.
        I grew up with British tv, it was quite an eclectic mix or the serious, the quirky, the hilarious. The culture that produced those shows is almost gone, much of it has been americanized/hollywoodized? and political correctness, once anathema to British humour, now reigns supreme.

  2. I believe it was several years ago that a socialist/communist president was running once again for the leadership of Guatemala. The countries constitution forbid his running and this all blew up with Clintons threatening to use force to install him as el presidente. Somehow, saner minds came to the rescue and the socialist was ejected as a candidate. I have to think that finally there are enough people in central America that are beginning to understand constitutional law even as a growing number of Marxist ruffians have no clue about the constitution in this country. Perhaps this is why both Israelis and Guatemalans share the idea that domestic law passed by the voters is preferable to the doctrines of the elite.

  3. SInce WaPo is owned by multi-billionaire Bezos, it can circle the cultural drain for a long, long time. While he provides services to the CIA.

    Not quite an oligarchy yet, but fast approaching…

    • Actually, the WaPo, the Times, and all the other ideological brothers-in-arms do provide a valuable product to the consumer.

      I occasionally will fish one from the trash and use the quality editing and opinion presented as fact contained within as premium foundation material for budgie cages.


          I’m only giving the fortune spent on expensive educations at the most prestigious universities the respect they deserves!

      • Once the truth is realised these organs of information (sic) serve only to reinforce that truth.

  4. Quite right. It’s terribly annoying to try to get the news without having to contend with hysterical or derisive or exaggerated descriptions. At least it’s always easy to spot if a writer or presenter has a personal agenda. And rather than allowing myself to get aggravated at yet another fool, I just move on. Quickly. I just want the facts, plain and simple. Facts don’t have to be explained or accessorized with descriptions.

  5. Let wapo and the NYT and so on dry up and blow away.

    I still can’t believe that a sovereign country is not allowed to determine where its own capital is. Either Israel is a legitimate country that can decide its capital is Jerusalem, or it’s not a legitimate country and requires restrictions on what it can do in that territory.
    The UN needs to get its collective finger out and make a real decision. Frankly it’s absurd that such a thing should even be voted on.

    • “I still can’t believe that a sovereign country is not allowed to determine where its own capital is.”

      Unfortunately, almost every country in the world, including the US, seems to feel that Israel is a special case, the responsibility of outside countries and NGOs. Part of this stems from the oceans of money sloshing around funding endless generations of refugees and rewarding those who toe the party line with tenures, grants, and outright bribes.

      Unfortunately, the US is included in this. There is no reason in the world why the US should be contributing huge sums of foreign aid to Israel. We should also do a far better job of vetting foreign policy advisers, as opposed to advocates. An adviser whose loyalty is to Israel rather than the US has not business whatsoever in the circles of the US government.

      Once the US disengages from the deeply co-dependent relationship with Israel, we’ll see that yes, it’s in the interests of the US to have its embassy in Jerusalem, thumb its nose at the hysterical course of surrender monkeys, and continue to veto one-sided, OIC-sponsored resolutions against Israel.

  6. The Washington Post has been doing these kind of articles on page A1 for decades. It ain’t new, folks! All that is new is the arrival of the internet which has allowed this lapse of journalist ethics to become more broadly known.

  7. There’s this new wrinkle from NYT and WP. In their articles based on anonymous sources they can steer clear of loaded affect-laden terms b/c the content itself has already been tailored to the desired outcome. Eventually news and outright fabrication will be indistinguishable. Some philosopher said it’s not possible to parse a cell of content in such a way that the meaning is guaranteed to be understood. Communication assumes a level of trust between sender and receiver. Perhaps such trust fails occasionally, and is painfully renewed, or more likely such failure accompanies cultural decline.

    Surprisingly this is yet another thing Trump is reversing. The suddenly vulnerable power of ‘fake speech’ is wonderful to behold. How has one man been able to accomplish so much on so many levels?

    A leader like Trump was desperately needed. And lo, there he was.

    • Some philosopher said it’s not possible to parse a cell of content in such a way that the meaning is guaranteed to be understood.

      Peter Drucker’s aphorism is germane here. He said, “communication is always the act of the recipient”. If you’ve ever dealt with a tyrannical person then you know how words can be twisted.

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