All Standards of Journalistic Integrity have been Abandoned by “Activist Journalism,” Intentionally Pushing an Agenda by Framing Tactics, with Mainstream Narratives Forged Through a Biased and Anti-Trump Lens.
Let’s get one thing straight: the media is biased. This has always, in many ways, been the case; but in the Trump era, we have entered new territory. Not only is there bias, but it is exceedingly lopsided. This isn’t conjecture, and there have been numerous studies demonstrating a significant left-of-center, and more importantly, Anti-Trump bias. It is certainly true that the same issues affect the right, and “fake-news,” plagues both sides — whose audiences unconsciously seek out confirmation bias — the vast majority of sources not only lean left, but the most authoritative and “trusted,” sources, who present themselves as neutral, are biased. Accusing Fox News of a conservative-bent is fair; but they’re open about it. Tucker Carlson would never deny the biases in his political commentary. But we don’t see this from, say, CNN, and someone like Don Lemon, who are at least equally, if not significantly more biased. What we now have are journalists no longer pursuing the truth, but behaving as bad-faith actors as megaphones amplifying left-wing activism. It is all through a “Trump bad,” lens; these sources actively seek to take the opposing stance to anything Trump says or does. I’ve yet to see a single positive comment. Trump hasn’t started a war — is it so hard to acknowledge that as a good thing? Whereas, the more neutral or right-of-center, and even biggest Trump supporters, will at least criticize him when necessary.
And one of those moments deserving criticism? TRUMP TOLD EVERYONE TO INJECT BLEACH!!!
Except he didn’t. Now let’s be clear, his comments that led to these accusations are more than worthy of criticism. But the media failed to critique his comments, or analyze his intent, in good-faith. They made their motives clear: Trump isn’t just an idiot, but he’s dangerous, killing people, even. But to anyone who’s remained fairly neutral, maintained their capacity to think critically, continued doing extensive research, and… you know… actually listened to his full comment at the press conference, the truth is far more nuanced, far more fair on President Trump, and yet, still able to criticize him. What the media did here was nothing short of a coordinated misinformation campaign to further push their narrative of Trump as a bumbling, moronic, ignorant, and dangerous buffoon. A proper analysis of these comments would have meant journalists actually behaving as journalists — something they are more and more incapable of — so I’m here to do it for you.
Trump’s comments weren’t the brightest. Later commenting they were “sarcastic,” didn’t help his cause. But he didn’t say what the media told you he said (and in fact, misconstruing it that way was far more dangerous than Trump’s remarks. Clarifying them with the proper analysis would have followed journalistic standards and benefitted public health and safety… but they wouldn’t have made a monster of Trump; and that is my point: they are not journalists anymore, and have an agenda: Tell the public every day what an evil, moronic monster he is.
So what did Trump actually say?
“So I asked Bill a question some of you are thinking of if you’re into that world, which I find to be pretty interesting. So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether its ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said, that hasn’t been checked but you’re gonna test it. And then I said, supposing it brought the light inside the body, which you can either do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you’re gonna test that too, sounds interesting. And I then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way you can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that. So you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me, so we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it goes in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.”
This took an active effort, no doubt. Nobody walked away with the same thoughts echoed in the mainstream media, until the mainstream media told them to. That doesn’t excuse the fact that these weren’t the brightest comments, but let’s consider a number of things:
First, Trump ad-libs, he riffs, he casually converses (in these press meetings) with the medical experts he knows and is aware are smarter and more informed than he is on these specific matters — that’s why he placed them on the Task Force, and asked them questions. There is no teleprompter, no pre-written speech, and thus, an unfiltered Trump sometimes says some not-so-smart things. But he never once said to inject bleach — in fact, he never said to do anything. He simply asked about some possible treatments; and dumb as they may initially seem, they aren’t absurd, nor were they never mentioned.
In fact, it is likely precisely because he had already read or heard about a few specific, and real, treatments being researched that he brought them up, even if he misinterpreted or misrepresented then. The same thing happened with Hydroxychloroquine: this wasn’t Trump’s idea, nor one he took credit for — he read about it as a possible treatment (perhaps even in an earlier peer-reviewed research article written by non other than Dr. Fauci that presented it as a viable treatment to coronaviruses), and then went on to talk about it. The rabid media than attributed it to Trump, and did everything in their power to demonstrate just how stupid he really is, even discrediting a safe and effective legacy drug as “deadly,” and “dangerous,” (which was irresponsible and dangerous itself). Good journalism would have shown otherwise: Trump actually keeps very up-to-date, looks into all possible avenues, and — knowing he isn’t a medical expert — then asks the team of experts that he assembled about what he had read.
So where did these ideas come from? So, Trump made these comments on April 24. On April 21, Aytu BioScience issued a press-release into the “Healight,” technology they were working on — a UV light therapy. It is more likely than not that Trump had read about this. It was on his mind a few days later when he brought it up at a press conference. As for injecting bleach? Well, he never said that. He mentioned disinfectant (of which there are far many more than just bleach, which apparently nobody knew) and then asked if there was a way to inject it or get it into the body. Somewhat a crazy proposition, sure… but far from something he pulled out of thin-air. While not proven, there have been clinical trials carried out by the Asociacion Ecuatoriana de Medicos Expertos en Medicina Integrativa that showed efficacy in intravenous chlorine dioxide (a disinfectant) in treating Covid-19.
So while these comments certainly weren’t brilliant, and defending them as “sarcasm,” was probably the worst tactic Trump could have employed, they were all simple musings — a conversation with questions — between Trump and the experts he surrounded himself with, something Dr. Birx defended him on. And further, they were actually all grounded in real treatments, research, and clinical trials currently being conducted.
But the media did the same thing they always do: rabidly attack Trump showing just how obviously stupid he is. “Can you believe he told people to inject bleach? Or that sunlight will cure this? He’s KILLING people.” But it turns out his comments were all grounded in reality, representing more than anything that Trump has been staying current and up-to-date, even if he doesn’t, understandably, quite understand the science or medical aspects behind it. So while his comments were certainly less intelligent than a medical expert’s who spent a decade in school learning about these matters, they weren’t reflective of what the media told you they were.
And what followed only further showed the coordinated efforts to paint Trump in such a manner. Just following these comments, as Twitter and the MSM went berserk, Lysol issued statements of warning (that likely, along with the “bleach,” narrative, combined to create a far more dangerous situation than the questions Trump asked in the first place. Had the media covered this ethically, the population would have understood the proper context, even if they still recognized the comments as a bit out-there).
While the outrage continued, Twitter and Youtube BANNED a video-post from AYTU BioScience, a publicly-traded Colorado-based pharmaceutical company, after it promoted ultraviolet (UV) light developed in conjunction with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as a potential treatment for the Chinese virus. They eventually reversed the censorship, but the fact is, it’s pretty clear why this happened. The truth couldn’t be known. We NEEDED to believe Trump was a moron, and there was simply no possible way anything that the president was talking about could in any way be grounded in actual reality, with legitimate companies and scientists working on the kind of treatments Trump was alluding to.
And it continued on. NPR and other outlets then went on to say how Poison Control Sees Uptick In Calls After Trump’s Disinfectant Comments which wasn’t the truth at all. The fact was, yes, there was an uptick in poison-control calls, and it started long before Trump’s comments. Its explanation was obvious: people were panicked about a virus, and were using chemicals like Lysol and bleach at insane levels, far more than normal. Inevitably, people accidentally inhaled or ingested (to some degree) toxic levels of these chemicals, but in no way correlated to anything to do with Trump’s remarks.
As a singular event, this might not mean much to so many; but when you follow along daily on policy, politics, media coverage, and the negative framing typically used, it becomes so clear what is happening. Seeking the truth, presenting the facts, and letting the public decide — the job of the journalist — is no longer their aim. They are partisan activists hell-bent on framing anything and everything President Trump says or does as being moronic, racist, bigoted, dangerous, evil, or any other typical leftist trope we’re pummeled with every day.
The lesson that should be taken from this — whether you hate or love Trump — is to stop trusting the rage-bait headlines. Find other sources with different perspectives, and actively seek out if what you’re being told could be wrong. If you hold a position — whether left or right biased — always intentionally play devil’s advocate, and do everything in your power to disprove whatever narrative you initially believed, and see what side stands up. As a former anti-Trumper, employing this method on every attack on Trump is what woke me up, and helped me realize that Trump isn’t nearly the…. whatever flavor-of-the-week negative stereotype attack the media tells us he is. This is one of many examples that demonstrate that, and I’ll provide more in the future [feel free to suggest any examples]. Wherever you stand, these occurrences have shown, at the very least, that Trump has been unquestionably right about the media.