Remember that time when the mainstream media lied about former President Donald J. Trump, only to have Trump proven correct afterwards? “Can you be more specific,” you ask? Good point. There are so many to mention, we need to be more precise, so let’s narrow the list down to five, and let’s consider the true impact of their dishonesty. While the media may have been successful in sustaining political damage against Trump, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement – which was their ultimate goal, no doubt – they also caused significant collateral damage, either unwittingly or uncaringly.
1. The Russia Hoax –
For those of us on the political right, it’s easy to forget the magnitude of this farce. We were bombarded with nonsense every day, we agonized over the ridiculousness of it all, and many of us have tried to put this circus behind us. The loser of the 2016 presidential election Hillary Clinton, along with her Democrat apologists, pushed on this narrative from the beginning. Trump was an illegitimate president due to his collusion with Russia leading up to the election, they said, an infraction so malicious he may have actually been guilty of treason and deserving of the death penalty. There have been instances of political malice between parties in our nation’s past, but never one quite like this.
What made this charade so absurd was the media’s complicity in it. This wasn’t just a situation of the media tilting a storyline and inserting opinions into supposed news articles, they actively hyped the story ad nauseum and actively participated in the misinformation. “The walls are closing in on Trump,” they told us. “We have another bombshell regarding President Trump and Russia,” they promised. It was all a lie, as the Mueller Report clearly proved.
For almost three years, our government was virtually gridlocked with its attention focused squarely on a fairytale. So, what if the media had told us the truth from the beginning with Russia?
- As the media was hyping the hoax, the divisiveness it brought along still lingers. We must conclude that the country would be far less divided had they been honest, and the value of that possibility cannot be overstated. Our current national discord is awful, and the media is largely to blame.
- Considering the actual direction the country was headed in back in 2018, there would’ve been a good chance that Republicans would have kept control of Congress, but even if they hadn’t, our Federal Government would have likely been much more productive without this sideshow, and items like President Biden’s recently unveiled Infrastructure Plan could have been moot.
- It’s amazing how productive Trump’s Administration was with efforts such as his foreign policy initiatives despite the distractions of the Russia Hoax, and we can only speculate how much more effective they could have been if they hadn’t had to focus resources on defending Trump with Russia. Instead of only four Israeli treaties, we could have seen double digits, and the situations in North Korea and Iran could have been much better as well.
2. Hydroxychloroquine –
Last year at this time it was verboten to even bring up the name of the drug and doing so was enough to get you booted off Twitter or Facebook. President Trump frequently touted hydroxychloroquine’s efficacy in battling COVID, and it was that advocacy which sent the media into conniptions on the subject. If Trump supports the drug, it must be bad. Last week, over a year after most Americans became familiar with the medication, a new study out of New Jersey, the hardest hit state by COVID, shows that if used in conjunction with a regimen of zinc, hydroxychloroquine can give COVID patients upwards of a 200% better survival rate against COVID. Hydroxychloroquine is indeed a miracle drug.
With modern news cycles, our attention spans are merely fractions of what they once were, but we must remember the context with which the attacks on Trump and hydroxychloroquine were being made. The media was whipping up everyone into a full-blown panic with COVID. “It’s highly infectious to the point you can’t go to church or walk around the park. If you get it bad enough to be sent to the hospital, you’re probably going to die. And there’s no cure; we’re doomed.” Meanwhile Trump was right all along, and this treatment was available the whole time.
So, what if the media had told us the truth from the beginning with hydroxychloroquine?
- Patients who died having refused the drug because of the media’s lies need not have perished. How many thousands of patients died because of the media’s deceit? We’ll never know.
- Doctors who refrained from administering the drug based on the treachery of so-called experts and the menaces in the media had patients die for no reason other than politics. Again, how many thousands of Americans died because of their fraudulence? We’ll never know.
- For many patients who survived severe cases of COVID, they will carry the long-term effects of the virus around with them for the rest of their lives. Severe, long-lasting damage to both the lungs and hearts of severe COVID patients is common, and it’s likely many of those folks must now endure shortened life expectancies as a result. There were undoubtedly scores of them, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, who could have been treated with hydroxychloroquine but weren’t. If the media had told the truth, many of those patients would now be living normal lives.
3. St. John’s Church and Lafayette Square –
In addition to hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness, we also became aware last week via a report from the Interior Department’s Inspector General that the actions by Park Police near Lafayette Square and St. John’s Church in Washington D.C. last June were not due to directives by President Trump in order to provide him with a “photo op,” as the media originally asserted. We were told that peaceful protesters were gathered near the recently burned church and the cops came and shot rubber bullets and tear gas at them just so Trump could have his picture taken in front of the church holding a bible.
Again, the left and their media engaged in a blatant lie, and this incident was used by the media to paint Trump as an authoritarian who used force to shut down political opponents. He’s a fascist who dispatched his goons on innocent protesters, they said, when in reality the clearing of the square had been planned two days before the church was set aflame, and the White House had nothing to do with that decision.
So, what if the media had told us the truth from the beginning with St. John’s Church?
- It is the totality of all the media’s lies that is politically problematic, and such is the case with this incident. It was the repeated attacks on Trump as being unhinged and fascistic. As Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts on its shoes.” Millions of Americans undoubtedly continue to believe this invention because they were too ignorant to question its validity, and that ignorance continues. If the media had been honest, this absurdity would have gone nowhere.
- There were a lot of factors that impacted the election, and we don’t need to discuss election fraud here, but there were unquestionably voters who were affected by this untruth, and it’s certainly possible that this lie could have been a difference maker.
- The St. John’s Church story wasn’t limited to American consumption. This fabrication was reported around the world, and we can bet that Europeans, Australians, Asians, and everyone else who read it came away with a sickening feeling about our great country. And we can also bet most of them are unaware of last week’s report from the Inspector General. Our country’s reputation was once again damaged by a media that cares more about their political agenda than they do about accuracy.
4. Hunter Biden –
Everyone knew Hunter Biden was a cad, and we also had a pretty good idea that he was on-the-take with foreign actors, particularly in Ukraine. President Trump knew it as well, made no secret of his thoughts, and got impeached for an unprecedented second time for his efforts. The media, meanwhile, pooh-poohed the whole story for as long as the could, which just happened to be until after the election in early-December when the validity of the story became clear.
During an appearance on 60 Minutes with Leslie Stahl in late-October, President Trump pointed to the younger Biden and correctly observed that Joe Biden was embroiled in a scandal over his son Hunter, but Stahl was defiant, insisting “He’s not. He’s not.” Oh Leslie, he is. He is.
So, what if the media had told us the truth from the beginning with the Hunter Biden Scandal?
- This scandal was obvious going back to the Democratic primaries. If the media had reported accurately on it from the beginning, and Biden had been held to account for his possible illegal associations with his son’s business partners, there’s a good chance Biden never would have been nominated and another Democrat would have ran against Trump.
- As with the other gaslighting the media has participated in, the cumulative effect of the lies on the electorate can’t be overstated, and the credibility for those telling the truth, most of whom work at conservative media outlets, would likely enjoy more trust from many Americans who turned them off as a result.
- Hunter Biden’s shenanigans weren’t just potentially criminal, they quite possibly could have jeopardized national security. The investigations into whatever it is he did are no doubt continuing, but if the media had done their jobs, we would likely already be aware of the whole story.
5. Wuhan Lab was the origin of COVID –
The media is now trying to act surprised and put forth the façade that their misreporting on COVID’s origins was just an honest mistake. It wasn’t. The likelihood that COVID originated in China’s Wuhan Laboratory of Virology was clear from the beginning, but again, since Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were beating this drum, they had to take the opposite position. But now that Biden has been elected and his administration is well under way, it is becoming increasing clear that COVID did indeed originate at the Wuhan lab, and was almost definitely manmade. And once again, it is obvious that the media lied to us.
So, what if the media had told us the truth from the beginning with the origins of COVID?
- Of all the items on this list, this may be the most egregious. China is an imposing threat to America: militarily, economically, and diplomatically. China absolutely must be held accountable, and if they are not, the more likely we will have a similar pandemic in the future. If the media had been forthright, steps could have already been taken to ensure it never happens again.
- If the media had been honest about the beginnings of COVID, Presidents Trump and/or Biden could have already been drumming up support for sanctions against China, and the wheels could have been in motion for the global community to hold China’s feet to the fire.
- If the media had shown actual journalistic curiosity with this story, from the beginning of its origins, it’s quite possible the trajectory of the virus’ spread could have been much different. If, for instance, the media had called out the World Health Organization’s malpractice and unholy allegiance to China, more stringent steps could have been taken worldwide to limit travel from China in January and February 2020.
The damage caused by the media’s fraudulence is far reaching and undeniable. But perhaps the most significant harm they have caused has been to their own credibility. The press has long been referred to as ‘The Fourth Branch of Government,’ and for good reason. A thriving democracy must have a vibrant and trustworthy press. While the Judicial, Legislative, and Executive branches strive to hold each other accountable, the media should be there to shed light on those checks and balances by informing the citizenry. We need a believable and reliable press, but we don’t have one. And unless we get one soon, problems such as those we’ve examined will not only persist, they’ll worsen.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Human Events, the Western Journal, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.