Yesterday I received an email news headline from The NY Times stating that Israel had bombed a hospital in Gaza killing 500+ innocent people. Other rotten media outlets also ran with the story, which turned out to be patently false as Israel then produced clear evidence that the rocket came from Islamic Jihad in Gaza itself.
But by then the truth didn’t matter as Hamas seized upon the phony story in a propaganda push leading to hostile demonstrations around the world. Even though the truth is clear, there are many people who believe what they want to believe, obvious to factual reality, as well a more sinister parties who deliberately ignore the truth.
The media again is clearly at fault for not bothering to fact check, accepting Hamas propaganda as truth. But far worse is the doubling down and prolongation of the lies. We see this over and over. The stories claiming Donald Trump was a Russian operative were patently false, but they were repeated over and over again as gospel truth because people who virulently oppose him want to believe it to be true, regardless of the facts. To this day, despite conclusive evidence, there are politicians and other people repeating this big lie. On the other side you also have people who continue to believe that the election was stolen without any clear evidence of anything that would have altered the election outcome.
These kinds of things go on now constantly beyond mere credulity to beliefs that if it’s not true it ought to be, given that whomever or whatever is so bad. When stories circulated that people from Asia were being targeting and assaulted many liberals wanted to believe it was the work of white racists, becoming deeply disturbed or in denial when it became clear that most of these activities were propagated by black people. Unfortunately this mentality is more widespread than it has ever been despite supposedly higher education, which is now failing miserably in teaching basic deliberative thought processes, critical analysis, and virtually any rational process so that no one is made to feel “uncomfortable.”
Ordinary people may respond to what they are fed, but what is unforgivable is the extent to which peopled who ought to know better, and who are in positions that enable them to find the actual truth if they bother to look for it, continue to uncritically or deliberately promote and reinforce lies. The extent to which ideological comfort or preferences trump factual reality in American media is appalling. Here we have the NY Times, presuming to be the gold standard of journalism, frequently and unashamedly promoting this kind of nonsense, and when the truth emerges beyond question the corrections or retractions are only to be found deep within paragraphs and pages of the paper. This is true of virtually all major news media; seldom if ever will they tell you that they were wrong or misrepresented the truth. It is clear that today “journalism” doesn’t exist.
It is no wonder that the media is at an all-time low in public respect and approval, because even people who engage in wishful thinking know that there is constant distortion and fabrication. This is going to continue as long as no price is paid for lax standards, minimal effort, and flagrant transgressions.
Under these conditions we can expect more and more stories casting Israel in the worst possible light as this conflict expands. The initial cause of it all will be forgotten and calls for cease-fire and "peace" will grow louder. Intelligent people will know enough to critically examine stories before jumping to conclusions, and discount the words of those who do. For it is just as likely for things not to be what they seem to be initially as they are to be true.