I understand the concept of grifting, and as much as I wish it weren't the case, I recognize that there are plenty on the right who are just as versed in its lucrative art as all the Al Sharptons, and Lincoln Project boys on the left. That's why, with as eyeroll-inducing as it was for me to read the Daily Wire's Candace Owens' contrarian view of the war in Ukraine, I wasn't overly surprised.
As others have noted, "blame America first" wasn't anything I ever wanted to see become a go-to move for conservative mouthpieces, but it's the nature of the business Owens is in. She has mastered this art of passionately expressing views that persuade and motivate her legion of fans, despite those views being utterly detached from grounded logic or sound reason. Remember, this is the woman who once claimed she'd rather be dead than vaccinated. It doesn't even make sense.
But with as frustrating as so many of us on the left and right get with her and the bipartisan array of adversarial voices like hers across the political spectrum, we would all do well to acknowledge this brand of contrarianism didn't develop in a vacuum. If you get mad about the influence that misinformed tweets and deceitful posts have, blame resides in one place.
Our mainstream media's flagrant dishonesty and self-evident ideological bent has created an environment where large numbers of people just assume that whatever they hear from established news sources is fake or distorted. Why do people choose to get their information from figures who will invariably espouse whatever the unconventional perspective is at the moment? Because the establishment line habitually turns out to be narrative-driven rather than fact-based.
- Trump colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary.
- COVID-19 emerged naturally from a Chinese wet market.
- Border agents are abusing migrants with whips.
- Vaccines prevent transmission.
- Inflation is caused by Putin.
And now the latest example, the New York Post's bombshell report about Hunter Biden's laptop in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
While it's unquestionably true that former President Donald Trump routinely throws slop against a wall just to see what will stick, there's no longer any question that everything he said in this interview with a combative Lesley Stahl was true.
Stahl was little more than a political operative for the Biden campaign in that interview, taking an aggressive position to argue with an opposing candidate as though she were the Biden press secretary. As it turns out, Trump was right. Stahl and her entire CBS team would have been better serving the American people to investigate his claims rather than denigrate and dismiss them.
Not that they were alone.
Taxpayer-financed NPR blacklisted the story, with their public editor calling what ended up being a true story a "pure distraction."
Twitter banned any discussion of it:
Facebook "reduced its distribution" on their platform:
And now the same New York Times that used both its editorial and its objective news pages to portray the original story written by Emma-Jo Morris as a fantastic fabrication of the MAGA-right, is backpedaling and claiming they have "confirmed" it all.
So, returning to a theme I've been harping on for the last several months – I'm as eager as anyone to retire the misinformation and consign conspiracy theories to the fringes of society where they belong. But that will never happen until the mainstream media and our major purveyors of information revamp their mode of doing business.
P.S. Now check out our latest video: "Highlights from Biden's speech last night" 👇