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Monday, August 17, 2020

Let's Talk About the Biased Media Smear Tactic: "Without Evidence"

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - And when they do present evidence, where's the credit?

You may have seen this headline/sentence format on news sites, assuming you're doing the right thing and are educated on what's going on in the world before heading over to KoopaTV:
“[Politician], without evidence, [makes claim presented as scandalous by outlet]”

And, let's be frank, unless you're on a politically right-wing site trying to parody the mainstream media (and you bet I've done that at least once on KoopaTV when I wrote, “The idiot moderators tried to start a gender war between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren by claiming, without evidence, that Bernie Sanders told Elizabeth Warren that a woman can't win the presidency.” [emphasis added]), the politician in brackets is a member of your country's right-of-centre party. In the United States, that's the Republican Party. The purpose of saying someone says something “without evidence” is that you want to discredit them. It's a form of media bias, especially when not applied consistently.

I don't have any evidence indicating which outlet started this “without evidence” media trend started or the date it began, but I tend to associate it with the international news outlet Reuters. (KoopaTV does not recommend using Reuters as a source of information.) I have a list of Reuters article examples later in this article and why the phrase is absurd, but let's first get this video embed out of the way of the best example of a politician actually providing evidence and how spectacular that went (warning, video was edited—not by me, mind you—to make it an Ace Attorney reference):


(Quick reminder that “Turnabout Trump” is the name of the first case in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, even though Nintendo will censor you for uttering that.)

The story was that, in 2016, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had allegedly engaged in battery (the unlawful physical violence kind) with reporter Michelle Fields, with her claiming that he had pushed her to the ground. Then she found out that the incident was caught on a security camera, and she changed her story. FAKE NEWS CNN anchor Anderson Cooper claimed that she didn't change her story during a town hall interview with then-candidate Donald Trump. Donald Trump then pulled out a statement—of direct quotes from Michelle Fields—out of his coat demonstrating that she had changed her story, and actually humiliated Anderson Cooper by making the fake news anchor read it out loud to the audience. In the end, Trump turned a media GOTCHA! moment and totally reversed it. It was quite high-energy.

That was a great moment for him. But in order for a moment like that to occur, he had to be ready and have a very good idea in advance that this question would come up, in that specific manner. There are usually tons of possible issues that can come up at any given time. Unfortunately, you only have so much space in your coat pocket to hold documents. (Though Phoenix Wright manages to fit quite a bit in the Court Record.) I suppose when walking around with tablet computers and bringing them out during interviews is a normalised practice (and I bet this will be a thing with the Millennial generation) this'll be different, but people still think you should wear a watch because it's inappropriate to take out your cellphone or handheld game system to check on the time in certain settings.

The point is that being able to present documents on-demand, mid-speech (or in a space-constrained tweet), is a rare and unusual occurrence. If it happened all of the time, no one would've bothered to make the above video.

So here are all of the examples of Reuters, according to a search on their site, saying that Donald Trump has made a statement “without evidence”, compared with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and since I brought them up earlier, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Keep in mind that all politicians lie to one extent or another, and keep in mind that I'm not opining that any of these are true statements:
Trump, without evidence
“Trump, without evidence, has blamed his sagging poll numbers on a rigged election, and said the media had fixed the opinion polls in order to inflate Clinton’s numbers.”
“Trump, without evidence, says illegal voting cost him U.S. popular vote”
“Trump, without evidence, cites Ukraine ties to ex-rival Clinton”
“Trump, without evidence, blames China for hacking Clinton emails”
“Trump, without evidence, says NBC altered 2017 interview on Russia”
“Trump, without evidence, accuses social media firms of election meddling-report”
“Trump, without evidence, says Arizona 'bracing' for surge of immigrants”
“Trump, without evidence, blasts social media companies over his followers”
“Trump, without evidence, accuses Google of 'very illegal' action amid election”
“President Donald Trump, without evidence, has attacked as corrupt Hunter Biden’s role as a board director for a Ukrainian gas company while his father was the U.S. vice president.”
“Trump, without evidence, repeated his claims of mail-in voter fraud and wrote on Twitter: "delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"”
Clinton, without evidence
No search results
Biden, without evidence
No search results
Sanders, without evidence
No search results
Warren, without evidence
No search results
I should note that Hillary Clinton should absolutely have one of these “without evidence” claims associated with her. Reuters covered Hillary Clinton referring to Democrat presidential candidate and Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard as being groomed by the Russians, just like KoopaTV did. KoopaTV noted that Hillary Clinton offered no evidence. Reuters omitted that, just like they do with apparently every Democrat. Remember, just like the Republicans they cover, the Democrats are not providing “evidence” mid-statement, since that kind of ruins your flow.

But as President, Donald John Trump has been trying to offer up some evidence lately during two high-profile interviews with journalists Chris Wallace and Jonathan Swan, about how the United States is dealing with the Chinese Communist Party Virus (coronavirus or COVID-19, which I really think should've mutated to COVID-20 by now). They... did not go well. He got universally mocked for his low-energy, rambling utterances. Even I find this sad:





That second one went so poorly there is now a Confused Reporter Jonathan Swan meme. And I don't blame Jonathan Swan, because what we saw of those charts, uh, doesn't seem very factual, or at least not all of the facts.

Donald Trump bar chart coronavirus COVID-19 Axios HBO Jonathan Swan interview United States cases mortality
I don't know what this chart is actually for, since President Donald John Trump didn't clearly articulate its purpose,
but I'm quite sure that anything relating to the Chinese Communist Party Virus comparing the United States to the rest of the world will need more than four bars on it.
Who the hell made this chart, anyway?

To be very clear, KoopaTV prefers statements to have some kind of evidence attached to them. We're not excusing President Donald John Trump's poor relationship with facts and the truth, especially since, as president, he has apparently ceased his ability to back up his points compared to his 2016 presidential campaign. (Maybe his White House staff is just worse than his campaign staff?) But that also doesn't excuse the mainstream media being very one-sided on demanding evidence for statements and selectively discrediting the politicians they dislike.


KoopaTV believes that even “friendly media” should ask follow-up questions and ask for justifications, logic, and/or evidence in their interviews, not just “opposition media.” No matter where a politician goes, there should be a culture of telling the truth and not lazily making bizarre claims. Let Ludwig in the comments section know if you're seeing this sort of media bias in your own experience, or you should remember this article if you encounter this kind of bias later on.

7 comments :

  1. objection! hold it! take that! huh! h!Uh! huh! huh! hehe hehehhehehe objectioN!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were doing pretty well until the weird huhs.

      Delete
    2. no its marvel 3 phoenix quotes haha take that! im a bigger fan than u!

      Delete
    3. Well, would you look at that! I guess you can beat the devil!

      Delete
    4. The one who actually commited the crime.. is you! No alibi no justice no dream no hope! It's time to pay for your crime! Take that!

      Delete
    5. Connection has been lost. Returning to the Online Menu.

      Delete

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