National media not sole source of information

Frank CagleFrank Talk

When will the national media types learn that they are no longer gatekeepers? If you decide not to write a story, there are people on Facebook and Twitter who will do it for you.

There has been a massive effort to ignore, ridicule and suppress the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop tying him to deals with foreign business to peddle his father’s influence. The media, having failed to deal with the issue in depth, has led to social media being free to speculate what’s on it. Including the ludicrous allegation of the rape and torture of 25,000 Chinese children. That idiocy was launched from a disinformation website to Brietbart to Facebook.

Frank Cagle

In the void of accurate information rampant speculation results.

An MSNBC host said about the existence of the Biden laptop: “Nobody’s buying that.” Well, nobody in your Twitterverse or among your colleagues, but it’s spreading like wildfire outside the beltway.

When Twitter blocked the New York Post story about the laptop the story got legs. The story got a lot more attention than it would have. Joe Biden’s failure to address the story is telling. He is relying on Trump Derangement Syndrome among the media to protect his flank.

The Wall Street Journal quotes a Hunter Biden business partner who confirms much of the information about Chinese deals.

The best thing Biden can do now is to point out that Billy Carter traded on brother Jimmy’s presidency, George W. Bush’s brother Neil was caught up in the savings and loan scandal while their dad was vice-president, Hillary Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham was accused of peddling access to Bill. Bill’s brother Roger was convicted of selling cocaine. It’s not the first time a family member has embarrassed an officeholder. And Billy Beer was horrible.

The pertinent question is whether Joe cooperated with Hunter’s influence peddling. Biden could also list all the ways foreign governments have been spending money at Trump properties and just what his children have been doing for four years.

Thanks to the uneven coverage, denials and the myriad approaches to the story by various news organizations the situation is so muddled it’s hard to tell the truth from fiction.

But, as usual, the national media have given much of the country further reason to distrust “fake news” and it all redounds in Trump’s favor. It’s ironic, given that the motive was to help Biden.

Will Biden’s polling leads begin to fade in the next week? And how many Trump supporters have been sandbagging pollsters? Everything points to a Blue Wave and the GOP losing control of the Senate. But no one is confident about it, given 2016 results. And Trump has been counted out a half dozen times from attacking John McCain’s war record, to the Access Hollywood tape, the stripper/escort, and being impeached.

The laptop issue has fired up Trump’s base, it may have decided the undecideds and it makes you angry that Trump and Biden are the best candidates our political parties can produce.

Kanye West, anyone?

It’s come to this: My Alabama relatives no longer call up at half-time to tease me or exchange banter about the game, because it’s too cruel. It hurts to be the object of a pity party. It’s hard to explain that other SEC schools can hire Dan Mullen, Mike Leach, Jimbo Fisher, Lane Kiffin and Kirby Smart while the best we can do is the language-challenged Jeremy (Who?) Pruitt.

Board game? Standing in line for fast food or waiting to vote, moving from station to station, do you get the feeling you are lost in a Candyland game?

More language evolution: Somebody launched a couple of new words in the news and information universe and now they are everywhere. All the cool kids should fall in line. A derecho (you are supposed to know what that means) sounds more dangerous than a thunderstorm. And a chyron sounds more cool than a caption. I suppose it expands the television caption to include another news story to distract you from the news story you are listening to. How did we ever get along without these words, not to mention that everything from a bread sign to an old sitcom star is now an icon. I am efforting to understand it.

Frank Cagle is a veteran newspaper editor and columnist.


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