Klavan On The Culture

MSM News: Reporting with Eyes Wide Shut

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A leftist activist, blogger, and radio host at the University of Wyoming [corrected] has been accused by police of fabricating a rape threat against herself — the imaginary rapist was, of course, an evil conservative. Meg Lanker-Simons apparently posted a message on a Facebook page saying:  “I want to hate f**k Meg Lanker-Simons so hard. That chick that runs her liberal mouth all the time and doesn’t care who knows it…  One night with me and she’s gonna be a good Republican bitch.” (This, of course, is not to be confused with the episode of Bill Maher’s Real Time in which leftist comedian Marc Maron and leftist whatever-the-hell-he-is Dan Savage actually discussed wanting to do such things to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.)

I don’t want to take any cheap shots at Miss Lanker-Simons’ psychology — not in public anyway — but I did note with no little hilarity a Facebook page that was constructed to support her in her brave fight against her make-believe conservative rapist (who’s still on the loose, by the way). The page is apparently headlined: “Meg Lanker-Simons is innocent we believe what she did was justified and deserves not to be held accountable for her accusations we stand behind you sister.”

It’s that “we believe what she did was justified” that gave me the hearty dose of laughter I require to get through my day. What could justify spilling your imagination onto the internet in such a way that others might mistake your bizarre interior world for reality?

Lanker-Simons: You know you want to.

Well, there can only be one answer really: the Narrative. Miss Lanker-Simons is justified because even though her post wasn’t true…  well, isn’t that just what those knuckle-dragging, rape-loving conservatives are like? We remember this logic. It’s not confined to mixed-up college girls. It’s a version of the “fake but accurate” argument that some used to defend Dan Rather’s flogging of forged documents in his attempt to slime President George W. Bush’s National Guard service. It’s the argument Newsweek‘s then assistant managing editor Evan Thomas made after the magazine essentially condemned Duke lacrosse players for a racist rape they did not commit: “The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong.”

In other words, in left-wing media world, if the facts don’t fit what you “know” to be true — i.e. if they don’t confirm your imagination — you have a right to make stuff up that does.

Or keep stuff silent, more to the point. Because most of the narrative-confirming lies told by the networks and the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and other like-minded mokes are lies of omission. The “Fast and Furious” scandal, for instance.  The nation’s chief law enforcement officer perjured himself before Congress and was then protected from investigation by an indefensible presidential invocation of executive privilege — but it was no big deal to the networks. The Benghazi killings barely existed in the New York Times when the news might have had an adverse effect on Barack Obama’s election campaign. And the story is still being downplayed to the point that the president feels he can plausibly tell the public he’s “unaware” of what’s going on.

The mainstream media’s coverage of stories that don’t fit the Narrative is less coverage than coverage-up.

Which brings me finally to the Kermit Gosnell trial.  An abortionist is accused of slaughtering live babies (the jury is deliberating as I write). As with the Newtown massacre, it’s an appalling atrocity that highlights issues on which American opinion is sharply divided. Which is to say, it’s news. There’s simply no way it’s not big, national news. But take a look at the video up top from comedian Steven Crowder. People don’t know about Gosnell because the mainstream media have gone out of their way not to tell them. And no matter what excuse they make, the truth is editors and producers have hidden the story from America’s eyes for fear of its implications.  They’re afraid it might dawn on people that there is essentially no difference between the murders this man is accused of and the “procedures” performed by Planned Parenthood every single hour of every single day.

The whole purpose of journalism — like the purpose of science — is to gather information so that you can adjust what you imagine to be true to what actually is true. This process of adjustment is sometimes called sanity. The mainstream media have apparently lost theirs. They are covering the world with eyes wide shut, and reporting only on the narrative of the left-wing imagination in the hopes that that imagination will somehow come to overshadow the facts of life.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage assembled using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)