The utter disintegration of journalism in America is a huge, untold story. The case of Rex Tillerson demonstrates this perfectly.
This week, NBC News, using the now very common anonymous sourcing, reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson threatened to resign and called President Trump a “moron.”
Instantly, the anti-Trump press decided the anonymous allegation was true. On CNN, news anchor Kate Bolduan, among others, proclaimed the accuracy of the report even though Tillerson himself denied any resignation threat and refused to even address the moron thing.
Later his spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, did deny that Tillerson used the term.
But apparently Ms. Bolduan and other newspeople know the truth. Although how they would know that is a mystery.
Here’s how bizarre this is. On Fox News, a writer from Politico said that he believes the report because he knows the NBC reporters and that’s that.
Well, that’s very loyal to his pals.
But the NBC reporters did not hear Secretary Tillerson threaten to resign nor did they hear the alleged moron remark. Someone apparently told them. Was any verification supplied by the anonymous person to back up the allegation? If so, it did not show up in the NBC report.
There is little doubt in my mind that someone did tell the NBC reporters the Tillerson story. But that doesn’t make the allegations true. Does the anonymous source have a political agenda? Does the source have a personal beef against Tillerson or Trump?
We don’t know. And many so-called journalists don’t care. If the allegation is sensational, it gets reported — verification and perspective be damned.
So this is where we are as far as “journalism” is concerned: All allegations against politicians or famous people, who have a very high bar if they want to sue, are broadcast or printed. They then become talk-show facts, discussed as if the anonymous accusations are absolutely accurate.
Am I the only one who sees the danger here?
There is no question that most media organizations want to get President Trump out of office. A recent study by the Pew organization says that, during his first three months in office, only 5 percent of press coverage of Mr. Trump was positive.
Genghis Khan got better press.
But, again, this is all by design — get Trump!
Finally, it is certainly true that Rex Tillerson or anyone else working for an unpredictable boss could have become frustrated. That’s human nature. But a blind allegation is not a fact.
The press used to have an obligation to provide facts and fairness.
In America, that is no longer the case. The media is taking all of us for morons.