Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Liberal fake news doesn't excuse conservative fake news

News and media (Sollok29/Wikimedia)
Two of the big concerns of many conservatives about Donald Trump were that he would drag the party to the left on policy issues and that he would drag it into the gutter with his behavior. Trump’s proposals for an economic stimulus and more government spending have arguably moved the party toward the position of Keynesian liberalism. The response of many in the party to attacks on fake news sites fulfill the prediction about the corruption of Republican morality.

Articles on conservative sites have popped up all over the internet citing examples of fake news from mainstream media organizations. The examples are numerous and most of them are true. From Brian Williams who was fired for exaggerating his Iraq War reporting at NBC to Dan Rather who was fired for airing a “fake but accurate” report about George W. Bush’s national guard service to Hillary Clinton’s claim that she came under sniper fire in Yugoslavia to reports that Michael Brown was killed while his hands were up, bad reporting has been a frequent problem for even large news organizations.

The problem is that many conservatives seem to take the attitude that since liberal reporters don’t care about truth and accuracy, why should we? This is a bad response that does nothing to curb the publishing of fake news on either the right or left. Instead, it merely cheers on conservative bloggers in a race to the bottom where neither side can be trusted.

A better attitude would to follow your mother’s advice instead of following the mainstream media’s bad example. Who hasn’t been asked by their parents, in response to the juvenile defense that someone else did it too, “If so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”

Put bluntly, the mistakes and faults of others don’t give us an excuse to make the same mistakes. If we criticize the mainstream media for lackadaisical fact-checking and then write and spread stories like last year’s claim that Barack Obama was planning to implement martial law in Texas under the cover of the Jade Helm exercise, that doesn’t make us equal with the liberals who peddle lies. It makes us hypocrites.

An equally appropriate aphorism is that “two wrongs don’t make a right.” It’s impossible to fight lying liberals when conservatives are also lying. To fight lies requires credibility, which many conservative sites lack thanks to stories with no basis in fact like those about Jade Helm or Obama’s birth certificate.

If conservatives want to have the moral authority to criticize fake and erroneous reporting from mainstream outlets, they first have to clean up their own house. There are plenty of good, objective news sites that report from a conservative viewpoint without stooping to dishonesty and constant outrage stories. The Wall Street Journal is notably conservative and one of the best newspapers in the country. If you care about politics and current events, the subscription is well worth the few cents that it costs per day.

I’m proud to say that The Resurgent is also a dependable site. While not a “hard news” site, The Resurgent is a conservative outlet that steers clear of the liberal-outrage-of-the-day brand of journalism. At The Resurgent, we strive to present an accurate look at politics from a conservative viewpoint. We aren’t in the business of manufacturing clickbait. And, unlike the Wall Street Journal, The Resurgent is totally free, although we do accept donations to help defray our costs.

So be skeptical with what you read and forward. Fact check for yourself. Don’t spread false stories. When we put an end to the lies on conservative sites, we’ll be in a better position to attack liberal lies.

Originally published on the Resurgent

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