Column: When it comes to our national media, fake news is all too real!

I have a wish for 2019.

I hope the national media starts acting like a news media again. I remember when network news anchors reported the news. Period. End of story.

Today, the national media (TV and newspapers) sensationalizes, opines and slants every story to fit an agenda, an agenda not shared by half of America.

Here’s an example. I woke up early Thursday morning and turned on the news.

The first thing I saw was a story about a surprise visit to Iraq by President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania. There was video of Trump addressing troops, shaking hands and taking selfies with soldiers.

I thought, OK, how controversial can a surprise trip halfway around the world to visit soldiers be?

I was shocked.

I started with Fox News. It was 5:30 a.m. I was not surprised to see a positive spin put on this story by the late-night crew at Fox. There were platitudes about raising the morale of troops and compliments to the president about showing soldiers that they have not been forgotten.

Russ Kent

Then I turned to CNN. This was still the late night/early-morning crew, so I don’t know the names of the news talkers. The CNN announcers were disgusted because they said Trump was politicizing a trip, one similar to trips made by every president for the last 30 years. After 35 seconds of inane conversation — which included snarky remarks about the sunglasses worn by Melania Trump — CNN got to work in earnest. The network announcers and experts were disgusted with Trump. Two blasted the president for his remarks to soldiers. Of course there was the token conservative on the “experts” panel, who was asked her opinion last, but tried to put a positive spin on the trip.

Then I switched to MSNBC. I only had that channel on for about 45 seconds. After hearing Joe Scarbrough use the word liar about 15 times, I changed channels, as I had a pretty good idea which way the rest of the MSNBC morning newscast would be slanted.

One news story, two very different spins.

It’s no wonder journalists are among the most distrusted professionals of all time.

Morning news shows are just one small example of how most national news do very little reporting when it comes to the news.

Most broadcasts start with 2 or 3 minutes of real news. The other 56 or 57 minutes of each hour are filled with spin (fake news) disguised as “real” news.

Fox News spins the news one way, typically in a matter that endorses or is sympathetic to a conservative philosophy.

Everyone other news network else puts the opposite spin on every story, something in line with their own liberal philosophy.

Rush Limbaugh made a name for himself by giving opinions. His radio broadcasts were not “news” shows, they were “opinion” shows.

Because Limbaugh was so successful, every national media outlet in the nation changed their formats. There used to be a difference between “news” and “opinion.” That is no longer the case.

News shows — without telling anyone — have become opinion shows. When is the last time you saw anything on a national news show referred to as “Opinion”?

I can’t think of an example either. In the national media, there is no distinction anymore between “news” and “opinion.”

Those notions are a thing of the past.

The only agenda of the national media is to promote its own agenda. And “real” news isn’t a part of their game plan.

It’s no wonder the news media is hated and not trusted.

The fact that one, fairly innocuous story could be presented to viewers in such disparate is not longer surprising..

But it is shameful.

At one time, I expected better from news organizations. Now I expect the worst, and rarely does the national media disappoint.

I don’t watch network news. It’s not worth effort as I believe nothing they pass off as news.

I used to blame politicians for the bitterness and apathy and distrust among voting Americans.

No longer.

I blame the national media. Politics have always been dirty and nasty. Politicians are supposed to be partisan. They run on their personal agenda, apenda or platforms that used to be reported by the media. And then voters decided which candidate to vote for.

That’s no longer the case.

For the most part, in today’s world, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CNN, PBS and all of the largest newspaper companies actively root (campaign) for liberal candidates and against conservative candidates.

Fox News goes the other way. Fox actively roots (campaigns) for conservative candidates and against liberal candidates.

It’s a terrible way to report the news.

No one reports the news without slanting it one way or the other. There are no national news organization in America that deliver unbiased news.

Biased news reports are just that. Biased. Therefore, they are “fake news.”

And because most Americans only want to hear the type of reporting that matches their own ideologies, this chasm in America is only going to get deeper and wider until we finally split completely.

I’m not predicting another war between the states. I war between ideologies, very similar to what’s going on in the Middle East or that went on in Ireland 30 years ago or even the genocide that went on in World War II.

Yes, the hatred expressed by Americans, following the lead of their favorite TV networks, is that bad, that vengeful.

I used to cringe at the thought of terrorist attacks in America.

Now I wonder why terrorists would waste their time attacking us.

Within 50 years ago, we are going to destroy ourselves.

But not because politicians have changed.

We’re going to destroy ourselves because of the biased way news stories are being delivered to the masses.

The Republican and Democratic parties have little to do with who wins presidential elections anymore.

The media picks the winners and losers and reports accordingly. And until Trump figured he didn’t need the national media, the darlings of the media usually won the White House.

I’ve never been embarrassed by politicians. Candidates are supposed to be biased.

The media is not.

But every election, I am more embarrassed by the slanted reporting of the national news media..

News delivered with a bias and intended to sway the public opinion one way or another, is not “real news”.

It’s “fake news” and should not be trusted.

Yes folks, “fake news” is very real. And sadly, its here to stay.


Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at