C-SPAN, CNN.com, Coretta Scott King, Elizabeth Warren, Facebook, Facebook Trending, fake news, George Orwell, impugning, Jeff Sessions, journalistic dishonesty, journalistic truth, partisan rhetoric, Politics and the English Language, Republicans, Senate rules
The following is a Facebook post of mine from yesterday:
On Facebook Trending (in the upper right of your screen), I found a clip of the following headline from today on CNN.com: “The Coretta Scott King letter Elizabeth Warren was trying to read.” [http://www.cnn.com/…/elizabeth-warren-coretta-sc…/index.html]
Is that statement true? Yes. Does that statement, as a featured headline, herald the truth of the story. No.
CNN.com ultimately tells the truth of the story, but furthers its dishonesty by purposely coloring the truth with a concoction of partisan rhetoric: “On Tuesday night, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren attempted to read part of the letter on the Senate floor. Republicans cried foul — charging that Warren violated Senate rules against impugning another senator. A party-line vote upheld that decision, turning what could have been an ordinary late-night partisan floor speech for C-SPAN devotees into a national story.”
What is the uncolored truth of the story? On Tuesday night, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren attempted to impugn another senator, Jeff Sessions, through the use of a Coretta Scott King letter. Republicans charged that Warren violated Senate rules prohibiting such impugning. A vote upheld that decision, turning the attempt into a national story.
This attempt by CNN.com to color a truthful story with partisan rhetoric is a prime example of fake news.
An essential reading on writing truthful journalism is “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell: http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit