Mainstream Media and Russian Hacking

One often hears the term ‘mainstream media’ these days. It is often used derogatorily by President Trump to indicate those news channels and publications that do not support him. It is not the job of any media outlet to support any president; rather the constant questioning is a necessary means of checks and balances. Without these in place, the public would be un- or wrongly informed.

Yet sometimes in an effort to be neutral, the mainstream media gets it wrong.

Yet sometimes in an effort to be neutral, the mainstream media gets it wrong. The current hot topic – Russia’s alleged hacking of last November’s US election – is a case in point. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security, in a joint statement said: “The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations. . . . These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

Whenever a network correspondent speaks about the hacking and how the investigation is ongoing and how there can now be little doubt that the election was hacked, they quickly blurt out “But not in such a way as to change the outcome”. They get that in so fast that it sometimes sounds as if they are saying the two things at once. Often they even lead with the statement that the election was clean, then go on to explain how it was hacked. To my ears it just does not ring true.

I believe that in truth they do, quite understandably, want to take some people’s guns away: those who have criminal records, those deemed mentally unfit, ideally those who have not shown that they are capable of safely handling a gun.

It reminds me of when these same media outlets talk about gun control. Just as they have finished illustrating the common sense of background checks, comes the disclaimer “Of course I don’t want to take anyone’s guns away. We have a Second Amendment’. I believe that in truth they do, quite understandably, want to take some people’s guns away: those who have criminal records, those deemed mentally unfit, ideally those who have not shown that they are capable of safely handling a gun (you have to pass a test to get a driver’s license, but anyone can obtain and use a gun).

So if I follow that logic, should I assume that many reporters and analysts, while discussing the hacking are really wanting to say “Anything is possible, the outcome of the election has been placed in serious doubt given the vast amount of Russian hacking”?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Living on the Cusp of Breaking News

Cusp

:  point, apex: such as :  a point of transition (as from one historical period to the next) :  turning point; also :  edge, verge on the cusp of stardom

As I sit here north of the United States I am struck on a daily basis by the political goings-on of my neighbour. The still hard to believe election of Donald J. Trump as president has provided more ‘Breaking News’ items in the first 75 days than perhaps any other election. CNN and MSNBC are constantly bombarding viewers with ‘Breaking News’ to the point where it has lost it’s effect.

There was a time, way back several months ago, when the ‘Breaking News’ graphic and audio actually meant something big had happened – or was still happening. Now at the top of every hour the next segment begins with the ‘Breaking News’ opening. It has become something akin to the little boy who called wolf, except, of course, in CNN’s case where they are calling Wolf Blitzer.

We as viewers are getting used to living on the cusp of ‘Breaking News’. Please dial it back so that when there is in fact something new and of substance we won’t ignore it. News can only break once; it can develop for days, but it only breaks once.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Victoria, B.C. terrorist bombing attempt thwarted; Canadian media keep things in perspective

BreakingCNN

Congratulations to all involved in snuffing out this attempt to disrupt, maim and kill, and kudos to Canadian media outlets for taking a big story and providing information, not sensationalism.

I’ve never been there, but they say Victoria, British Columbia is a beautiful city. Without the work of several police forces that could have changed drastically on Canada Day, July first, as two Canadian citizens plotted to blow-up the provincial legislature. Given its laid-back pace and appeal to retired folks, residents of Victoria have often been referred to as “newlywed or nearly dead”. Sadly the latter was almost more than a silly joke.

… “newlywed or nearly dead”. Sadly the latter was almost more than a silly joke

What was the weapon of choice for these home-grown terrorists? What else but the currently trendy pressure-cooker? I suspect pressure-cooker and Victoria are not often mentioned in the same sentence – see laid-back above – but that was the case on Tuesday as the news broke about the thwarting of the bombing attempt. Evidently we not only need a gun-registry, now we need a “pressure-cooker-registry”.

Evidently we not only need a gun-registry, now we need a “pressure-cooker-registry”

BreakingFOXAs an amateur media critic, what has pleased me has been the lack of US-style frenzy. No wall-to-wall, day after day coverage; no “drilling down” into the backgrounds of the bombers; no constant “BREAKING NEWS” graphics (note to CNN et al., news can only break once, two days later it’s not still breaking, but developing). Not to say there hasn’t been coverage; on the contrary the Canadian news networks have been providing information as it becomes available. However, they’ve also been looking at other stories around the world such as the situation in Egypt. I applaud them for not engaging in panic inducing tunnel-vision.

… note to CNN et al., news can only break once, two days later it’s not still breaking, but developing

Meanwhile as the story continues to develop, and questions are asked, and answered, about the would-be-bombers Canadians are able to keep-up with other events around the world as well as this one in our own backyard.

Congratulations to all involved in snuffing out this attempt to disrupt, maim and kill, and kudos to Canadian media outlets for taking a big story and providing information, not sensationalism.

NBC blows Olympic coverage of swimming

nbc.com

According to MSNBC the security at the London Olympics has been a bit dodgy – they report that a set of keys to a major Olympic venue had been lost last week, and also make mention of the mystery crasher duringthe parade of athletes at the opening ceremonies.

Too bad NBC wasn’t as quick to figure out that viewers can do the math and are aware that events airing in the evening in North America are taped because it is the middle of the night in London.

What is really a shame is that NBC News scooped the results of the race before the tape was shown. Not only did fans not see a live event, but it was spoiled for them by broadcasting the outcome prior.

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