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Mainstream Media as Arbiters of Truth

Mainstream Media as Arbiters of Truth

Robert Parry

The mainstream U.S. media is never more unctuous and unprofessional as when it asserts that it alone must be the arbiter of what is true and what is not, regardless of what the evidence shows or doesn’t show.


Clearly there is a need for an independent investigation. The US security agencies have made pretty strong claims that something has been going on and this warrants an independent investigation. We also need to see what the FBI investigation comes up with and what happens with the Senate investigation. On the House side it appears that Representative Nunes it protecting Trump, probably because Nunes believes that is the best way to go for his career. McCarthyism only became McCarthyism because in the end there was no evidence to support the charges. And there was a full investigation. Only in retrospect can it be judged for what it was. You cannot call what is going on McCarthyism since we do not know what the facts are at this point. The search for the truth needs to go on. The possibility of Russian interference in the US election cannot be ignored because the implications are too serious if true.

If the Russian interference stuff is all BS, I would expect some strong dissent coming from some of the folks in our security agencies. All I’ve heard so far are a few second hand “don’t believe everything” stuff. Mr Parry sidesteps one issue here. If Clinton Watts is correct in his testimony, then a foreign nation deliberately targeted Rubio, Cruz, and Hillary Clinton. Whether this targeting was fake news, half true, or true, it is still an unfair advantage to other candidates.

Michael Morrell, former acting CIA director under Obama, and Hillary Clinton surrogate, recently said:
“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all,” Morell said at an event sponsored by the Cipher Brief, an intelligence web site.

“There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”
Also, James Clapper said on Meet the Press on March 5 that he had seen no evidence of a conspiracy when he left office January 20.


Nor can the allegations that the Obama administration spied on Trump associates well before the election. “The implications are too serious if true.”

Funny…no articles on this story on CD?? I guess that suspicion of wrong doing is not worthy of the same scrutiny.


No medium can actually set itself up as the “arbiter of truth.” Only we who read/watch/listen can conclude what is true and what is not, from the evidence provided, and it is our responsibility to gather that evidence from as many sources as possible. We can judge the media sources by the number, breadth, and depth of their sources. But when an Op/Ed columnist for the NYT says “there can be no more doubt,” it is not the NYT setting itself up as the arbiter of truth. It’s not even that columnist setting himself up as the arbiter. It’s a rhetorical expression that says “I’m convinced, and I hope to convince you.”

Really, the holier-than-thouness dismissing commercial media under the MSM epithet is getting tiresome. Let’s get back to simply listening to what’s available, sharing what we’ve heard from multiple sources — and let’s face it, the commercial media has better access to direct sources, the people who’ve seen the classified documents, the people who will be making the actual decisions — and helping to inform ourselves and the community. I plan to waste no more time fretting about being dismissed for listening to what I have access to.

So how many other countries in the world feel the same way about US (our) influence in their elections? Or possibly they have learned our (US) ways too good? Your call.


So what Hillary and her DNC along with the MSM/NPR did to Bernie was fair? Sometimes I think talk like you are presenting comes from another world’s morality and mentality!


I heard someone calling out mainstream media and suggesting we start calling it what it is, “corporate media”. I’ve been calling it lamestreet, but that’s not accurate they are doing just what their corporate owners tell them to do. They want the Koch, oil, gas,coal, pharma, pipeline et al monies rolling in.


The NYT and WP among other MSM/NPR parrots of Washington’s propaganda have a long history of either outright deceit, plain getting it wrong and/or just printing bs which makes their owners money. All of this past history has ended up being responsible for millions of deaths and untold mass destruction of many countries. Could we describe the MSM as being a weapon of mass destruction?


While it is a question as whether there was “conspiring,” that has nothing to do with the Russians picking their friend (?), Trump.

Some say everything is fair when it comes to love, war, and politics. While I do not agree with that, it is quite natural and good that people pick favorites. While it is preferable to have the DNC completely impartial, that sort of thing is more or less impossible.

I think that’s a very hard case to make with real evidence. If you’d ever worked in an organization with a big legal department, you’d know how stuff actually gets vetted before it gets out. And the orgs you dismiss without evidence print retractions when they make mistakes. That, for me, is a good place to start to know whether I trust a news source.

Give me information, please, not polemics (unless, like the NYT columnist castigated in the OP, you clearly label it as polemics).

The Democrats are perfecting their ability to create a lie, and keep feeding it to fruition, just like their Republican counterparts.

Former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin as well as Noam Chomsky believe this Russian interference story is merely the same type of meddling in other countries affairs that the United States is and has been involved in for decades.

MSM is mostly aiding this Democratic Party Establishment line.

Watch. Hard evidence will not appear. If ever.

Arbiters of Truth?

Perhaps in the past.


What you don’t see here, and won’t see when/if the Russia probes don’t lead to Trump’s doorstep, is an admission by the resident D-Party apologencia that they were duped.


You won’t see them referring to the most salient point in this article either: the leak of Clinton campaign emails by (whomever) revealed what the public is entitled to know, namely, “that the DNC displayed improper bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders’s insurgent campaign; excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street that she was trying to hide from the voters; and revelations about pay-to-play aspects of the Clinton Foundation’s dealing with foreign entities.”

In the meantime, they’ll clamor like little pups at feeding time when hackers release Trump’s tax returns, without a peep about where they came from.


Yes, of course the US has meddled in other countries affairs for decades. We here all know that. That does not mean we should just shrug our shoulders with a c’est la vie.

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No one is perfect. Arguments like yours seem to me to be much ado about not so much. It reminds me of the hoopla that too often surrounds Susan Rice. She was endlessly dragged through the mud over Benghazi when there was NOTHING wrong with her statements. My guess (only a guess) is that the same amount of nothing will finally be realized with the current hullabaloo. And, of course, mud slinging against the Clintons has been great sport for decades. And basically, YOU JUST DON’T GET IT, DO YOU. The Russian stuff likely gave us Trump as our President. If some tax returns are ever leaked, that will not make Clinton President. You seem to get lost in minor issues and are unable to see the Big Picture.

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50 years ago MLK jr. gave one of his greatest speeches of all time when he denounced the Vietnam war, which probably helped to cause his assassination.

And both the N.Y. Times and the Washington Post excoriated his speech with pejoratives like “facile”. While in the meantime, cheer leading, obsequiously, and condoning the puerile, egregious, travesty of the murders of some 55,000 American soldiers not to mention millions of Vietnamese.

The MSM has been and are now not arbiters of the truth to inform, but arbiters of canards to misinform. And I agree with Chomsky when he called it 'MANUFACTURED CONSENT" .


You blithely assert that “The Russian stuff likely gave us Trump as our President.”

Then you tell me I’m “unable to see the big picture.”

Here’s some big picture for you: the word most chosen by voters to describe Hilary Clinton in 2015 was “liar.”

Here’s the poll:

Other frequently chosen desriptors of Hilary in that poll were dishonest, untrustworthy and criminal.

Last time I checked the big picture, public perception mattered. But it was her turn, so…


August 2015. Beyond irrelevant today.