POLITICO, NPR, and other news sources today decided to take a quote from an interview Scott Walker gave (last week) and re-shape it into something worth being outraged about. Beckett Adams is breaking it down over at the Washington Examiner, and Caleb Howe over at RedState has a detailed list (with screenshots) of the lying liars’ lies. The short recap is that Scott Walker said “ultrasounds are cool” because, get this, they totally are. What he is being attacked for is saying “forced ultrasounds are cool,” which he totally didn’t.
This fits into a long trend of increasingly problematic stories the media as a whole is pushing – they get the same talking point, write around that talking point, and don’t do a thing about the actual information provided by the story. So, while Scott Walker believes being able to see your kid before he or she is born is awesome, Planned Parenthood or some pro-abortion group (yes, pro-abortion, not pro-choice) says “Forced ultrasounds are not cool, Scott Walker,” and it’s that quote people start referencing, even when no one actually said that in the original context.
You know how everyone on the right side of the political spectrum says there is a leftwing element in the mainstream media that goes against them? This is exactly what they’re talking about. Here’s the kicker for me: the stories themselves contain the full Walker quote which, surprisingly, doesn’t contain anything about forced ultrasounds being cool. It’s the headlines that misquote Walker. If I were working at NPR, POLITICO, or one of the other sites reporting this, I’d be pretty pissed that the person who wrote the headline did that. It’s dishonest and, more often than not, the writer takes the fall for it. Granted, there are some journalists at these outlets (honestly, probably more than just some) who don’t care, and that’s terrible.
And therein lies the problem. The journalists who write these stories and the folks who write these headlines with these slants don’t just do it accidentally. This is done on purpose. You don’t mess up this big. And the good journalists out there, the small guys working the local beats, get their reputations hurt just by being a part of the industry.