Misrepresenting the facts.

30-10-2017

There is the classic ‘fans are enraged at person X saying (inflammatory comment) about celebrity Y’ which really only amounts to a couple of keyboard warriors tweeting about it and the tabloids have taken those individual tweets as the voice of millions of other people who don’t give a damn.

But there is also an even more contentious way of reporting that seems to be creeping more and more into the media that is a variant of the above.  When you read the headline below what is your first impression?

US Air Force Academy, Black Students Told to ‘Go Home’

https://goo.gl/uvjWTN

Airplane

  • The instructors told only black students to go home?
  • Someone in authority was quoted saying that black people don’t belong in the USAF?
  • A politician made an inappropriate slur about the ancestry of black students?
  • The KKK had taken charge of military recruitment in the US?

It was actually none of the above, some small minded disrespectful and downright stupid individual on an airbase had written on a dormitory message board ‘go home N*****s’ and one of the five black potential candidates had told his mother about it.

This was thoroughly reprehensible and something that the academy acted on straight away and investigated as well as hosting a ‘critical conversations event’ with all 145 cadet on the base and were quoted as saying “You should be outraged not only as an airman, but a human being”.

The reporter effectively cherry picked 3 words from a person who is of no importance or relevance and misrepresented the context around that to make a quote out of it and to link it to an organisation where it would be unthinkable to hear it from. 

In short they totally misrepresenting the facts to make a story that would have otherwise never have been in the news.

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