When government decisions have negative consequences, mainstream news outlets often blame vague circumstances instead. Let's look at three recent examples.
The Wall Street Journal: “Ukraine war is depleting U.S. ammunition stockpiles, sparking Pentagon concern. ”
- The facts: Defense officials and politicians are deliberately sending ammunition to Ukraine faster than the military can replenish it, leaving supplies “uncomfortably low” and making the U.S. vulnerable in the event of a major conflict.
The New York Times: “The pandemic erased two decades of progress in math and reading”
- The facts: Government-imposed school closures, which many warned would be harmful, have rolled back two decades of progress in U.S. schools, not “the pandemic.” As schools shut down over COVID-19 and resorted to virtual learning, test scores for math and reading dropped severely among 9-year-old American students, according to the Department of Education’s survey.
The Hill: “Climate change overwhelming California power grid”
- The facts: California Gov. Gavin Newsom chose to implement unsustainable policies to reach unrealistic green energy goals instead of fixing the longstanding problems with the state's power grid, leading to a statewide energy crisis.
Why it matters: Journalists are tasked with informing the public and scrutinizing government leaders on the people’s behalf. Many mainstream outlets do the opposite, using subtle language shifts to obscure the facts and divert blame in order to protect the establishment’s agenda.