Sunday, October 1st of 2017 will forever go down as one of the bloodiest massacres in U.S. history. As it stands, the Las Vegas attack that shocked the world is the nation’s worst mass shooting. Invariably, Americans are searching for answers, and it is the media’s responsibility to report the news, so long as it is factual.
Conservative media outlet Fox News has forged a reputation as the anti-liberal establishment. Claiming to be “fair and balanced,” Fox consistently accuses networks such as CNN and MSNBC for demonstrating far-left biases. And they would be right. But in order for Fox News to make their accusations stick, they must abide by true journalism — sticking to the facts, and not interjecting oneself into the story.
Unfortunately, the Las Vegas attack highlighted not only the depravity of certain individuals, but also that journalism is dead. In its place is fake news — news that promotes a specific framework, even at the expense of the truth.
In a live broadcast that I recorded on my camera, a Fox News journalist interviewed an eyewitness shortly after the mayhem of the Las Vegas attack. While describing the chaotic event, she claimed that people were scrambling out of a hotel lobby because a shooter was on the roof. The journalist quickly interjected, claiming that such an incident did not occur.
But in fact, it did occur! The murderer initiated his hideous killing spree on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. While not technically the roof, from the perspective of the victims, they were well within their right to claim that a shooter (or shooters) was “on the roof.”
By jumping so quickly and interjecting himself during an eyewitness interview, the Fox News journalist appeared to perpetuate fake news. Everyone who has taken a journalism class learns the basics — who, what, where, when, and why. More importantly, if you don’t know the answers, you certainly do not make false statements to create your own narrative. That is the very definition of fake news.
Those who are surprised to see lax journalism at Fox News shouldn’t be. Fox News falls under the broader 21st Century Fox umbrella, which is a publicly-traded company. When journalists have to report to shareholders, that immediately impugns the integrity of the reported data. In any other industry, this would be considered a conflict of interest.
But this is the sad state of journalism today. Even in something as universally tragic as the Las Vegas attack, powerful entities want to impose a specific framework. And since Fox News is controlled by big money and Wall Street fat cats, they simply can’t be trusted.