“News” Sites I Hope Will Disappear In 2013
There are a lot of terrible “news” sites on the internet. Conservative media- The Blaze, the Daily Caller, WorldNetDaily, all of the Breitbart sites, and more- practically compete to see who can be the most misleading, hateful, and outright untruthful.
But some sites go beyond horrible content. These sites are founded on premises so bad, I can only pray they won’t see 2014.
RT.com rarely goes by it’s full name. Perhaps because “Russia Today” wouldn’t play so well with the thousands of people who view their YouTube videos regularly.
That’s right, RT is a Kremlin-backed, state-funded news source. The press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders was highly critical of this relationship.
RT was founded as a news network in 2005 as part of a broader strategy to improve Russia’s image abroad. But the network quickly realized that making Russia look good was much harder than making America- and much of the West- look bad. And while I’m all for intelligent dissent and criticism, this isn’t it.
So RT spends an inordinate amount of time giving voice to the US’s conspiracy theorists, from the supporters of Ron Paul and Lyndon LaRouche to 9/11 Truthers. Even truly overlooked stories (like the Occupy movement) are featured mainly for their anti-West potential, all while reporting sympathetically on Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad.
According to their website, Twitchy is a “a ground-breaking Twitter curation site” manned by “social media junkies.” That’s a fancy way of saying they highlight obscure tweets from completely random users to advance far-right paranoia.
Usually, Twitchy will find someone- anyone- saying something mean about a conservative or conservative cause. They will then put it on their front page with an inflammatory title and no context, as if insults and threats are rare on the internet and are only suffered by martyred Republicans.
Though Twitchy’s “coverage” is as biased as possible, it buries the word “conservative” deep inside its staff bios. A casual visitor might be tricked into thinking the site has some pretense of objectivity.
In reality, Twitchy was founded by venomous right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin.
3. Washington Times
With its formal-sounding name in a thick Gothic font, this site could fool casual readers into thinking it was like the New York Times or Washington Post. (The same could be said for the Washington Examiner.)
But in reality, the Times began as a personal project of cultish leader Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church, who reportedly lost up to a billion dollars supporting the paper. It maintains ties to the church, and continues to lose money every year. Senior advisers have said the paper was founded to combat Communism and uphold traditional Judeo-Christian values.
To be fair, the Times has been a springboard for some legit journalists.
4. Fox News
Ok, this one is predictable, but is really worth mentioning. Fox News isn’t just biased- it’s bad journalism and writing. Controversial statements aren’t cited and the articles are often riddled with typos.
Worst of all perhaps is the site’s frequent failure to properly identify the “experts” they quote. Interviewees are identified only by their organization’s heroic sounding names, like “Americans for Freedom,” “The Not-A-Terrorist Group,” or whatever. But quick Googling usually reveals that these interviewees are conservative lobbyists. (This article is a good example- the “Media Research Center,” despite its neutral name, is dedicated to “holding the liberal media accountable.” And quoted “pro” Ronn Torossian is a well-known religious conservative.)
Also, the news articles are often not attributed to an author. (Once again, check out the above article- it cites only “contributions” to the report.) C’mon, Fox News- you’re not The Economist.
What are your least favorite news sites?