Think of John Stossel as a jiu jitsu television journalist. He’s singularly able to distill, in a simple TV format, everything that journalism does wrong in a simple TV format.
The spot tackles the alleged reversal of the Trump administration’s EPA protections governing a proposed mine — 100 miles away — and its concocted impact on a prized salmon breeding ground.
He was able to quickly deconstruct the falsehoods, he said, because he had previously reported on the mine as part of a special for Fox, about the “Green Tyranny” pursued by today’s rich environmentalists.
How CNN’s oversimplifications become ‘fake news’ in a TV format
Stossel does much more than that, however. He shows how TV journalism inevitably gravitates towards simplifications so devoid of nuance that they are false. Let’s call it the original “fake news.”
Among the “fake” oversimplifications of which Stossel caught CNN in a lie included:
- The mine’s material distance (100 miles) from the supposed object of environmental protection.
- That EPA’s decision reversing an Obama administration ban on considering the mine was a matter of legal procedure, and not a decision to go forward with the mine.
- The failure to mention how the Obama administration had improperly rejected even the consideration a of proposed mine.
- How the TV journalists at CNN used the word “could” as the type of wiggle-word creating a deep mis-impression of a proposal’s scope.
- And, not least, that the network failed to flesh out the important background of Pebble Mine CEO Tom Collier.
In short, Stossel’s video demonstrated – in its simple, TV-sort-of-way – how NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) has morphed under progressives and left-wing environmentalists into BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody).
Watch the Stossel video here:
(Photo of John Stossel speaking at the 2013 FreedomFest in Las Vegas, Nevada by Gage Skidmore)