CNN really took a hard right turn into Fox territory yesterday when they decided to present this latest non-issue as an actual matter of importance. Reliable Sources host, Brian Stelter began the segment in a fairly dramatic manner.
STELTER: Facebook is the single biggest source of traffic for many sites. Sites either thrive or wither away because of Facebook. That's why this next story is so concerning.
You'd think this was a major source of grief for many who rely on the Facebook App to promote their ideas and business. However, it's basically the opinion of some anonymous ex FB workers who posted their opinion on the tech blog, Gizmodo. The only thing missing from this segment was the suspenseful, horror story theme backing up the whole idiotic premise.
STELTER: The blog cited anonymous former Facebook workers who said that trending topics box, that's the box in upper right hand corner of the screen on Facebook, that box was sometimes manipulated to suppress conservative news stories and inject other subjects, like for example, Black Lives Matter protest news into the box.
As we all know, GOP Congress is pissed because of the alleged suppression of right-slanted stories from a corporation. Remember, Facebook is not part of the federal government. That's awfully reminiscent of too much regulation and government imposition, isn't it, GOP? Stelter briefly visits those who defend Facebook and deny this.
STELTER: Now, other former workers deny these claims. It's important to say there's no proof and these were only anonymous claims. But that single spark on Monday started a huge fire. By the end of the week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to weigh in.
Now, he wrote a post about this, saying, "We have found no evidence this report is true, and if we find anything against our principles, you have my commitment that we will take additional steps to address it."
One of Stelter's guests was apoplectic over the alleged slight and brought up a story that one would imagine they'd like to forget. The homophobic right-wing publication known as The Federalist's 'Senior Editor,' Mollie Hemingway said something pretty amazing:
HEMINGWAY: Or perhaps the worst example was when the Planned Parenthood story broke and went viral within minutes. It took a very long time for Facebook to acknowledge that this was a trending topic. And then when they did, they didn't link to the conservative sites that were actually breaking the news and doing the investigations. They linked to a few Planned Parenthood sponsored items instead.
STELTER: Yes, the eye-opening part of this, this week, was that trending topics is reviewed by editors.
So Stelter admits that editors look at trending topics, and since this story had absolutely no legs and should have been dismissed as the criminal attempt to hurt poor women, as it absolutely was, we should be upset that the INSANE LIE wasn't the trending topic? I suppose at the 'Federalist' this counts as conservative discrimination? Can we conclude that the degree of conservatism in a story is inversely proportional to the amount of truth in the story?
Next, Mollie was comparing the censorship regarding the CMP-baby parts fiasco-criminal scam as evidence that we are now no different than China. Thanks for keeping it 100, Hemingway.
Not that you could tell at this point, but Stelter had another guest, Kelly McBride, who was a former Ombudsman for ESPN and currently an ethicist for Poynter, an organization dedicated to promoting 'better' journalismave. He afforded her one opportunity to say essentially nothing.
STELTER: Really quickly, Kelly, I have to run. But you suggested Facebook should have a public editor. You used to be the ombudsman for ESPN. If they call you, will you consider being their public editor?
MCBRIDE: Oh, I don't think they're going to call me, but I do think it's a fabulous idea.
That's all she added to this silliness. She was given just a few seconds of air time. I suppose we know why this phantom problem was addressed and to whom they wanted the attention. Stelter simply allowed The Federalist's hatemonger to speak unchallenged about a topic that was proven many times to be a hoax.
We report, you become more poorly informed. Nice going, CNN.