In 2021, multiple misleading or false stories were corrected by the mainstream media. Mainstream media failed to report on the most important news stories of the year, from debunked stories like the Steele dossier to new concerns about inflation.
These are the 10 most shocking examples of mainstream media misreporting false or misleading stories in this year’s mainstream media.
NBC NIGHTLY News’ UNDER FIRE TO EDIT OUT KEY PART of 911 CALL BEFORE MA’KHIA BRYANT SHOOTING
We have omitted details about the Ma’Khia-Bryant police shooting. After Bryant had lunged at another girl with her knife, a Columbus police officer shot Ma’Khia Bryant, a Black teenager.
However, many media outlets initially failed to mention Bryant’s knife-wielding at the time of shooting. Some even claimed that Bryant wasn’t armed. The New York Times’ coverage of the incident included Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney, claiming that Bryant was “unarmed”. Although the quote was corrected later, Bryant’s knife was still presented as a police claim and not as something that could be seen from bodycam footage.
While some news reports acknowledged Bryant had a knife in his hand, others tried to obscure or spin other details. NBC edited the 911 call leading to the shooting to remove the warning from a girl about “trying to stab others”. Joy Reid of MSNBC, CNN, and ABC’s “The View” also reported the event, describing it as a fight in a schoolyard.
“SINGLE MOTHER” FACING EVICTION WHO WASN’T REALLY A MOM EXAMPLE OF CNN’S GUEST PEDDLING MISLEADING STATEMENT
CNN broadcasts a fake story about a single mother. CNN featured Dasha Kelly in August. She claimed to be a single mother to her three children and was concerned about their safety after the federal moratorium expired. CNN promoted the story and also featured the GoFundMe account that Kelly used to support herself. It raised around $230,000.
Kelly later clarified that Kelly was not the mother of the children but rather the girlfriend of their father. Although the funds were eventually suspended, Kelly was able to appear on the network alongside Rep. Cori Busch, D-Mo. After the suspension of funds, President Biden announced a new moratorium against evictions, despite possible constitutional conflicts.
LINCOLN PROJECT VISITS YOUNGKIN RALLY TO PLANT FAKE ‘UNITE RIGHT’ MEMBERS
The Lincoln Project admits to White supremacist Political Stunt against Glenn Youngkin. A photo was taken by NBC 29 of five people wearing white shirts, khakis and tiki torch attire in front of Youngkin’s bus in the days before the Virginia gubernatorial elections between Democrat Terry McAuliffe (Democrat) and Republican Glenn Youngkin (Republican).
This image was intended to draw comparisons to the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where many White nationalist groups marched. The ensuing unrest led to the death of a woman by James Fields, a White supremacist. Glenn Kirschner, MSNBC legal analyst, and others shared this image to show Youngkin’s supposed campaign for White supremacy.
The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group with scandals, later claimed credit for the stunt. It attempted to highlight “Glenn Youngkin’s failure to condemn” White supremacy. Youngkin won the race despite being widely ridiculed for his hoax.
FAKE NEWS IS VIRAL: LESSONS FROM A LIE ABOUT IVERMECTIN
Although the FDA has not yet recommended the drug to be used for coronavirus treatment, there have been some instances when people have used ivermectin (a drug that can be used on both animals and humans) to treat COVID-19 symptoms. Although the drug has been around for many decades, there have been misleading claims made by news media about ivermectin’s uses.
CNN used the term “horsedewormer” to refer to the drug after Joe Rogan, a podcaster, revealed that he had taken it on the advice of a doctor. Rolling Stone magazine, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and MSNBC also promoted a false story about a hospital having to turn away gunshot victims because it was overloaded with patients who had overdosed on Ivermectin. After it was revealed that the source of the story was not a doctor, but a single person who had been working at the hospital for the past two months, the latter was discredited.
CBS’ 60 MINUTES EDITING EXCHANGE BETWEEN DESANIS, REPORTER PUSHING PAY FOR PLAY NARRATIVE
Florida Governor misleading stories Ron DeSantis often appeared in 2021. Particularly, CBS News’ 60 Minutes program was accused of showing a misleading clip between DeSantis (the host) and a reporter suggesting a “pay-for-play” scheme for vaccination distribution.
After receiving a campaign donation, “60 Minutes,” aired April’s footage of Sharyn Alfonsi pressing DeSantis to discuss the awarding Publix, a well-known supermarket chain in Florida with COVID-19 vaccinations. DeSantis spent several hours explaining how Publix was granted the privilege of distributing vaccines. “60 Minutes” cut the scene so that DeSantis only called out the “fake narrative” accusation.
DeSantis was one of many who criticized CBS for creating a false picture of the governor in relation to his COVID policies. CBS did not retract the report or apologize for it, even though “60 Minutes” acknowledged the criticisms.
False story in media about border agents using whips to harass migrants.
MEDIA PEDDLES HORSEBACK PATROL AGENTS USING WHIPS ON HAITIAN MiGRANTS IN DEL RIO
A photo of border agents trying to control large numbers of Haitian migrants in September went viral. It appeared that an agent was whipping a migrant. The El Paso Times article and the photo were shared by Democrat politicians and promoted as a “horrifying” display of border policies.
Border patrol agents criticized the photo, noting that agents don’t carry whips and that the image in question probably featured agent holding reins from a horse. The image’s photographer also claimed that he had never seen a border agent whip a migrant.
RITTENHOUSE LAWYER RIPS CNN AND MSNBC FOR FALSE REPORTING.
The 2020 Kenosha Riots report that Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, shot three people and killed two more came from Rittenhouse’s account. However, Rittenhouse’s trial began in 2021. Rittenhouse was later cleared of all charges amid a biased media narrative that he was a White supremacist. Media pundits continued to make false accusations against Rittenhouse even after his acquittal.
Not least, newspapers claimed Rittenhouse had crossed state lines carrying his weapons, despite reports that the gun was in Wisconsin. CBS repeated the claim even after Rittenhouse was acquitted. Numerous outlets and networks were forced to correct these claims.
Rittenhouse stated that his lawyers are investigating the possibility of defamation lawsuits.
WASHINGTON POINT CORRECTS, REMOVES REPORTING ON THE DISCREDITED Anti-Trump STEELE DOSSIER
Igor Danchenko was charged by Special Counsel John Durham with five counts each of making false statements about the FBI. This latest indictment was seen as a further attack on the credibility of the dossier that claimed President Trump conspired with Russia to win 2016’s presidential election.
Although this dossier was used as an attack against Trump right from the beginning of his administration’s tenure, media outlets began to downplay the role of the dossier as part of the Russia investigation once the narrative was corrected. The Washington Post was the worst example, with its reporters having previously won Pulitzer prizes.
After Danchenko was arrested, more than a dozen articles were corrected on the Washington Post. Large portions of two articles, published in March 2017 & February 2019, were removed by the Post after it “could not stand by the accuracy and those elements of this story.” Max Boot, Washington Post columnist and ardent supporter of Russiagate, still referred to Steele dossier as “sideshow”.
CNN REPORTER REPEATS THE QUESTIONABLE CLAIM ABOUT CRITICAL RACE THEORY NOT BEING TEACHED IN VIRGINIA SCHOOLS
Although debates about critical race theory go on for months, it became a major issue in the Virginia gubernatorial election after Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic candidate, admitted that he didn’t believe parents should be able to decide what schools can teach. Virginia parents became more concerned about education in the state as media pundits claimed that critical race theory was either being pushed by Republicans, or simply not being taught in schools.
CNN repeated the claim, despite critical race theory being mentioned on the Virginia Department of Education’s website, that critical racism is not an issue in schools. MSNBC’s Nicolle Walle went so far to claim that critical racism theory was “not real”, despite recent research showing that critical races theory is being taught in schools in some form or another. CNN’s Dana Bash maintained that critical race theory was not in the curriculum even after Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate, won the election.
MEDIA NARRATIVE DOWNPLAY OR IGNORE INFLATION
Reports showed that inflation rates rose 6.8% in December, which was the largest single increase for almost 40 years. Many Americans feel the change in inflation rates every day, but multiple media outlets dismiss them or argue for their benefits.
Joy Reid and Stephanie Ruhle from MSNBC denied that inflation is a major problem for Americans. They claimed that households were saving more and that people are only paying “a little less.” Many New York Times journalists also claimed that inflation was driven primarily by middle-class Americans rather than rich people.
Numerous articles promoted ridiculed headlines that posited positive spins about inflation. Yahoo Finance stated that “Maybe Christmas shortages are a gift.” The Atlantic simply asked readers to stop shopping in a piece. Time Magazine published an article entitled “How American shoppers broke down the supply chain” that also blamed Americans.