Perspectives: Looking for the truth? You’re on your own

Stock image, St. George News

OPINION — If anyone needed further proof that mass media in America now places a higher value on political activism than it does on credibility, last week’s incident involving a handful of Covington High School students is pretty tough to ignore.

What entered the public consciousness as a short video of teenage school boys being disrespectful to a Native American activist sure looks different upon a closer look. After all, we were told that these teenagers were a tone-deaf, jeering, threatening mob of Trump-hat-wearing monsters.

After watching the full video of what actually transpired at the Lincoln Memorial, it turns out that the young men from Covington Catholic High School were standing on the moral high ground after all. They were the ones peacefully enduring more than an hour of intense, racist heckling from a group of black nationalists who baited them with taunts of “crackers” “faggots” and “pedophiles.”

The boys were accused of being future school shooters and of having incestuous lineage. They took the abuse with aplomb and refused to become confrontational. It’s all there in the video.

Leave it to the Black Hebrew Israelites to act out in ways that make the Westboro Baptist Church look reasonable by comparison.

This same group of antagonistic racial instigators was also the source of repeated taunts and insults hurled at the Native American activist before he mysteriously walked up to the smiling high school students while drumming. Anyone who has watched the complete video can see this for themselves.

We were sold a false version of what took place. And an astonishing number of people took the bait without question.

To their credit, there were a number of media personalities who stepped forward and apologized for their initial knee-jerk reaction to the story. But what about the outlets that originated the story, where is their mea culpa?

Why did so many news media sources choose to run with the original – and false – narrative that the MAGA-hat-wearing high school boys were the aggressors? Why was there no acknowledgement of what was actually being said by the black nationalists?

It’s no secret that much of the mass media in America has an insatiable hatred for the president. How many months of lecturing, warnings and smears did the nation have to endure before it ultimately elected Donald Trump in 2016?

Since then, the press has had the opportunity to reassess how and why it could have misjudged the American voter so decisively and missed the way the election would go. Instead, it has doubled down on its determination that the election was a combination of racist troglodytes and Russian interference that brought Trump to power.

They simply cannot imagine that their own lack of ethics and lust to control others through the information they publish could have damaged their once vaunted credibility. Hubris doesn’t begin to cover the kind of arrogance at play here.

Under such circumstances, it’s almost understandable that so many media outlets would continue to publish false or misleading stories that could be spun to be damaging to Trump or his supporters. How they expected to get away with it, in an information age where fact-checking has never been easier, is another story.

Anger and hatred of the media isn’t the answer. After all, anger and hatred is what has robbed them of their objectivity and allows them to justify spreading disinformation if it has potential to harm their political rivals.

If anything, this incident underscores the importance of making it a habit to fact-check whatever information is before you. The source doesn’t matter as much as your willingness to weigh, compare and analyze whatever information you’re receiving before going off over half-truths or falsehoods.

We live in a time when anyone who wishes to understand the world around them had better get used to dealing with incomplete and sometimes misleading information. That is why it is always preferable to go to the source whenever possible.

Otherwise, we run the risk of becoming unwitting dupes in someone else’s scam. It comes down to whether we place greater value on truth or political advantage.

Case in point, three years ago, LaVoy Finicum was ambushed and killed by law enforcement in Oregon.

To this day, there are a great many men and women who still hate Finicum purely because of what they’ve been told by a media that has given them only certain facts while carefully omitting others. Most of these media outlets are painfully aware of the fact that jurors in Portland acquitted Ammon and Ryan Bundy as well as five other defendants.

They know that, last year, Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the government’s case against the Bundy family and others because of repeated, severe prosecutorial misconduct.

So why can’t they bring themselves to admit – even in part – that the government was wrong? It’s not like the facts are being hidden from them.

Trust, once broken, is not easily regained. It cannot be insisted upon. It must be earned.

Bryan Hyde is an opinion columnist specializing in current events and liberty viewed through what he calls the lens of common sense. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

48 Comments

  • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Well said Mr Hyde. Let’s add distraction as well. How little the mainstream media has covered the Ebola outbreak in the Congo where deaths have now doubled from a week ago, and the potential to spread to a city with a million people could occur in coming weeks. What is scary as with the recent Buzzfeed garbagio the mainstream media is unfiltered and not held accountable at all. Apologies and retractions are rare, obscured, and often there is a defensive mode, where there are attempts to speculatively justify an incorrect story. Then there is the fake. , YES, absutely FAKE dossier that has developed a religious forllowing by left wing Trump haters. Once a meme like this is implanted, undoing the damage becomes impossible, as down the line the false story continues to be used and over time becomes a socio-mythological false archetype. The best option to stay informed is to ignore the mainstream media and go to local news sources (like SGN) and citizen journalists, especially those on the frontline. The sad part of this is we no longer can trust the news 4th estate to do its job.

    • iceplant January 28, 2019 at 4:56 pm

      “FAKE dossier”

      Well hello there, Sean Hannity. You’ve been screaming about this dossier for at least 2 years now. If the dossier is fake, why does the intelligence community continue to corroborate a lot of what it contains? And before you lay your conspiracies out, realize that we’ve heard it ALL before, ad nauseam. Tread carefully.

      • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 6:49 pm

        Feel free to Troll FROZEN VEGGIE. it is what you do best. Instead of commenting on the article , you are focused on commenters that disagree with your left wing Rachel Maddow – Anderson Cooper – Don Lemon – morning Joe consensus reality. Let’s make one thing clear, the REAL Intelligence community, not former Obama Inteliigence officials, especially those that lied before Congress and apologized later, or are paid consultants for your favorite news outlet, do not comment on such matters EVER. So cut the baloney you are that dead albiet frozen parrot in the infamously hilarious Monty Python skit. Maybe read the article and make your own comment – ya think! And although you point out Hannity on FOX I prefer to watch Tucker Carlson. He’s actually a great journalist in my opinion. You might learn something by watching his show.

        • bikeandfish January 28, 2019 at 7:45 pm

          You chose to use the dossier as evidence to support your thesis. It’s fair game for criticism. If you don’t want criticism than don’t comment publicly. It’s pretty simple.

          Your constant spin on the dossier is telling, especially now that you reveal you trust Tucker Carlson as a “journalist.”. Yoy keep repeating the same claims that its “fake” despite evidence to the contrary. This analysis from Dec 2018 details its current status pretty well:

          https://www.lawfareblog.com/steele-dossier-retrospective

          They conclude:

          “The Mueller investigation has clearly produced public records that confirm pieces of the dossier. And even where the details are not exact, the general thrust of Steele’s reporting seems credible in light of what we now know about extensive contacts between numerous individuals associated with the Trump campaign and Russian government officials.

          However, there is also a good deal in the dossier that has not been corroborated in the official record and perhaps never will be—whether because it’s untrue, unimportant or too sensitive. As a raw intelligence document, the Steele dossier, we believe, holds up well so far. ”

          But I’m sure you’ll either yell it’s “fake” again or try to move the Goalpost from your wholly untenable claims. Its time to get out of your bubble and deal with the nuance and complexities of such raw intelligence reports.

          But feel free to troll me like you have in the recent past; I’ll just enjoy the irony of your complaint about IcePlant.

          • Comment January 28, 2019 at 8:12 pm

            bikeandfish January 25, 2019 at 8:39 pm:

            “Nope. Made it through puberty without any evidence that I was intersex. And plenty of empirical testing in adulthood to show I personally fit into one of the classic binary sex descriptors. Pretty boring that way.

            But I have known at least one intersex individual. Known a dozen or so transgendered locals and a few that transitioned. Statistically I’ve likely known more, I just don’t really care beyond protecting their basic liberties.
            You can see my thoughts about a fair compromise above. Seems to be an easy litmus test to determine if this is about safe guarding historic information (their claim) or politically controlling the sexual identities of citizens (my best guess).”

            Why is it “Pretty boring that way”. Please explain, b+f. You sound disappointed that you have to “personally fit into one of the classic binary sex descriptors”.

          • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 8:23 pm

            Once again, “B” ack & “F”orth, I NO LONGER WASTE TIME on you. YOU ARE NEVER WRONG and that is your modus operandi. You are a liberal nutt job that uses the comment section of SG News to carpet bomb your opinion with MASSIVE POSTINGS to the point of obfuscating the news article itself. We all have different opinions, but yours has to be pushed over others. SERIOUSLY ARE YOU A DEMOCRATIC PLANT? Look at the quantity of words you post in regards,to SG political-related articles? I would challeng the editor Paul Dahl to refute my accusation that you are the #1 political poster in SG news by vume of words, often exceeding the article itself. I have wasted time in the past arguing with you. No More. Comment on the article PLEASE. Who cares what I say. We are not on Twitter. This is SG news, not a oneupmanship game. It is about the news article not the comments of others heroin.

          • bikeandfish January 28, 2019 at 8:50 pm

            There is a profound cowardice to your deflections and strategy, Kilroy.

            And now I’m a democratic plant? That’s my favorite yet. That from someone yelling “fake news” like it’s going out of style.

            If we aren’t supposed to care what you say than why post on a public forum? I’ll keep critically criticizing your claims as long as you keep making fallacious ones.

        • iceplant January 28, 2019 at 7:53 pm

          You’re the one who decided to get all dramatic about the dossier. And you can’t refute a single thing about it other than claiming it’s fake. “Fake news” wasn’t even a thing until Trump said it and then told you rubes to believe him. And Tucker Carlson? REALLY ?? Keep pounding sand.

          • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 8:25 pm

            Troll on you crazy diamond. Comment on the article or continue your pundit witchery Frozen Veggie. Whoooooo cares.

          • bikeandfish January 28, 2019 at 8:35 pm

            Kilroywashere has exposed his intellectual fraud. He doesn’t care about truth yet whines when others don’t bow down to his unsubstantiated whims and demands.

            And remember, we are supposed to comment on the substance of another’s remarks anymore. Kilroywashere has decreed and we must obey! Only ad hominem are worthy retorts on the internet.

          • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 8:36 pm

            Corrections; Volume / herien not heroin.. ///// lastly to quote Peter Gabriel. 2nd album. ‘I will tell you straight in the EYE, D.I.Y. , do it yourself” LETS FOCUS ON THE ARTICLE. Express your opinion. MAKE SG NEWS GREAT AGAIN Bryan wrote a damn good article. Yet you focus on commenters that disagree with your opinion. Good luck.

          • Happy Commenter January 28, 2019 at 8:45 pm

            The frozen veggie crying again! When the hammer falls, just hope you’re not under it!

          • Happy Commenter January 28, 2019 at 8:46 pm

            Plant, BTW, the “dossier” IS FAKE!

          • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 9:27 pm

            I have decreed nothing. L O L. Your decree reflects that what I stated has truth. So see challenge below, otherwise not worth my time.

      • Redbud January 28, 2019 at 8:16 pm

        Iceplant, the dossier is fake. It is nothing but a political agenda from the left to try and throw something at Trump. As soon as it fails, they cry and pout and pick something else randomly to accuse him of. They prove over and over they lack integrity, but the rest of us true Americans can see right through it. But back to the topic of this article, I have a simple equation. TRUMP=TRUTH

        • bikeandfish January 28, 2019 at 8:43 pm

          Ugh, it was first started by republican candidates. And here is what we now know about the dossier given Mueller indictments:

          https://www.lawfareblog.com/steele-dossier-retrospective

          Are you serious with “trump=truth”? We’ve never seen more obvious lying from a president or Whitehouse. You make more sense on sleep medication, Redbud.

          • Redbud January 28, 2019 at 9:47 pm

            Yes, Trump=Truth, and that’s the truth! We don’t need your fake news.

          • Comment January 28, 2019 at 11:00 pm

            When you pronounce “ugh” is that a hard G sound as if your gagging or is it more subtle like “uh” or “ah”?

          • bikeandfish January 28, 2019 at 11:01 pm

            FakeNewsBud,

            Here are a few examples of his well documented lies:

            Trump: “you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received … You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.” Dec 2018

            Reality: “service members have received pay raises every year for more than three decades. The 2019 military pay increase of 2.6 percent is the largest in nine years, but it is not the “more than 10 percent” that Trump mentioned.”

            Trump: “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia”

            Reality:. Trump is rewriting Cold War history. No terrorism attacks have originated from Afghanistan. This is one of his most absurd and ahistoric claims.

            Trump: “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve.” 2017

            Reality:. Public record is obvious he knew Steve Bannon. Even Trump previously said: “I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years. They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win” (2016)

            Just a few of lies. He makes them daily.

          • iceplant January 29, 2019 at 6:20 am

            @b&f
            It would take up too much space to list all of Trump’s lies and, honestly, I think it would make Redbud’s head explode.
            As has been evident in the past, Redbud is on his knees for Trump. Anyone who willingly types out Trump=Truth is living in an alternate reality completely devoid of facts and the evidence to back them up.
            And yet they claim “fake news” because actual facts don’t fit their narrative.
            I don’t know whether to be disgusted to my core or take pity on them. Trump has folks like him by the cajones.

        • iceplant January 29, 2019 at 5:57 am

          If the dossier is fake, prove it.
          You TALK a big game. Can you WALK a big game?
          Feel free to provide evidence to back your claim. If you cannot provide evidence, sit down and zip it.

    • mesaman January 28, 2019 at 7:54 pm

      Dear Mr Hyde, just when the waters of disagreement and the haranguing of the “special” minority over most anything has reached the nadir, you bring up an article, well written, carefully thought out, and salient to most of us (the majority). You realize these people can be most hateful when you write something they find disagreement to, don’t you? Nevertheless, I applaud you for carrying the banner that seems reasonable to us, and wait with baited anticipation for the outcry from the socialists. It should be entertaining.

      • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 8:27 pm

        Mesaman you are a genius. PF copy band at the Casablanca this Saturday.

  • Comment January 28, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    MSM are traitors. Why should we not hate them? Do they not deserve the hate?

    • bikeandfish January 28, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      Odd choice above. Critiquing the claims about a political subject isn’t the same as demanding I answer a question about an offhand remark from another thread.

      But since you are petty:. I used the remark as a rebuke to the constant speculation on my sex and gender by your, LBA, etc. Not only doesn’t it matter to our ideas but its also not as exciting as y’all seem to fascinate about, hence “boring”. But I can’t imagine why anyone would ever open up to you about anything that wasn’t binary given you call those other individuals “freaks”.

      • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 9:14 pm

        B&F, instead of wasting time, let’s be productive. How about a great debate for charity – i.e. the fake or not fake dossier. All proceeds going to the store on Tabernacle next to the Electric Theater for pregnant single moms. Then it is worth it too me. We would need a little help from Mr Dahl, but it could generate a little money in the right place.

        • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 9:43 pm

          Note, I am sure either the Electric theater or the art gallery would accommodate us. Josh W. at the Independent would also likely help promote it, as it would be for charity and he is a genuinely nice good guy. Maybe his band could play after. Yes a little PR would be required but even A $1000+ would help the charity immensely. And of course Mr Dahl would have to support it.

          • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 9:53 pm

            By the way, no proxies, has to be you.

          • iceplant January 29, 2019 at 6:02 am

            You would be publicly humiliated in a debate where FACTS are presented.
            There are no debates for ‘alternative’ facts. Unless they’re being debunked.
            Don’t throw down a gauntlet for a battle of which you are unarmed. You’ll lose.

        • bikeandfish January 28, 2019 at 9:50 pm

          Sorry to hear you believe commenting on politics is wasting time. I on the other hand believe countering lies and misstatements on the internet is very productive especially in this post truth era. Hence why I correct you false claims and use citations.

          Best of luck trying to deflect someone else.

          • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 10:50 pm

            Oh, B&F , ignore the challenge if you wish. I walk the walk. I am terrible at public speaking, and have severe ADD, but would no doubt still challenge you to a public debate. I know it sounds unreal, but it could happen. So if you are NOT willing to stand up for your beliefs in a public forum for the sake of charity then I simply ask you to ignore my comments in the future and remain neutral. I comment on the articles. If you cannot stand up and must remain anonymous then do your own thing. I choose not to waste time on your sniping. Yes you have been challenged. This is the real world. You either stand up or go back into your rhetorical trench. KILL ROY WAS HERE. WW2. graffiti no doubt,

          • bikeandfish January 29, 2019 at 12:41 am

            My favorite part of the absurd deflection is you believe a rational person would choose to publicly debate someone who thinks its appropriate to fabricate claims others ascribe to Nazi based anti-Semitic propoganda. And that’s just one example of how ridiculous your random demand is.

            Best of luck Kilroywashere. I’m sure someone will fall for your strategy at some point.

      • Comment January 28, 2019 at 9:22 pm

        it actually does matter, b+f. And I sense that you aren’t being honest about it.

        • bikeandfish January 28, 2019 at 10:40 pm

          And how do you sense that exactly?

      • ladybugavenger January 28, 2019 at 11:09 pm

        At first I thought you were a man. But with the way you ramble on and on and on and won’t stop, I am leaning towards you being a woman.

        • ladybugavenger January 28, 2019 at 11:12 pm

          So I use both he/she now or Mr/ Mrs. I think you are confused about your gender anyway. Me? I’m proud of who I am and I am not ashamed of my gender. I am woman hear me roar. RAWR!

          • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 11:36 pm

            Ah, ladybug with all due respect using the gender card as a female on a potential Male is not fair. Now that male could be a female, etc, or some other gender, or for all we know a hermaprodite perhaps, but it is irrelevant and unbecoming of a ladybugavenger to emasculate an unknown target based on the amount of commenting. Rather you should point to something of meaning rather then personal attributes. On that note, why not comment on Mr Hydes article? I am being the devils advocate tonight. Let’s become adults and focus on the issues. Not gender please. Such insults are better left unsaid. Perhaps as a women you would not understand. All you need is love… the Beatles … and Beatles are bugs, are they not? VW thinks so. How about Lennon? Or George?

          • bikeandfish January 29, 2019 at 9:19 am

            Not confused about my sex or gender. Its simply not relevant to discussing political issues so I don’t reveal it.

            Your speculation only reveals more about yourself and nothing about me.

  • jaltair January 28, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Mr. Bryan Hyde, a brilliant piece of commentary. Thank you. The other comments (and links) were very interesting. You are so correct in that we have to search for the truth and cannot depend on MSM. Truthfinding can be exhausting!

  • Utahguns January 28, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    In our modern age, solving a problem by asking a dude to step outside is generally considered an immature, low class thing to do.
    But for many centuries, challenging another man to a duel was not only considered a pinnacle of honor, but was a practice reserved for the upper-classes, those deemed by society to be true gentlemen.

    Now, I have a boxed set of Dueling Pistols.
    They are muzzle-loading, caplock, smoothbore .36 caliber single shot pistols with no sights.

    At 20 paces (roughly 15-20 meters) being able to HIT a man sized target required skill beyond the average marksman. A hit was a Win (and usually fatal). If both Miss, “Honor has been settled”.

    Handgun design became more refined with rifled barrels and more accurate sights.
    Just good aim became more of a strategy for effective shot placement and those (Spaghetti) “Western” gunfights became far more deadly… because, unlike Code Duello with Blades, there was no option for “first blood”. No more “Manly Dueling Scars”. No “Hit or Miss, End of Duel” as with older smoothbores.

    Now I think, when people attack the opinions or character of others, it’s done via a platform of editorial comment sections, camouflaged screen names and hide-outs with internet connections.
    In another way of looking at it, today, someone attacking your character can simply and clandestinely use the computer keyboard, ie: a “troll”.

    Would those that make these attacks on others be so brave to do it face to face at 20 meters? The answer is no.
    It would however, bring back the honor of defending one’s character in a “Manly” way, face one’s accuser openly and provide more entertainment than a NFL game.

    Now I don’t have to be spoon fed by some response saying that “we have freedom of speech” or I’m promoting a “barbaric” solution”.
    Watching the reactions from those that are driven to over-populate these comment sections by their drivel, I’m sure this comment will surely get them aroused.

    • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 10:18 pm

      Dude, you got to watch Poldark!!!! On that note P.Andrew Jackson had some pretty radical duels.

      • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 10:27 pm

        The 1st 2 episodes are a little skittish, but by the third episode you will be hooked. Truly A well done Britiah TV series. Highly recommended. Sheds light on our modern political arena as well
        . Nothing has changed except the medium. The medium is now a monster. Marshall Mcluhan is lucky he is dead.

  • commonsense January 28, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Truth is not what journalists get paid for. Their job is selling copy to a particular market. The survival of a news outlet depends on selling copy and advertising. Let’s just face this fact and filter all news as to its source. If you are sitting home and watching CNN you will hate Trump and his supporters. Boys in red hats will offend you. If that works for you, fine, but it may not be fair.
    BTW CNN is losing market share because some see it as unbalanced.

  • Kilroywashere January 28, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Dude, you got to watch Poldark!!!! On that note P.Andrew Jackson had some pretty radical duels.

  • KR567 January 29, 2019 at 6:20 am

    Ok children its recess time ! ha ha ha ha go out and play nice

  • sheepobserver January 29, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Dossier is to birth certificate is to karma, if dossier is fake.

    One was proven fake news. Let’s see what happens with the other.

    Damage was/has been done to both parties.

    (and of course I know a lot of people know that the birth certificate is still fake based on anonymous sources (trump……who then blamed Hillary for starting the lie (more fake news)))

    Hypocrisy makes me giggle.

  • bikeandfish January 29, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Hyde had a good thesis going until using the Bundy case as an example. Trying to spin LaVoy Finnicum’s death as equivalent to the case outcome in Nevada is pure spin. Yes, the OSP and FBI killed him but only after he chose to drive through the first road block and then exit a vehicle while repeatedly reaching toward a pocket with a semi-automatic pistol. Personally, I don’t know anyone who hates LaVoy but I know a lot of people like me who show no pity for him.

  • Lee Saunders January 29, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Here’s an article that might be of interest to the folks that contribute to this forum. It’s nonpartisan but helps to explain the current political status of our country. I’m hoping it might stimulate some thoughtful commentary not based upon our political biases and prejudgments Please copy and paste to your browser.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/charles-duhigg-american-anger/576424/

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.