Our era of living dangerously… with news reporting

Last Saturday morning news broke that Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, had apparently committed suicide while being held in a federal prison, awaiting trial.  Investigations, we’re told, have commenced to get to the bottom of what happened.  Just a few weeks ago, it was reported that Epstein had received medical care for a failed suicide attempt.

Trusting the American news media to accurately report any story with political overtones proves more difficult  in the era where most of the news media live dangerously on social media, where they tweet and retweet each other’s “reporting” with little, to no independent fact-checking.  Our news editing gets done, in real time, on Twitter, the place America’s journalists live 24/7 to gab (and fight the #Resist spin war). 

All of the careful editing and filtering through information, before reporting news to the public now gets done – in public.  Mountains of incorrect information gets tossed onto Twitter, retweeted thousands of times (meaning the journalists lost control of the information) daily and the only accountability for tweeting incorrect, or even maliciously false information, is, “Oops, I removed that tweet.”  And on their previous false information continues to circulate.  There is zero accountability for spreading false or totally unverified information among America’s news media.

Adding to America’s widening information crisis, President Trump and many elected public officials recklessly spread false information on Twitter too.

Of course, social media erupted in conspiracy theories accusing the Clintons of having Epstein murdered, accusing Trump of having Epstein murdered and Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman, former Trump friend,  and now one of MSNBC’s biggest spinners of the Trump/Russia Collusion spin narrative tweeted:

Joe Scarborough
@JoeNBC

A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably…Russian.

9:41 AM · Aug 10, 2019

This was par for the course with the conspiracy theories, even though there were very few facts asserted in the reporting.

President Trump, “great” leader that he is, rather than trying to calm the spin hysteria, tossed in more spin fuel by retweeting s tweet alleging that the Clintons had Epstein murdered.

Of course, there’s a possibility Epstein was murdered and assuredly many rich and powerful men probably desire that Epstein never be allowed to spill all of their secrets. On Friday, the news broke that the judge in the Epstein case had unsealed over 2,000 documents, leading to reports that one of the women accusing Epstein of sex trafficking alleged that Epstein flew her to have sex with former New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson, former Democratic senator, George Mitchell, and Prince Andrew of Great Britain, among others.

And then there’s the likely possibility that Epstein really did commit suicide.

The social media eruption about the Epstein news and Trump jumping into the fray, fanning the flames of conspiracy theories, seems par for the course with our media and politics subsumed into being just reactionary spin troops trying to own another spin cycle.   

Trump’s retweeting Clinton conspiracy theories assured that the mainstream media and Dems would immediately switch to attacking Trump and Trump could wallow as king of the spin sewer for another day.n this Trump vs. Dems/mainstream media scorched earth mass media spin information war, both sides slither in the sleaze… just bottom-feeder reactionaries, not noble seekers of the truth and assuredly not dedicated public servants working hard to do what’s best for America.

The truth is that Epstein’s death while in federal custody, whether by his own hands or by others, is another glaring system failure in America.  Conspiracy theories will gain more ground, because more and more Americans totally distrust the media and our elected officials.   The less people trust in our governmental and civic institutions, the easier it becomes for people to believe the worst of the people entrusted to run these institutions.

With Trump the Spinmaster-In-Chief, America truly lacks any principled leadership in the executive branch, with Congress in constant gridlock and immersed in the scorched earth spin efforts, we lack a functioning legislative body and the Epstein death casts more doubts on our justice system.  Pew Research Center in a July 22,2019 article states:

Trust is an essential elixir for public life and neighborly relations, and when Americans think about trust these days, they worry. Two-thirds of adults think other Americans have little or no confidence in the federal government. Majorities believe the public’s confidence in the U.S. government and in each other is shrinking, and most believe a shortage of trust in government and in other citizens makes it harder to solve some of the nation’s key problems.

Trust in Congress resides at rock bottom for many years now.

Trust in the media, likewise, is grinding down, where more and more people only listen and believe news reporting that fits their hyper-partisan views.

Without trust in our American justice system, our entire political system rests on very shaky ground

The instant conspiracy theories when Epstein’s death broke, speaks to total distrust in our government.  That many of the wildest conspiracy theories came from the blue checkmark crowd of news pundits, journalists and of course, the many other celebrities Twitter has deemed important voices worthy of a blue checkmark, speaks to the caliber of people whom are deemed social media influencers.

The President of the United States rushing to get in on the Twitter conspiracy tweetfest speaks volumes about, not only to Trump’s disrespect of the office he holds, it speaks to how our news media Twitterocracy, where Trump understands that the news media manufactures, in real-time, tweet-retweet storm, by tweet-retweet storm.  The TV cable news and print media report follow where the Twitter spin storms blow.

The damage from these constant spin uproars will continue to corrode American culture long after they are forgotten… which will be within a few days…  The El Paso and Dayton mass shootings happened a little over a week ago, the media has already dunked the Dayton mass shooting down the spin memory hole, because it doesn’t feed the anti-Trump and liberal anti-gun spin narratives.

In our age of social media distraction, this Epstein spin hysteria will dissipate quickly, because the frenetic pace of the news media spin cycles reflect the collapse of the American people’s attention span.  Epstein’s death will fade quickly from the social media top trending topics too,  but assuredly it will be recycled often as bits of new names and conspiracy theories trickle out.  That said, our elite journalist class reflects the rest of America’s social media dwellers.  Most seem to have the attention-span of gnats and the critical-thinking depth of a dry well… except when it comes to clinging to their partisan spin narratives.

Despite all of us having access to more information than ever before known to mankind, it sure seems to be getting harder and harder to latch onto facts as media, especially social media,  spin swirls up ever-expanding dust devils of incorrect, inaccurate and oft-times deliberate, politically-motivated disinformation.  Before we can even clear the spin dirt from our eyes as one spin cycle blows through the echo chambers of our our news media, pundits and social media, we’re blasted with another, “News Alert!”

The story of Eptain’s death will assuredly fuel many more spin dust devils, but as for me, I’m a start at the beginning of the story kind of person, so what I want to know, more than how he died, was how he really lived.  How did Epstein even become an international jet-setter, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful all over the world?  What was Epstein’s real business, because assuredly the sex trafficking, while the most salacious bit isn’t the full picture?

I strongly suspect all these rich and famous people, like President Trump, former President Bill Clinton and L Brands CEO, Les Wexner all know what Epstein’s real business was and it wasn’t just sex part.  Epstein’s lawyers made a claim that Epstein helped Bill Clinton set-up his Clinton Global Initiative.  What the help involved led to Bill Clinton taking dozens of flights with Epstein on Epstein’s private jet:

“Much of Epstein’s access to Clinton’s world also flowed through Maxwell. “The Clintons were relatively intimate with her,” a Maxwell friend said.

In 2002 and 2003, flight logs reportedly show that Bill Clinton flew on 26 flight legs on Epstein’s private jet.

“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” Clinton spokesman Angel Urena said in a statement. Urena said the flight legs comprised four trips in 2002 and 2003 and that staff and Secret Service were present on all flights. Urena said Epstein visited Clinton at his Harlem office once in 2002 and that he briefly visited Epstein’s apartment one time.

Maxwell’s ties to Clintonworld, meanwhile, would last another decade.

One friend of Maxwell’s, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described their surprise upon showing up at a dinner party at her Upper East Side apartment around 2005 to find Doug Band, then a top adviser to Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, among the 8 to 10 guests. In 2006, a charity run by Epstein, C.O.U.Q. Foundation, gave $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation, the Daily Beast reported.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/21/jeffrey-epstein-trump-clinton-1424120

The media also reported Epstein had business dealings with former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barack:

“While the Israeli politician has tried to play down his ties to Jeffrey Epstein since the billionaire’s indictment on charges of child sex trafficking, Barak became a fixture of the Epstein story after Israeli outlets reported he had received more than $3 million in payments from Epstein-connected institutions since 2004.

The former prime minister was also photographed leaving Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion in 2016 and has acknowledged visiting the billionaire’s private Caribbean island, where Epstein is accused of hosting orgies with underage girls.

Barak has repeatedly denied any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged crimes and maintains he never so much as talked to the financier in the presence of underage women. In a previous interview with The Daily Beast, Barak said he was first introduced to the financier by Israeli leader Shimon Peres in 2002, and saw Epstein only “on occasion” after that.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epstein-israeli-politician-ehud-barak-often-crashed-at-his-manhattan-apartment-neighbors-say

Other media reports link the Saudi heir to the throne to Epstein, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and so the Epstein list of “friends” goes.

How about the media begin at the beginning of this Epstein saga and figure out exactly what Epstein’s business dealings were and get to the full scope of Jeffrey Epstein’s connections to the rich and famous, because assuredly in death, all of these people who had business dealings with Epstein will claim, “Jeffrey Epstein?  Hardly knew that guy.”

END OF STORY.

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Filed under General Interest, Politics, Public Corruption, The Media

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