The media made their fair share of nasty comments and skewed remarks in 2021, but there were also instances where reporters (or entire networks) deliberately misled their audiences.
Below is the MRC’s roundup of some of the worst intentional media deceptions from the past year:
CBS’s 60 Minutes Deceptively Edits Ron DeSantis To Make Him Appear Guilty
Also in April, CBS’s 60 Minutes ran a report attempting to give the impression that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was embroiled in a pay-to-play scheme involving covid vaccine distribution. The thrust of the argument was that the Governor had taken payoffs to approve only select retailers as distributors of the vaccine.
When CBS reporter Sharon Alfonsi confronted the Governor about this charge at a press conference, her team edited out the vast majority of his answer, giving the false impression that DeSantis had been unable to respond beyond merely denying the allegation.
The Washington Post Denies Reality At The Border
Back in April, The Washington Post ran a piece by a trio of liberal professors titled, “There is no migrant ‘surge’ at the U.S. southern border.” Despite the headline, the piece actually attempted to offer excuses for the significant increase in border crossings, while simultaneously refusing to classify the spike as a “surge.”
The Post would later change the headline to: “The migrant ‘surge’ at the U.S. southern border is actually a predictable pattern.”
CNN Claims Joe Rogan Is Treating His Covid With Horse Dewormer
When popular podcaster Rogan caught covid, he released a video announcing that he was treating it with Ivermectin – an oral medication that people take for parasitic infections. However, it’s also used in far higher doses to treat livestock for worms.
CNN caught wind of this and began claiming that Rogan was treating his coronavirus with a horse deworming agent. After facing considerable backlash from other media outlets and Rogan himself for their dishonest framing of the facts, the network was approached for comment by Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple. Their response read, in part:
“The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so.”
NBC Deceptively Edits A 911 Call While Covering A Police Shooting
On the same day that the George Floyd trial concluded, a Colombus, Ohio police officer shot and killed 16-year-old Makiyah Bryant, who was moments from stabbing another girl. In their coverage of the shooting, NBC Nightly News edited out the portion of the 911 call in which the caller mentions that Bryant was trying to stab people, and they framed the attempted stabbing as just something that the police were saying in defense of the officer.