What do we do about our media as it has difficulty reporting the real and scrambles fact with fiction in their newscasts to us? As politicians seek to discover in their own truth what is (what they assume) the best way to approach a difficulty, the media reporting a fictionalized account of the news makes our determination on many issues unbearably hard. How can we rely on their reporting? And if we can’t, what is left? And if the truth is scrambled the power of protest becomes dulled.
There are certain issues that supposedly have been settled for the longest of times. The press should help us on that. Anyone suggesting something illegal should have to undergo the illegality they propose to make legal. This is a crazy suggestion but how could anyone suggest a tactic that results in so many falsities as a course of action? And what do we do about the media reporting those actions?
“On the issue of torture, Mr. Trump suggested he had changed his mind about the value of waterboarding after talking with Gen. James N. Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general…
“He said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful,’” Mr. Trump said. He added that Mr. Mattis found more value in building trust and rewarding cooperation with terrorism suspects: “‘Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers, and I’ll do better.’”
“I was very impressed by that answer,” Mr. Trump said.”
“Torture, he said, is “not going to make the kind of difference that a lot of people are thinking.”
“However, the full transcript of the session, which the Times published on its website, reveals a different bottom line. Trump is quoted as telling the same story about Mattis, adding, “I was surprised [by his answer], because he’s known as being like the toughest guy.”
“But Trump then goes on, “And when he said that, I’m not saying it changed my mind.” (Italics added.) Let me repeat that: Contrary to the Times’ own news story, it is not the case that “Mr. Trump suggested he had changed his mind about the value of waterboarding.” In fact, he explicitly said the opposite. Right after that point in the transcript, a Times editor adds the following, in parentheses and italics: “(Earlier, we mistakenly transcribed ‘changed my mind.’)” Hence the misreporting and the as-yet largely unrecognized misunderstanding.”
“Trump goes on in the transcript: “Look we have people that are chopping off heads and drowning people in steel cages and we’re not allowed to waterboard. But I’ll tell you what, I was impressed by that answer. It certainly does not—it’s not going to make the kind of difference that maybe a lot of people think. If it’s so important to the American people, I would go for it. I would be guided by that. But Gen. Mattis found it to be very less important, much less important than I thought he would say.”
“In short, Mattis exposed Trump to a different view of torture—a view, by the way, that most American generals and admirals hold. And, especially if he does appoint Mattis to his Cabinet, he might open himself to that view in making policy. However, Trump has not changed his mind on torture—which, since he enthusiastically supported it during the campaign, means he still supports it now.” http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2016/11/trump_says_was_impressed_by_mattis_torture_opposition_but_that_s_not_the.html