Commentary

For Chyron Out Loud, How Cable News Is Abetting The Gaslighting Of America

In the 887 days since he took office, the President has demonstrated a remarkable tenacity to lie about even seemingly obvious facts, despite an omnipresent and ever vigilant Fourth Estate.

Despite incessant fact-checking by diligent news organizations, ranging from The Washington Post to Politifact, the President appears to be winning, ironically, with a little help from the news media. And by that, I don’t just mean Fox News, but all of the major cable news networks.

It’s not necessarily happening by what their talking head analysts say on-air, but what their chyrons say on-screen. According to an analysis published today by left-leaning Media Matters, more than one-third of the chyrons the Big 3 cable news networks aired during the President’s May 2019 press gaggles contained false or misleading statements.

The analysis compared 452 chyrons aired by the cable news networks with The Washington Post’s Fact Checker. It found 266 of them contained a direct quote or paraphrase of one of the President’s direct statements. Thirty-four percent of them were found to be false or misleading.

In some ways, the use of this unchallenged subliminal labeling is worse than what the news networks say on-air, because it creates an unconscious or semiconscious reinforcement of the President’s agenda, as well as his ability to gaslight.

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