Good Morning. Here’s what you need to know to start the day, along with perspective from both sides for calmer coffee conversations with your family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers. Plus, an interesting quote: “If you had $86,400 in your bank account and someone stole $10 from you, would you get upset and throw the remaining amount of $86,390 away? No. See we have 86,400 seconds each day. Don’t let a negative 10 seconds ruin your entire day.” See who said it.
📰 TOP STORY
In recent years, the term “mainstream media” has often been used as a disparaging label for outlets that ostensibly and understandable have a liberal bias. President Trump and his supporters regularly take the opportunity to criticize the “liberal leaning” #MSM for the aforementioned slant. In terms of national outlets, it appears to be CNN, the New York Times, MSNBC, and The Washington Post against Fox News. For its part, Fox uses the slogan “fair and balanced” claiming to be the conservative counterweight to the left-leaning “lunatics” as the President tweeted last year. If you look up “journalism ethics and standards” on Wikipedia, the following passage can be found at the top of the page. “Journalism’s professional ‘code of ethics’ and the ‘canons of journalism’ share common elements including the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability, as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.” In short, the original objective of journalism was to be well… objective. Now, no matter whether you’re on Fox or CNN, every article reads like an opinion piece. This begs the question: should journalists just tell us which way they lean and broadcast their bias? That’s what we take a look at today.
On one hand: Van Gordon Sauter, the former president of CBS News during the 1980s, believes it is time for the mainstream media to candidly own their liberal bias. In an opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal, Sauter highlights that “News organizations that claim to be neutral have long been creeping leftward, and their loathing of Mr. Trump has accelerated the pace. Late-night TV hosts have [also] broken the boundaries of what was considered acceptable political humor for networks.” Sauter explains that labeling inherent bias would allow journalists to feel more free to choose the stories they would prefer to report without having to operate under a “superficial” guise of neutrality. As an example, Sauter points to the media’s protective coverage of Joe Biden’s sexual assault allegations, while zealously going after allegations against conservatives like Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Evan Siegfried, at NBC News, adds that this style of reporting has created an environment where “66 percent of Americans believe the media has a hard time separating fact from opinion,” which makes it difficult for Americans to trust the news they receive. Therein lies the crux of the issue: trust. Sauter concludes that “America won’t reunite until far more people can look at a news story… and of all things, believe it.”
On the other hand, Sauter acknowledges that many mainstream outlets will be resistant to disclosing their bias, because it may hurt their bottom line. For example, if outlets pulled back on specific types of coverage, like anti-Trump stories, that could prove to be commercially harmful. He adds that any potential audience that could be gained by softening an editorial bias would likely be outweighed by the defections of an existing audience that does not approve of such a move. In a conversation with Tom Rosenstiel, Vox’s Sean Illing also illustrates the idea that Fox News has transformed into a propaganda machine for Trump. Rosenstiel writes that “partisan journalists are interested in getting people to consider ideas. Propagandists are interested in moving the public to a particular position to achieve a particular outcome.” Fox News, therefore, has fallen into the latter category. As such, some emphasize that it is essential to have a liberal voice to check the influence of the Trump administration and the media outlets that are loyal to him.
Flag This: Our first amendment virtually guarantees that there will never be such a thing as neutral reporting. Here’s why. Even if an artificial intelligence program wrote a news report, humans will still read or view it through a subjective lens. There’s no way around it. If you have a beating heart you have visceral emotions. If you have emotions you have opinions. Therefore some may read the robot’s report as “neutral” if they agree with the content. If you don’t, you may label it as biased. Now facts are a separate matter because 2 + 2 will always equal 5, but sometimes it appears the media on both sides has trouble with that basic math. So here’s the thought experiment we’ll leave you with. Imagine Tucker Carlson of Fox News or Jim Acosta of CNN was your math teacher. Would you rather them tell you they were bad at math before they tried to teach it to you? Or would you be okay with them insisting that their calculation is right when sometimes you know it’s wrong.
🦅 US NEWS
U.S coronavirus deaths top 100,000
The number of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States topped 100,000 on Wednesday, a bleak moment that arrived after months of stark public health measures upended the lives of millions of Americans and battered the country’s economy.
Minneapolis Police Clash With Protesters Angered by George Floyd’s Death
Minneapolis police clashed with protesters angry over the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody. The protests came hours after four officers involved in the incident were fired. Federal and state authorities are investigating the death. LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick, and other high-profile athletes have taken to social media to voice their outrage over the death of a black Minnesota man who was pinned down by police. Here’s a roundup of how this story is being covered around the country.
- Local via Minnesota CBS: Chaos, Destruction In Streets Of Minneapolis
- National via the AP: Swift firings for officers in death of black man
- From the Family via NBC: ‘They murdered my brother’
- From the Right via Breitbart: ICE CUBE: How long ‘before we strike back?’
- From the Left via Vice: ‘They Treated Him Worse Than They Treat Animals’
Dr. Anthony Fauci says a second wave of coronavirus is ‘not inevitable’
A second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States “could happen” but is “not inevitable,” White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci also said hydroxychloroquine isn’t an effective treatment for Covid-19 and urged caution as Republicans and Democrats plan their conventions for later this summer. Why it matters: add conventions to the list of partisan topics that look set to divide the country. Here’s how it’s playing:
- On the Right: Mr. Trump has said he wants to hold the Republican National Convention in person, and has threatened to move the event out of North Carolina if the state’s governor can’t commit to allowing the event to proceed at full capacity. Other states such as Florida have offered to host the convention instead.
- On the Left: Democrats are weighing holding part or all of their convention, which is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, virtually.
🌎 WORLD NEWS
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reported to Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong was no longer autonomous from China. Why it matters: it’s a move that could jeopardize the special administrative region’s favorable trade relationship with the U.S. and open up Chinese officials to sanctions.
- Flag This: The State Department was required to issue a determination on Hong Kong’s autonomy under pro-democracy legislation passed late last year. The law also requires the president to impose sanctions on foreigners who undermine “fundamental freedoms and autonomy in Hong Kong.”
EU unveils plan to borrow 750 billion euros to aid economic recovery
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said yesterday the eurozone economy may shrink by 8%-12% this year, which would be a steeper decline than previously anticipated. In order to combat the economic crisis, the European Commission unveiled plans for a 750 billion euro recovery fund on Wednesday.
- Flag This: The package would be the biggest in European history, far outstripping the post-World War II Marshall Plan.
🗞️ BIZ, SPORTS, & TECH
Discount retailer Tuesday Morning files for bankruptcy protection
Tuesday Morning filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. The discount retailer said it plans to close one third of its nearly 700 stores as it follows in the footsteps of Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, and J.Crew.
How much college athletes could earn as social media influencers
The NCAA’s proposed rule change that would allow student athletes to earn money off their name, image and likeness (NIL) should result in major financial opportunities, most notably on social media. Here’s how much some athletes might make per social media post.
Trump threatens to ‘close’ social-media platforms as he fights with Twitter
On Wednesday President Donald Trump threatened to close down or “strongly regulate” social media networks. The escalation in rhetoric comes one day after Twitter marked one of the president’s tweets with a fact-check label for the first time.
📢 PRESENTED BY VINCERO
🗳️ FLAG POLLS
Results From Last Week’s Flag Poll
Should undocumented immigrants receive coronavirus relief funding? 97% said No, 3% said Yes. Full results and comments.
This Week’s Flag Poll
Last week, President Trump said he would overrule any governor who disagreed with him that places of worship should be allowed to reopen in accordance with new CDC guidelines. Do you think congregations should be allowed to reopen? Click here to vote.
On This Day in 1918: In the first sustained American offensive of World War I, an Allied force including a full brigade of nearly 4,000 United States soldiers captures the village of Cantigny, on the Somme River in France, from their German enemy.
How a Homeless Refugee Became a 9-Year-Old Benevolent Chess Champion (ESPN)
The Meaning of Life: Questions about living systems on other planets come with some baggage (Scientific American)
Martin Scorsese Self-Shoots Short Film for BBC About Being in Isolation (The Hollywood Reporter)
Reality Check: Why COVID-19 immunity passports may violate US law. Answer here…