U.S. mainstream media (MSM) are facing criticism from former U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. Earlier, famous journalist Seymour Hersh has also criticized the U.S. MSM.
Barack Obama has claimed Americans are so divided by the country’s polarizing media outlets that they cannot even begin to address controversial challenges based on a common understanding of reality.
“The thing that I am most worried about is the degree to which we now have a divided conversation, in part because we have a divided media,” Obama said in a ‘CBS Mornings’ interview aired on Tuesday.
Obama added that when the country had only three major television news outlets, “people were getting a similar sense of what is true and what is not. Today, what I am most concerned about is the fact that because of the splintering of the media, we almost occupy different realities.”
Past generations of Americans were able to confront issues based on a common view of the facts, even as they disagreed on policy decisions, Obama said. “In the past, everybody could say, ‘All right, we may disagree on how to solve it, but at least we all agree that, yeah, that is an issue.’ Now people will say, ‘Well, that did not happen,’ or, ‘I do not believe that,’ or, ‘I am not concerned about these experts, you know, cause they are just all liberals,’ or, you know, ‘that is just conservative propaganda.”
The former president He has previously warned that “disinformation” and splintering of media are further dividing Americans and making democracy “more complicated.”
In January 2018, one year after leaving office, Obama said the country’s biggest problem was that people didn’t share a “common baseline of facts” – a weakness that Russia allegedly exploited by meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
However, Obama’s own partisan views creep into his arguments about bringing Americans onto the same page factually. Democratic Party claims about Russian election meddling proved largely unfounded. U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s “Russiagate” investigation found that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign team did not collude with the Russian government. Another special counsel report, released on Monday after a four-year probe, found that the FBI never had sufficient evidence to launch its investigation of the Trump campaign.
Obama made his latest comments about divided realities in the context of his view that America needs tighter restrictions on gun ownership. “In Australia, you had one mass shooting, 50 years ago, and they said, ‘Oh, we are not doing that anymore,’” he said. “That is normally how you would expect a society to respond when your children are at risk.”
Monday’s bombshell Durham Report shows not only that the FBI improperly launched the “Russiagate” probe to prevent Donald Trump from being elected president, but also that legacy media outlets won accolades for hyping the false scandal with politically motivated lies, US Senator Lindsey Graham has claimed.
“What we have learned from the Durham Report? That the New York Times and Washington Post were given a Pulitzer Prize for writing a bunch of politically motivated crap,” Graham said on Tuesday in a Fox News interview. “When it comes to reporting on Donald Trump, the mainstream media is dead.”
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, argued that the media outlets should give back their awards because the entire Russiagate episode was based on falsehoods and an anti-Trump political agenda. The 300-page report released on Monday by US special counsel John Durham found that the FBI did not have adequate evidence to justify its so-called “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation and did not bother to corroborate suspect information provided by Trump’s political enemies.
Graham said Durham’s findings were “devastating and damning to the rule of law in America,” but legacy media outlets and Democratic Party leaders have declined to take it seriously. He called on U.S. Attorney General and FBI director Christopher Wray to apologize to the people whose lives were ruined by Crossfire Hurricane.
“Would not it be nice for the agency to apologize to those that their lives were ruined?” Graham asked. “Would not it be nice for Garland to pick up the phone and say, ‘I am sorry this happened to you’? Would not it be nice for the press to admit, ‘We got it wrong.’ None of that is going to happen.”
Instead, the senator said, Republicans will get angry, and millions of Americans will doubt the integrity of the U.S. justice system.
“This is generational damage to the FBI,” said Graham, who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential election. “It is going to be hard to convince anybody who is a conservative or middle-of-the-road person that the FBI’s on the up and up, particularly if they have still got their thumb on the scale regarding the Hunter Biden investigation.”
Democrats and media outlets are marginalizing the Durham Report because “they just want to get Trump, and they do not give a damn how you do it,” Graham said. He added that the Trump associates who were harmed by Crossfire Hurricane should “sue the hell” out of federal law enforcement authorities.
The U.S. Senator said: “Someone needs to be held accountable for using the law as a political weapon and ruining innocent peoples’ lives.”