Liberally-Biased Media Story Shows Need To Teach Our Children This Skill

During this time of turmoil facing our nation where hatred breeds violence such as in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month, it is more important than ever to separate truth from false reporting.

The mainstream media has filled its programming with reports on “hate groups” and what they feel we should know about the division facing our nation.

Media giant CNN, in particular, has been called out for reporting fake news, but now they have crossed a line that proves just how liberal “mainstream” media has become — by giving credence to a far-left organization that targets conservatives.

The Washington Examiner reported:

As we noted earlier, the SPLC’s list of hate groups lumps conservative nonprofits in with legitimate hate organizations, putting proponents of traditional family values in the same category as neo-Nazis and the KKK. In its article, CNN still maintains that “since the FBI doesn’t keep track of domestic hate groups, the SPLC’s tally is the widely accepted one.”

CNN received such backlash from conservatives for portraying the list as accurate in its account of “hate groups” they added an editor’s note to the original story.

However, in order to maintain their liberal viewpoint, they did not actually recant the story.

The Examiner continued:

Given the modifications the outlet made to its own story, arguing the SPLC’s list is “widely accepted” is a stretch. (If that were truly the case, why would CNN change its headline?) In fact, the credibility of the SPLC’s practices has been questioned for years by people on both the Left and the Right.

This far-left reporting can have serious consequences for our families as we try to defend our conservative, traditional values, and pass them on to our children.

Conservative media outlets have blasted CNN, as well as other media outlets, for publishing the SPLC’s hate group list as true.

The Washington Times reported on the comments of one conservative organization on the SPLC list:

“I am shocked that CNN would publish such a false report on the heels of the Charlottesville tragedy.”

“To lump peaceful Christian organizations, which condemn violence and racism, in with the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists is offensive. This is the epitome of fake news and is why people no longer trust the media.”

CNN’s reporting is but one example illustrating how difficult it is to navigate the news media these days.  After all, CNN is a major news organization, so how are American families to know what is accurate in the media?

This leads parents to question what may be the best approach to make our children aware that not every news story they read is true — and that a majority are liberally-biased.

How are our children best able to defend their values when they are inundated with falsities from major news organizations that they believe to be reputable?

The Telegraph discussed the modern-day dilemma facing parents:

“In the past, when you needed information, you went to an encyclopedia, you looked it up, and you could trust that information to be true,” [education director] Mr. Schleicher said.

He added that today, anyone using social media or even news sites has to be able to assess, evaluate and reflect on the information they are given.

“Distinguishing what is true from what is not true is a critical skill today,” he said. “Exposing fake news, even being aware that there is something like fake news, that there is something that is written that is not necessarily true, that you have to question, think critically. That is very important.”

We often teach our older children and teens how to stay safe online and when accessing social media, but recognizing fake news or liberally-biased rhetoric is also a vital skill.

And we all need to be especially aware of biased reporting during politically-charged or tumultuous times.

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Common Sense Media reported on tips for helping older children spot fake news:

  • Look for unusual URLs or site names, including those that end with “.co” — these are often trying to appear like legitimate news sites, but they aren’t.
  • Look for signs of low quality, such as words in all caps, headlines with glaring grammatical errors, bold claims with no sources, and sensationalist images. These are clues that you should be skeptical of the source.
  • Check a site’s “About Us” section. Find out who supports the site or who is associated with it. If this information doesn’t exist — and if the site requires that you register before you can learn anything about its backers — you have to wonder why they aren’t being transparent.
  • Check Snopes, Wikipedia, and Google before trusting or sharing news that seems too good (or bad) to be true.
  • Consider whether other credible, mainstream news outlets are reporting the same news. If they’re not, it doesn’t mean it’s not true, but it does mean you should dig deeper.
  • Check your emotions. Clickbait and fake news strive for extreme reactions. If the news you’re reading makes you really angry or super smug, it could be a sign that you’re being played. Check multiple sources before trusting.

Parents should maintain an open dialogue about the news of the day, discussing the child’s views, and making sure they understand the context of what is being reported on television or social media.

CNN showed its liberal bias when it published the SPLC “hate group” list, while many other news outlets made no mention of the story — a telltale sign that the organization was biased in running the report.

Gone are the days of believing that everything reported on the news is true — we now must give our children the skills to differentiate between what they see and hear, and what they believe.

For more information on the SPLC’s targeting of conservative groups, you can access our previous report here:

How are you helping your child navigate social media and television news?  And what are your thoughts on “mainstream” media reporting?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.