That last story – that Trump’s situation room photo was taken nearly two hours after the raid happened, undercutting the notion that Trump was “watching a movie” – flew around the Internet for hours before it turned out to have been based on an error. Actual news outlets noted the presence of unplugged Ethernet cables, like moon landing conspiracists pointing out suspicious shadows. It should be noted that similar absurdities directed toward Obama rocketed around the Internet after the bin Laden news broke.
Appropriately, many Americans used to roll their eyes at the brazen pettiness of Fox news. During the Obama years, the network seemed constitutionally incapable of reporting positive news of any kind, or even dealing with anodyne developments rationally. “This is proof he’s a Marxist,” was a famed Fox line about Obama’s decision to wear a tan suit.
Trump is inspiring similar insanity now with Fox’s opposites at the Times, Post, CNN, MSNBC, etc. I’m no fan of Trump either, but this has gotten to the point where there’s no longer anyplace to go, if you’re looking for unslanted first-draft takes on news. I’m increasingly forced to turn to the BBC and AFP to try to grab raw quotes and numbers before spin doctors in American outlets have a chance to salt news with hot takes.