Stop us if you’ve heard this one before:
The media — excited about a story that confirms all of its favorite narratives — gives the “news” prominent airtime before journalists actually do the hard work of thoroughly fact-checking. And, before long, the actual news turns out to pretty much the opposite of what these credulous reporters claimed.
It happened with Jussie Smollett.
It happened with Covington.
It happened with the Virginia girl whose dreads were supposedly cut off.
And now it’s happened again — in the most predictable, absolutely unsurprising development of 2020.
On Saturday the NASCAR world was rocked when rumors began circulating that a noose was found in the garage of a black driver, Bubba Wallace. The national media immediately picked up the “story” and began using the claim to depict the sport as hostile to blacks and other minorities.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell stated matter-of-factly the “noose” was a “horrifying, racist incident.”
Former ESPN journalist Jemele Hill condemned the “noose” as a “disgusting reminder of who this sport is for.”
“You have a black driver, you have an opportunity here to open this sport up in a new way, and so for this reminder is very stunning, shocking, appalling, disgusting reminder of who, again, this sport is for,” Hill said. “I’m very curious as to see how NASCAR handles this because based off what everything I’ve read is that this had to be an inside job because this garage was only open to essential personnel, so somebody associated with NASCAR likely may have been the culprit, which what does that say for a sport that’s trying to create a more positive racial future.”
Across CNN, ABC, CBS, and MSNBC, the coverage was identical: Why wait for facts when the story already confirms our favored narratives?
On Tuesday the FBI confirmed what Americans who don’t work in the major media already suspected: This was no hate crime at all. In fact, the “noose” was merely an ordinary garage pull that had been in the same garage since last year. There was zero reason for this to be perceived as any kind of slight against the sport’s most prominent black driver.
So despite stepping on this same rake practically every month, the major media has once again humiliated, and it happened because they found their actual job of rigorously reporting the news less exciting than hyping hate hate crimes, whether real or imagined.
To review the media’s breathless coverage of this fake controversy, check out the supercut above.