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Why are newscasters hedging their statements?

Equivocation. Weasel words. Drives me nuts.

For the past year, I noticed this in news broadcasts, radio interviews, etc. NPR, NBC, ABC, reviews of batshit crazy Gwyneth Paltrow's "GOOP" show on Netflix, etc.

"I found it a little bit boring."

"It was kind of offensive."

"Wildfires are sort of bigger than last year."

"What Trump said was almost racist."

Instead of saying Trump lied, they call it a "falsehood" or "fabrication."

This sounds weak and tentative. Whatever happened to clear, strong statements? Perhaps they are afraid of being sued or terrified of a Trump tweet.

Hooray for Time magazine whose writers use clear, potent words. Love the in-depth analysis.

Your thoughts?

LiterateHiker 9 Feb 7

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That's what fake news is all about half truths and lies made to sound applicably accurate....please share a Time Magazine true story....telling the truth in USA is REVOLUTIONARY


I have seen this too and I agree with you fully. Trump lies. Most people are scared shitless of Donald for one reason or another but he can say anything he wants to. Then his supporters try to tell you what he really meant or said. This is worse than fabrication or falsehood.


Many media outlets are supposed to take a middle road. NPR gets a lot of support from listeners from both side of the tracks. Personally, I am tired of the continued lambasting of others deservedly or not. This only sets the bar lower for the outlets. We absolutely need more calmness in our lives.


The New Yorker doesn't pull its punches either. Nor do Harper's, The Week, or The Nation. All straight from the shoulder.


It is a fact that the Cable News Networks have been very profitable since Trump ran for President. IMO I think they want Trump to get re-elected so they can continue to make the big bucks.


Why are lies even on the "news"?

twill Level 7 Feb 7, 2020

Because the drama sells copy. As Mark Twain said “... never let the truth”. etc.


Fox News is Republican propaganda.

Fact Checker Finds 60% Of Fox News Statements To Either Be Mostly False Or A Lie



I think there is a difference between reporting the news and an editorial, which is opinion based. We are losing our ability to sift through those things.


Personally I don't WANT the news agencies having a strong opinion...I want them to REPORT the news...the 5 W's...who, what, why, where and when...when writing an editorial YES...but only under the umbrella of Editorializing.

All excellent points.
However, when someone is lying, it's not an opinion to call what they're saying a lie.
Lies should always be unacceptable to everyone. Regardless of who is telling them.
Journalists are supposed to report the truth.
If shouldn't be a problem for them to point out lies.

Like in the "old days" when all we had was CBS, NBC, ABC.

Nowadays there are so many channels that they have to create garbage to fill up the time slots. Ergo Feux News, etc.


Agreed. Newscasters should tell the truth (facts supported by evidence) as it is, without softening it for the easily-offended.

They used to have to - tell the truth. But the Supreme Court took away that requirement...


Well, in making budget cuts, they tend to fire the fact checkers and investigative reporters first. This means that what is put on the air may not neccessariy be true, So the legal department makes them use weasel wording.


The right-wing echo chamber has terrorized the media for years by falsely calling them Liberal Media. They are so terrorized that they're afraid to speak authoritatively about anything.


These days the politically correct rules. Unfortunately.


With everything one says being so permanent, and everyone madly in search of a scapegoat, I totally get it. It is tiresome and annoying to watch, though.

Deb57 Level 8 Feb 7, 2020

Built-in ambiguity...nothing you can ever be pinned down to having actually said, so hard to be blamed if it’s wrong.


Because strong, decisive statements like "It was offensive." may result in blowback or require a defense if challenged while calling something only "kind of offensive" is weak and mewling enough not to ruffle anyone's feathers.

It's chickenshit journalism.

I like the way you worded this better than the way I did.


Try also "The Economist" and, for Britain, "Private Eye", which has the dubious distinction of being the world's most sued publication. It's usual defense is to reveal "even more uncomfortable" truth, and the case gets dropped!

Don’t you just love it...and Ian Hislop who still looks like a British version of Tintin!

@Marionville The satire and humour is first class, and the commentary on "dirty doings" is biting.

@Marionville Love Ian Hislop. Is HIGNFY still running?

@Geoffrey51 yes..I think so, Haven’t watched it recently.

@Marionville I think it's having a post Christmas break. However, I'm sure it will resurface around Easter - with luck!


I could not possibly agree with you more!
I'm sick of the soft-pedaling that a lot of the media has been doing.

A lie, is a lie, is a lie, is a lie.
45 is a LIAR. Saying he's told "untruths", or "falsehoods", is pathetic and weak.
He fucking LIES.
He has told MORE than 20,000 LIES since taking office.


Instead of saying Trump lied, they call it a "falsehood" or "fabrication."

Trump is a compulsive liar.

Thanks for your support.

Trump is incapable of telling the truth under any circumstances which effectively means anytime you see his lips moving, he's lying.

@LiterateHiker That he is.

As far as Miss Gwenyth is concerned, I think she's a flake and her whole GOOP thing is absurd.
She is completely out of touch with reality.
She couldn't even figure out how to feed her kids and herself on $29 a week.


Because news is supposed to be as free of opinions as possible, and strong words carry opinions.

Which, theoretically, is a good thing as long as every news outlet does it. Not all do, so were kinda fucked.

1of5 Level 8 Feb 7, 2020

Because it’s what the auto cue says!


Like Tool guy I am not familiar with any of the top part but do agree with your last statement about what Time Magazine does ,Hope more start doing the real stories


For 25 years, I subscribed to Newsweek until it switched to online only. So, I subscribed to Time.

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