Who took the “news” out of newspaper, news report and news coverage?
Let’s look no further than just last Friday as demonstration of this sad state of affairs. Early Friday morning when Christiane Amonpour finally processed the results of the Brexit vote to “LEAVE” she released a venomous attack and condemnation of those who led and voted for Brexit. Not only did she blur the line between reporting and commentary, she veered into the advocacy lane and steered right into proselytizing.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So, this is a moment of destiny that many, many people, the overwhelming, the overwhelming preponderance of experts and independent analysts and allies of the UK and the scientists, and the academics and the economists and the business and even the sports people, the overwhelming majority said, "Stay in the EU." The people wanted to do something different.
How dare they? The preponderance of experts and analysts…and SPORTS PEOPLE! We had a CONSENSUS! Where did all these heretics come from!?!
And then there was this non-news story that I read in the USA Today rag that hotels insist on leaving outside my room when I’m traveling, which I am. It’s titled Trump's company tricked investors. Here's how.
First, there is no NEWs in this “story,” it is simply a rerun of a story from 2002 about a questionable earnings release in 2000 by Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts that the SEC claimed was misleading. There was no attempt to explain the phenomena of pro forma earnings releases that swept the country in the late 90’s. There was no explanation that in the world of accounting “pro-forma” is practically a synonym for “misleading.”
Butt for crying out loud:
If you see “pro forma” in an earnings release it should trigger a flashing red light that sends any sensible investor to the company’s public SEC filing of their financial statements where they are required to use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. That’s where you can find out what’s really going on. Butt that’s too hard. And that’s another post.
The point is, the main story in Friday’s Money section was a Trump smear piece based on a 16 year old incident and a 14 year old story that contained zero new information. When was the last time USA Today covered a negative story about Hillary Clinton – old or new?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big proponent of complete disclosure – in business, politics and journalism. I don’t like it when companies lie to me, I hate it when politicians lie to me and I abhor journalists who pretend to be neutral observers when in fact they are flag bearers for the Make America Clinton’s Again camp.
FOOTNOTE: Pro Forma Definition -
Pro forma refers to a set of financial statements that incorporate assumptions or hypothetical conditions regarding past or future events. Pro forma statements are useful for presenting possible financial results, but must be viewed with caution if the underlying assumptions are not valid or not likely. – Accounting Dictionary
Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network