To Tell the Truth is Human Events News’ press analysis series. These stories will focus on “news” being reported by either The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC News, NBC News, or CBS News. Despite 24-hour cable broadcasts, and an untold number of internet sources, these established, mainstream platforms continue to influence the majority of American citizens and their political opinions.
The “news” generated by these press outlets is better regarded as “opinion” crafted in a way designed to discourage skepticism and critical thought on the part of the audience. To Tell the Truth will be Human Events News’ periodic effort to help address this bias and restore the skepticism necessary on the part of all Americans to maintain a free society.
At the cusp of widespread gasoline shortage, America’s supposed “Paper of Record” insisted that “no long lines” for fuel had formed.
“Colonial Pipeline, a vital U.S. fuel artery that was shut down by a cyberattack, said it hoped to restore most operations by the end of the week. Since the shutdown, there have been no long lines or major price hikes for gas,” read a tweet posted to the publication’s twitter account at 9:25 AM on Tuesday.
Colonial Pipeline, a vital U.S. fuel artery that was shut down by a cyberattack, said it hoped to restore most operations by the end of the week. Since the shutdown, there have been no long lines or major price hikes for gas.
Here’s what to know. https://t.co/kX58tBAd78
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 11, 2021
The statement is observably false. At the time of its posting, countless photos, videos, and first-hand accounts had already been posted to social media, offering a window into the lives of Americans faced with a sudden fuel shortage.
Many Twitter users replied to the misleading tweet with such evidence, debunking the ludicrous claim.
This is crazy. I stopped for gas just now having no idea what was happening. It’s out. People here told me they’d been to other stations and found the same. pic.twitter.com/7LDVdUXPo4
— Greg Suskin (@GSuskinWSOC9) May 11, 2021
What do you call this? https://t.co/tQjnlhEhJd
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 11, 2021
This is a text message from my daughter in N Myrtle Beach SC regarding gas shortage. She is not able to get gas in her town at all. pic.twitter.com/pdhkwZ5mOX
— Code of Vets ™ (@codeofvets) May 11, 2021
That is true, because there is literally no gas! pic.twitter.com/jF3q2Bu7Ji
— Steve … – 🇺🇸 (@FeelTheTeal) May 11, 2021
Photographic accounts of lines at gas stations across America
The false statement was accompanied by a link to a NYT article titled “What We Know About the Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack,” that is angled around the supposedly problematic “reliance on the pipeline.”
But the very same article notes that “Several thousand gas stations have run out of fuel, and hundreds of others are limiting sales,” and even features a photograph of gas lines at a Costco gas station.
The same day, the Times tweeted an article about “gas flaring” and the contribution of crude oil consumption to climate change.
To Tell the Truth: This particular tweet by what is supposed to be America’s most trusted newspaper is perhaps the first instance of such a clear-cut attempt to gaslight the American public into believing something that runs counter to its own observation. The unabashed lying is startling, even among those who understand that the Times is often less than truthful. Perhaps the justification for the tweet lies in the qualifiers “long” and “major,” but to even be considering such subjectivities as operative elements of a national broadcast is indicative of the subjectivity of the American news media in general.