Like many of you, I’ve been tethered to the battle for delegates en route to Tuesday’s pivotal New York primary—and repulsed.
The screeching vitriol, the screaming distortions, the self-centric bloviating, the relentless indecency, the fantastical illusions, the outrageous deceptions, the defamatory hocus-pocus, the cold-hearted treachery, the shameless bamboozling, the scandalous duplicity and, my God, the flat-out lies.
But enough about the media.
In the crosshairs here: Yahoo.
Britain’s Daily Mail is said to be interested in buying financially challenged Yahoo. And why not? The two tabloids are highly compatible in tone: the Daily Mail is famously sensationalist, and Yahoo’s mostly low-brow home page is to news and ethics what Trumpet and Lyin’ Ted are to truth:
Any similarity is purely coincidental.
Yahoo maintains a boutique reporting staff along with $10 million-a-year Katie Couric, hired for star power and her potential to score high-profile interviews. Yahoo is an overwhelmingly aggregate operation, though. It poaches news and fluff from other sources for display on a homepage dotted, notes The Los Angeles Times, with “must-click crime stories, scintillating celebrity gossip and self-help items.”
And oh, yes, rampant fabrication and other crapola.
Dandruff Kills Family of Five
20 Ways to Pick Your Nose
All right, the above is hyperbole. But only slight hyperbole.
Yahoo is not just list-laden, it reeks of lists. Just today—and this is on the level—I came across 7 Actors That Are Actually Really Short. Which I was about to click on when I encountered The 13 Highest Paid Football Managers in the World. Information I’d been dying to know, but then my eye caught 8 Nail Clippers to Keep Your Nails in Tip Top Shape. Which I was about to explore until diverted by 3 Myths about Grief That Need to be Busted. Heart thumping, I would have clicked immediately had I not sighted Seattle’s Essential Brunch Restaurants.
I wonder if they offer highchairs for really short actors.
Well, you get the idea.
Nor does Yahoo take a back seat to any tabloid when it comes to outright deceit.
It reported recently that Trader Joe’s would close all its stores and discontinue its brand products in 2017. A Trader Joe’s regular, I let out a yelp. Though posted March 31, the 600-word faux story turned out to be an April Fools’ joke.
How was anyone to know? Every day is April Fools’ at Yahoo.
On Friday, it ran this headline advertising a story about Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant signing fellow players’ sneakers as part of his marathon retirement ritual:
Kobe Bryant Threw Away Nick Young’s Sneakers in the trash instead of signing…
It looked like a snub, a cruel affront. How could you, Kobe? When I clicked on the headline I learned that Bryant did, indeed, trash Young’s shoes—but then gave him a new pair that he subsequently signed.
Yahoo has a voracious appetite for the hateful. Flash back to Jan. 11 when it dangled this election-season carrot in front of readers:
Police Find Candidate’s Wife on the Side of the Road
Who wouldn’t bite on a headline this provocative? I sure did, and when clicking on it I learned it was accurate. The story, from BuzzFeed News, referred to Cruz’s, wife, Heidi, during a bout with depression, being found “sitting with her head in her hands” on a grassy area by an expressway in Austin, Tex.
Yahoo also swirls together news, commentary and ads into a single cocktail that blurs lines. This was typical:
Clinton’s email excuses are falling apart
The headline topped an unlabeled commentary by Washington Post columnist Marc A. Thiessen slid between news stories.
As was this one above an unlabeled Washington Post commentary: Hillary Clinton, blind to her own greed, makes another blunder
Yahoo is also notorious for its dishonest use of photos out of context.
Watch Hillary Clinton Completely Fall Apart Onstage shouted a headline that put a negative spin on a photo of her (eyes closed, face anguished) that appeared with a report from federalist.com saying she fumbled an answer to a question from Anderson Cooper during a CNN town hall telecast.
Perhaps she did. But the photo was unrelated to the question.
Elevating malicious to an art form, Yahoo used a photo of Clinton appearing disinterested, even bored under a headline referring to a campaign event: Hillary to Black Woman’s Question: Why don’t you go run for something?
One problem: the photo was from her earlier appearance before the GOP-led House committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic and CIA compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Not that Yahoo is partisan.
In a victory speech after winning the Nevada caucuses, Trumpet called out the various demographic groups that pushed him over the top. Yahoo chose to highlight only the one that made him look bad.
Trump’s cry: “I love the poorly educated.”
I suspect Yahoo does, too. I’m making out a list of 10 credible sources for news. Yahoo is not on it.