Yes, that is true: the news media are constitutionally free – free to be biased and to be used as ideological warfare. Why? Because the news media outlets are businesses, which are tailoring their information products to the customer demands to attract more customers and make more money.
To do this, a particular news media outlet selects a particular group of potential customers and tailors its information products to the beliefs of the selected group. That means this particular news media outlet cannot be objective by definition since the objectivity requires presenting the information that may be disliked by the selected particular group of potential customers and therefore may hurt the business.
The news media outlets are used by various ideological consumer groups in politics, in social life, in economics, in arts, in religion, etc. to advance their ideological preferences in society and in various country’s governing institutions.
Below are a few illustrative examples.
Haaretz, the Forward, New York Times and Washington Post are the ideological warfare of the left-wing groups who do not like the life under the Torah/Bible traditional guidance and are trying to replace this guidance for the so-called “social justice and human rights” guidance. The left-wing groups are sponsoring these four publications since the published information is strengthening the left-wing causes in the public arena and the chances for left-wing electoral victories.
Yisrael Hayom or Breitbart News are the ideological warfare of the right-wing groups who see great dangers for the Israel and the USA to deviate from the Torah/Bible guidance in political, social and religious life.
In order to please its customers, the mentioned news media are reporting only on the facts that directly favor the ideology of their readers/viewers/listeners or could be make favorable by ascribing to the facts some negative motivations to ideological adversaries.
It looks like when Donald Trump is describing the news media information products as the fake news he has in mind the news media information products, which are ideologically adversary to the governing ideology of his administration. The news media that sell the fake news take the real facts but ascribe to them the fake motivations that their customers would like to believe in.
Here are a few examples on how it is being done.
From the news media:
U.S. President Donald Trump said anti-Semitism should be defeated and called the Holocaust the “darkest chapter of human history” in a video address on Sunday, following two missteps by his administration regarding statements about genocide during World War Two.
“The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear,” Trump said in a speech to the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly in New York on Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.
It looks like this is a perfect pro-Israel and pro-Jewish statement by Donald Trump. However, the anti-Trump news media ascribe to this a fake statement that this is a Trump’s effort to cover up the “true anti-Semitic feelings” in his administration.
From the news media:
The author Michael Chabon’s tour to the West Bank was led by Breaking the Silence, the controversial Israeli group that collects and distributes Israeli soldiers’ testimony about their service in the occupied territory. Chabon, along with his wife, Ayelet Waldman, are two of the 24 leading novelists who will visit East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza over the next few months to research a book of essays marking 50 years of Israeli occupation. The couple will edit the book, which aims to illuminate what it’s like to live under Israeli military rule. Chabon’s essay will focus on Sam Bahour, a Palestinian-American businessman who moved to Ramallah to build the Palestinian economy in the wake of the Oslo peace accords, only to watch the Israeli occupation deepen around him.
It is indeed a true fact-based description of the Michael Chabon’s tour to the Palestinian Territories. However, a few fake descriptors are used to please the anti-Israel supporters. Some of them are “the West Bank” and “Occupied territories”.
In this publication, the historic Jewish name Judea and Samaria is replaced by the Arab-oriented political name “the West Bank” to discard the historic connections of the Jews to this land.
The “occupied territories” descriptor is debunked by the Levy report.
The Levy Report, officially called Report on the Legal Status of Building in Judea and Samaria published on 9 July 2012, authored by a three-member committee headed by former Israeli Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy. The committee, dubbed the “outpost committee”, was appointed by Israel‘s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late January 2012 to investigate the legal status of unauthorized West Bank Jewish settlements, but also examined whether the Israeli presence in the West Bank is to be considered an occupation or not.
The report concludes that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not an occupation, and that the Israeli settlements are legal under international law.
Indeed, the news media are free to be ideological and biased, and we have to treat them accordingly.