When Narrative Trumps the Facts

Dear Reader (Including the gang over at the NSA who got to read the emailed version of this I sent to the office for editing),

I’ve been calling this a “news”letter for so long, I can’t remember when it started. It was sometime after the debut of the original Goldberg File—a name Rich Lowry and I came up with after several not very intense minutes of deliberation more than two decades ago. That’s because the original G-File was essentially a blog, even though it started before the word “blog” was widely used. Anyway, none of this is very interesting so I’ll stop writing about it, save as a segue to talk about “news.”

I don’t mean “fake news,” a term that usually—but not always—describes  a report that is, in fact, true. If you counted up all the times Donald Trump has declared something to be “fake news,” I would make a ballpark guess that in 90 percent of those the revelation was entirely or at least broadly accurate.

No, I’m talking about stuff that is reported like it’s news, stuff that is accurate in a factual sense, but isn’t actually newsworthy. The best you can say about it is that it’s information. That’s fine as far as things go. But it’s often information that’s reported as if it were somehow important.

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