Throughout 2021, the mainstream media has been caught or forced to correct multiple stories that turned out to be misleading or not true. From debunked stories such as the Steele dossier to new concerns over inflation, mainstream outlets badly reported on some of the biggest news stories of the year.
Here are the top 10 most outrageous examples of the mainstream media reporting false or misleading stories this year.
In April, videos emerged of a police officer shooting a Black teenager named Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, after Bryant lunged at another girl with a knife.
However, various media outlets originally neglected to mention the fact that Bryant was wielding a knife at the time of the shooting, with some even claiming that Bryant was “unarmed.” In the New York Times coverage of the incident, the article included civil rights attorney Ben Crump’s original claim that Bryant was an “unarmed” girl. The quote was later corrected, though the story still framed Bryant’s knife as a police claim rather than it being observable from bodycam footage.
Although some news reports did acknowledge that Bryant held a knife, a few also attempted to spin or obscure other details of the shooting. NBC initially edited the 911 call that led to the shooting, omitting the caller warning about a girl “trying to stab” others. Other sources, such as MSNBC’s Joy Reid, CNN and ABC’s “The View,” also downplayed the events, depicting it as a schoolyard fight.