Fake News Much? Media Has Popularized The Art of Instigation

Old Man Ebro vs Kodak Black exposes a larger issue with the media.

NYC radio personality Ebro Darden and rap artist Kodak Black at Hot 97

NYC radio personality Ebro Darden and rap artist Kodak Black at Hot 97

I’m a journalist and as such certain things today perturb me.

Kodak Black stopped by Hot 97's Ebro In The Morning Show to promote his upcoming album Dying To Live. The appearance was a first for Kodak on the popular show and his apprehension was clear from the outset.

The seventeen-minute interview starts with Ebro revealing his skepticism regarding the troubled artist.

"I got to say I looked at your rap sheet," Ebro started, "I looked at your weed charges, smoking weed in front of your kid on the 'gram and different things you've been going through and I know its sensitive but how you feel about everything that's going on?"

On the surface, this seems to be an honest question. But in my opinion, when you add the tone and cadence of the delivery, it was pure judgment. A journalist is a person whose job is to collect news. Objective reporting is meant to portray issues and events in a neutral and unbiased manner, regardless of the journalist's opinion or personal beliefs.

"Looking at all your cases, and with respect to everybody involved in that case, you know we can't get into details today. But, you know, we take sexual assault here serious," the host said at around the 15-minute mark. "We can't get into details, but we hope to have you back so we can have a deeper conversation about that because it's a serious topic and we're hearing these stories a lot."

Kodak is facing sexual assault charges for allegedly raping a teenage girl in 2016. The victim claims the incident occurred at a South Carolina hotel. Kodak's trial for the alleged sexual assault will begin in April of 2019. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

In Defense of "Fake News"

The term "fake news" emanated in politics but has now extended into music, sports, and popular culture. The term is generally framed around the despicable media shaming of nefariously savvy politicians. However, there are times when the media perpetrates its own degradation whether from within or without.

On December 8th, 2016, Hillary Clinton made a speech. She mentioned "the epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year."

"It's now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences," she said. "This isn't about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk… lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities."

Because of Donald Trump's takeover of the term, the world has conveniently forgotten he wasn't its only forebearer. Allegations of Russian collusion to steer the votes towards Trump are still being investigated to this day. Michael Cohen just got sent up North for three years for suppressing real news during an election cycle.

Real world consequences from the dissemination or withholding of information.

Examples In Music

When rapper Tekashi  6ix9ine made his final appearance on The Breakfast Club he was asked pointed questions around his involvement with gang culture. The artist had to tread carefully when answering.

After all, the Feds are recording every word.

DJ Akademiks and DJ Vlad are now considered journalists, however each have been accused of baiting their interview subjects to divulge their alleged criminality.

Where is the line?

Fight Culture

It is appalling how the blog world has converged into the real news cycle. Often behind the scenes at high-level combat sporting events, people with very tiny cameras bombard an unsuspecting fighter with the tea. 'Fighter X said you aren't good' and some other disparaging comment.

The cameraman then runs back to his seat in press row, pops in the memory card and uploads the instigation campaign onto the web. Before the night is over, two athletes become bitter rivals and a confrontation might ensue.

In this homogenized culture of salaciousness posing as new media, we must always remember that yellow journalism is nothing new. As gatekeepers of the conversation, we can set a tone that can actually alter someone's real-world trajectory.

"I feel like sometimes when n***as be going through s**t, like, y'all be entertained by bulls**t," Kodak said. "Change the subject, or else I'm finna walk out."

Kodak Black walked out of the interview and so should we.