Working in the greater field of media, albeit on a fairly obscure scale, it always makes me a bit angry when a journalist/writer is out there misrepresenting him/herself and deceiving his/her audience, especially when one considers that in September of 2015 trust in the media fell to an all-time low of only 40% among Americans. This is down from a high of 55% in 1999. If we were to look only at those under the age of 50, or the generations that are still working, planning their retirements, trying to get through college, etc., we’d find that only 36% of those under the age of 50 have trust in the media.
A lot of this has probably come about because of how easily information is shared via the Internet, where it’s easy for media consumers to fact check reporters and journalists or to get opposing viewpoints. If you were to read a controversial story on the New York Times’ website, it would take only a minute or two to find a completely contradictory argument elsewhere. Part-time internet sleuths can even get full copies of scientific studies to refute claims made by others online, just within a few mouse clicks. As a result, we’ve begun questioning everything, especially the information being shared by “the media.”
But this is just the background, because we’ve found another instance of a journalist/writer pulling more nonsense that will give even more people pause before trusting anything published or broadcast by a major media outlet. Enter Chris Sosa, a political commentator known for his work on Huffington Post. For the most part Chris seems like an alright guy. He’s progressive, just like me, we’re both non-Christians, care for the welfare of animals (though he’s far more devoted and dedicated to it than I am, based on his Twitter feed and writing), and social welfare is pretty high on our list of priorities. I’d probably like Chris under normal circumstances.
It also just so happens that Chris penned a piece for Salon titled “I’m done with Bernie Sanders: Why this democratic socialist is voting for Hillary Clinton,” which has called into question the amount of credibility he deserves.
After just a few minutes of detective work online, we found out that Chris, despite what he claimed in his piece on his defection from Team Bernie—which we have zero problems with—he actually has been donating to the Hillary Clinton campaign this election cycle, and not Bernie’s. If that’s not misleading, I don’t know what is.
We know this because of the FEC (Federal Election Commission), which allows anybody to search for someone’s name and see to which political campaigns the person is donating, keeps records—unfortunately for Chris. There are two separate donations made, in his name, to Hillary for America this election cycle. The first is for $200 on 6/28/2015, and the second coming in early December for the amount of $103.24. I’m not sure how long or to what degree Chris was supporting Bernie Sanders, but the evidence suggests it either wasn’t a very long period of support or only support that never exceeded that of his support of Hillary Clinton. We hope you want evidence, because we’ve include a screenshot of his donations above.
We feel incredibly confident that it is the same Christ Sosa who wrote the piece for Salon. If you compare the two images above, you’ll see that the FEC record lists Chris’ employer as Care2, an organization that his Linkedin profile indicates he worked at for 9 months, from March 2015 to November 2015. This means that there were either two Chris Sosas working for Care2 or he’s purposely misleading and deceiving people. We’re going ahead and saying it’s the latter. And please, don’t try to argue that the last donation was made in December when his Linkedin profile says he left Care2 in November, as it’s possible either the FEC was slightly delayed in processing his donations or he never updated his employer in the system through which he donated.
— Chris Sosa (@ChrisSosa) April 4, 2016
As you can see in the tweet above, Chris claims that he last supported Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign, which, based on the information provided by the FEC, is another lie.
Still not convinced?
— Chris Sosa (@ChrisSosa) December 20, 2015
I take great issue with that, and it’s people like Chris, confident in their ability to mislead and manipulate their audience, that are giving people working in media a bad name. People like Chris, they’re the reason only 40% of Americans trust anything those in the media tell them. It’s people like Chris who hurt the credibility of people like me, my coworkers and a lot of friends I have working in the same space.
This isn’t about the Democratic Primary. This isn’t about Bernie v. Hillary. This is about media personalities, writers, video producers, news anchors and the executives making the decisions repeatedly doing things that hurt the image of everyone in media. It’s about how all of those people have lost sight of credibility and honesty. They sell themselves out to either the will of their bosses or for clicks on articles with enticing headlines, which is fine, we all have jobs to do, but you don’t have to lie and deceive people to do it.
Beyond just not disclosing his donations to Hillary Clinton, or misleading people about the extent to which he supported Bernie Sanders, Chris fails to provide evidence or data for any of his claims. His writing is nothing more than a comment section on a pro-Hillary article pandering to those who already support her. He’s using the talking points of armchair political analysts and commentators, not someone who is working to bring credibility and support to his arguments. Chris is everything that is wrong with the media today, and it’s really starting to piss people off. His commentary on the issue of race between the two candidates is borderline libel (forgive the hyperbole), and his section on capitalism cherry picks points to make that somehow imply that Bernie isn’t a real democratic socialist or progressive, but rather the left version of a crazy right wing evangelical Christian blaming the gays for all the world’s problems. All of his bold claims, and not once did he link to any evidence to support them, something we at Men’s Trait would never do.
Chris, have some credibility. You’re giving the rest of us a really bad name. You’re joining the ranks of Jonathan Capehart (Pro-Clinton Columnist In Bed With Clinton Staffer — Literally) and MSNBC (Proof That MSNBC And Hillary Are In Cahoots), and that is about as far from a compliment as I can give a fellow media member.
And, for the sake of full disclosure, I’d like to mention that I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Tennessee primary, and I have donated to his campaign. With that out of the way, I would also like to mention that Men’s Trait, despite the funny name, does take accountability and integrity seriously, hence why we link to as many corroborating sources as possible. Each of our writers may have his or her own political preferences, but we also make sure that we support our claims with facts whenever possible. Commentary is ours, but the facts are corroborated by others. If you notice an error, please let us know and we will fix it.