John McCroskey commentary: National news consumption requires healthy skepticism


For my own mental health, I have cut back on watching network news for a good while now, limiting myself to just a few minutes each day to catch the headlines. I can say without hesitation it was a good move. Almost all bad news all the time is about all you get any more. Too much of that is just not healthy.

Besides, even if you actually watch a video of some event, the skewed reporting rarely matches what you just watched.

A real good recent example of that was the Kyle Rittenhouse case. All you had to do was watch the video, which was easily available, to know the widely spread narrative was really just a lie. And you would also know why the police who investigated it didn’t think charges were warranted.

There are just too many examples of media and political manipulation of the facts to list here in the space I have, but suffice it to say it has become too common.

In fact, it has become an art form for two groups immune to accountability for lying: national media outlets and politicians. So I looked it up and found there are at least 31 different kinds of lies.

Of course the most common one is the “white lie.” I’m sure we all use that one on occasion to avoid hurting someone's feelings. Like when they ask if you like their hair and really it looks like the hind end of a cat with the tail in the air getting electrocuted, but you don’t say that. 


Then there is the other end of the lying spectrum like the “hands up don’t shoot” lie repeated over and over even after it was debunked. It caused — and is still causing — irreparable harm and serves no useful purpose except to fit a political narrative and cause harm to civil society.

And harm it has.

And haven’t we been told if we just empty the jails, defund police and change the definition of crimes, things would be just great and we’d be safer? 

We were and it didn’t.

Crime, especially and mostly in urban areas, is going through the roof. But we’re told it’s not due to the idiotic policies of liberals; it’s due to COVID-19 even though the crime spike doesn’t appear to be worldwide. Just liberal big cities. Or in the case of the prosecutor in Philadelphia, there is no crime spike, despite the facts.

The mayor in Chicago in a recent interview said the increase in crime wasn’t her faul: it was the retailers. They needed to better secure their stores and merchandise and hire armed guards to protect them. Wonder what she’d say if the armed guard shot and killed one of these crooks? 

Actually I don’t really. I’m pretty sure the security guard and the store would be burned to the ground. 

And it’s the same in all the liberal cities having crime trouble.

The thing that is missing from all the nonsense we’re being fed is accountability for the lies. The press has the first amendment to hide behind and the Supreme Court actually ruled that politicians could lie.

So where does that leave us? I don’t know, but I do know that healthy skepticism of what we are being told is wise.


John McCroskey was Lewis County sheriff from 1995 to 2005. He lives outside Chehalis and can be contacted at