The headline on my Google news feed said MELANIA TRUMP ORDERS REMOVAL OF NEAR-200-YEAR-OLD TREE FROM WHITE HOUSE and my first reaction was one of anger. Pretty righteous anger as in “These people have no appreciation for anything”, and the first line said The historic Jackson Magnolia has been on the south facade of the White House since the 1800s—making it the oldest on the grounds. and my anger grew even more righteous.
But the next paragraph said specialists at the United States National Arboretum, which determined the magnolia tree must be removed and the whole tenor of the story changed. Melania didn’t really order the tree removed, tree experts at the National Arboretum wanted the tree removed and she was just following their recommendation. A couple of paragraphs later, the article said White House groundskeepers were prepared for the tree’s demise, however, and offshoots of the original Jackson Magnolia have been growing nearby. and my anger turned from the Trumps to Newsweek, where I ran into the article. The headline was designed to piss me off; the final decision was Melania’s sure, but she didn’t just make the decision for no reason which the headline implies.
I don’t watch FOX news because, among other reasons, they slant the news. But that is a story told by people who also slant the news, just in a different direction. Everybody, from the New York Times to CNN, curates the news they think we should know and my Google News Feed cherry picks those curated stories based on algorithms generated by what I clicked on in the past. I undoubtedly get different news than a Trump voter in Alabama and we react against each other, each thinking, What an ignoramus, he/she would agree with me if only he/she bothered to look at the facts.