That’s false equivalence. First of all, as I mentioned in another comment, I certainly did not intend to convey that I believe those institutions always get it right. I would have thought that was obvious. I’m talking about the difference between honestly trying, and not trying at all, which makes all the difference in the world. The egregiousness of Trent’s piece (and a few others that were equally alarming) tells me that Medium clearly has zero internal methods for basic fact checking those political stories they choose to promote. Just because institutions with standards and oversight get some things wrong sometimes, or fails to meet more philosophical standards (a contradiction if ever there was one) that you mentioned in favor of functional standards (which should absolutely be its goal), does not translate to therefore everything is subjective and we can’t trust “mainstream media” but we can trust everything else. Not remotely. And Medium is absolutely “beating the drum for war by recommending an article from someone like Trent Lapinski” because everything Trent wrote suggests he gets his news from the gutters of the internet, like the 1,000 Russian trolls who were paid to malign Clinton’s reputation from scratch. If Russia fought to keep Clinton out of the White House in favor of the wars Putin wants, then yes, Medium is beating the war drum. The fact that it is doing it innocently makes it worse, not better.
Your own citations prove my point. If the NYT does it (while actively trying not to), Noam Chomsky writes about it. If a thousand techbros do it (while deluded that truth magically comes to them naturally without doing the work), historians will point to a few examples of that delusion as a few of many countless examples of independent writing gone awry, but without the accountability that Chomsky directly calls out the NYT over. If you’re important enough to be called out by other important sources, I’m less worried about you. Whereas when I first read Trentbro’s piece, I waited, flabbergasted, for someone qualified to set him straight. Then I realized we don’t have any institutions that go after each individual fish polluting small ponds. We have plenty that describe the general problem, but Trentbro simply isn’t important enough to get factchecked, and therein lies the problem, and why it is the responsibility of the pond, to call him out.