What Price Freedom Of The Press?

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Bill of Rights
Image and banner courtesy Library of Congress

Who among us would argue against a robust, free and independent press? 

What line of thought could rationally support and applaud government restrictions upon those we maintain and expect to question and report on halls of power? 

After all, the United States Constitution guarantees ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…’.

The importance of a free and unfettered press seems axiomatic. It is a no brainer! 

Even before the founding of the United States, Americans have relied on the press to hold its representatives to government into the light so that all might see and judge for themselves the fitness of leadership. 

Declaration of Independence
Image courtesy Library of Congress

Since the Declaration of Independence, regardless of political party, all in positions of political power were checked faithfully by the press, who were believed to be acting on behalf of the people.  At its core, this factor a deadly serious responsibility in a democratic Republic.

Two and a half centuries later, please consider a new scenario, blatant bias. One that has little (if any) historical precedent: 

What is the result when a strong, arguably powerful press shifts of its own accord all favor toward one view to the exclusivity of another?

What happens when a once-independent press does the unthinkable and the Main Stream Media chooses sides?

A refined answer is not easily found by the singular examination of history, as organs of the press have endorsed and sustained opposing political ideologies, and they made no secret of their preferences or affiliations.

Dewey loses Truman Victory 1948
Dewey loses Truman Victory 1948. Image courtesy The History Channel

A city’s morning paper, as an example, pitched for Democrat candidate Smith, and the cross-town afternoon paper’s man was a Republican that we will call Jones. 

The practice was a mirror image of our two-party system, and it worked well enough because there was no pretense or illusory claim of neutrality.

The infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline in 1948 is a prime example of news error.

Click to learn about President Woodrow Wilson
Progressive President Woodrow Wilson. Image courtesy Library of Congress

Today however, news outlets are nearly unanimous in an unwavering commitment to the pushing Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive Left philosophy, and a parallel to it, an unending castigation of the Conservative Right by Progressive Democrats.

Explanations are abundant and understandably arguable, but the existence of this new, astonishing condition of America’s once-independent press is not.  In short, journalism as a discipline has abrogated its sacred responsibility without compunction, regret or remorse.

An age of advocacy journalism
An age of advocacy journalism. Image courtesy Associated Press

What spurred them to so fundamental a change?  Aside from Marxist influence guiding many journalism and communications professors, perhaps it was the lure of celebrity. 

With few exceptions, talking heads in any of the four major television networks have been elevated to the cherished status of personality over dutiful (and boring) ‘journalist.’  If accurate, the distinction—and its promise of stardom—must be truly intoxicating.

The Cuomos
The Cuomos. Image courtesy CNN

It can be argued Hollywood’s stock in trade is no longer the quality of programs and films it produces.  Instead, entertainment’s capital reshaped itself into a revolving stage and altar to the insatiable egos firmly rooted upon it. 

Why then, should it be different for news anchors and reporters clawing their way to broadcast fame and fortune in the information age?  In retrospect, why would a self-serving narcissists at CNN or NBC not follow and chorus the entertainment industry’s long-standing, far-Left tradition? Will they ever learn about Fox News ratings?

Finding Fault:

Federalist on Twitter
Click to read about journalism becoming propaganda. Image courtesy The Federalist

If the news business is horribly broken (and it is), then who is to blame?  Such a seismic shift does not occur alone, like spontaneous combustion of cheap, bituminous coal.  Somebody is responsible, but finding fault in order to educate consumers is best approached as a multi-phase process.

I pause here to suggest analysis of cause and effect would reasonably begin with colleges and universities, long the incubation chambers of Leftist dogma and shoddy journalism, but that is a topic demanding another, more comprehensive discussion.

Politicians are easy targets for criticism because their actions (or inaction) carry direct consequences.  In short, they often deserve the scorn and derision heaped upon them when legislative policy hurts people.  But harmful politics cannot function and survive without a considerable support mechanism.  To the Democrat variety, that machine is a willing and able media complex parroting DNC-scripted slogans with solemn, heartfelt expressions.  They are also unhindered by a low-information, liberal electorate that cannot, or will not, challenge the propagandists and demand better.

Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi - bad politicians
Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi – bad politicians. Image courtesy Olivia Pierson

Bad politicians that are nurtured by a corrupt, dishonest news media is a dangerous combination.  The same, sustained by ignorant, disaffected voters is a recipe for disaster.

Observers among the Right complain that ‘journalism in America is dead,’ and to a disturbing proportion, they have a point.  Selective commentary, scrubbed and carefully applied with deliberate, even fabricated context has been effective in wooing Left/liberal consumers, but the expedience can hardly be described as informative, unbiased journalism.

The noble idea of equality and harmony among our diverse population is more needed than ever, but it has become increasingly distant.  Fringe elements, seizing upon momentary circumstance, foment riots and ensure further division along racial lines, not to promote unity, but to prevent it.  Despite the glaring hypocrisy, our feckless press ignores a return to the despicable practice of brownshirt tactics wrapped in the misapplied moniker, ‘Antifa.’

Anti-Semites:

Click to read Gary's article about Anti-Semitism
Image courtesy the History Channel

As recently reported by Gary Morgenstein openly anti-Semitic outbursts, including members of Congress are never challenged for their racism and bigotry when they call for the destruction of Israel.  Soon, a new Supreme Court nominee will appear before the Senate, and she is already under brutal, vulgar attack for her Catholic faith by a seething media in defense of those who batter the walls of America’s Judeo-Christian tradition.

Across cities, where fires rage as rioters and looters descend like flies in the wake of a police shooting, anarchists and peddlers of race hatred are hailed on the nightly news as ‘peaceful protesters.’ A thieving mob emptying a store in minutes is excused by the networks as merely ‘self-compensating for the injustices of white oppression.’  Ignore those white people looting the same store, of course; they are righteous ‘allies.’

Friedrich Engels supporter of Karl Marx circa 1879
Friedrich Engels supporter of Karl Marx circa 1879. Image courtesy Britannica Dot Com

Behind the adjusted reality and revisionist history are news outlets seemingly terrified of a violent looting throng.  Worse still, they may be charmed by it as they roll the dice against the possibility a Pulitzer is waiting for them after being on the ‘correct’ side of the revolution. 

Newspaper editors craft and sculpt stories based not in truth or accuracy, but instead, relevance to Progressive doctrine as-dictated verbatim by the Democrat Party.  Philosophical purity has become a unique perspective, apparently.

Journalism?  Who needs it when we have the wisdom of Marx and Friedrich Engels!

Watergate, that shining moment all news people dream of, became watershed because Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (and two reporters no one outside Washington ever heard of) saw a chance to cost an awkward Republican president his job.  Operative word, ‘Republican.’  Today, Woodward and Bernstein are iconic liberal figures who turned their timely exposé into gold via a best seller and its blockbuster film.  However, after the directors of the FBI and CIA conspired to overthrow a duly elected president, our media dismissed their potentially indictable activities as ‘nothing to see here’ and focused instead on championing an illegitimate impeachment process as payback for daring to accuse the accusers.

Click to learn about Unfreedom of the Press by Mark Levin
Click to learn about Unfreedom of the Press. Image courtesy Mark Levin

American journalism has metamorphosed into a caricature no longer worthy of the trust it once enjoyed. Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley followed Murrow’s example (misguided or otherwise), and newspaper reporters of all stripes were, and should be, inspired by the legendary Walter Lippmann.  Today, there are few who call themselves ‘journalists’ deserving of the title.

At any alphabet network news desk, those who stand on the extreme Left find lavish homes before the cameras.  With luck, celebrity status can be cultivated in the studios of New York, Washington and Los Angeles to great success.  They are often purveyors of untruths and outright lies, they are rarely concerned with accuracy and fairness, and they hate half of America’s population for the knuckle-dragging pre-hominids we must surely be.

News anchors and reporters are self-serving activists in expensive clothes, perhaps, but they are not journalists.

Participation – A Convention of the States?

So, what are we to do?  Corrupt politicians are irredeemable by definition, and that is not likely to ever change.  Ill-informed voters who pay no attention to politics share some of the guilt because they are the enablers, but try as we might, ‘you can’t fix stupid.’  The third actor, and perhaps most culpable in a triumvirate joined to kill America is an unchecked, hopelessly biased news apparatus.  The Mainstream Media’s descent is not difficult to understand, but getting at them is all but impossible.

Click to learn about Convention of the States Project
Image courtesy Convention of States Project

Our First Amendment shields the press, as it should, and few honest Americans will tolerate censorship anyway.  But the lack of legislative muscle to curb our corrupt press still leaves us at the mercy of a singular voice that lies and distorts to suit only one political party’s headlong rush to transform the nation toward a European socialist model.  Sadly, Constitutional protection does not always mean deserving of it.

Confronting a dishonest and one-sided press is the much-needed goal, but how to achieve it?  Consider this:  If news network presidents, their anchors and ‘contributors’ who value celebrity over substance are not restrained or met and defeated, how then do we function as a free society?

A reasonable answer, in a word, is participation.

Commercial news agencies unfamiliar with honesty and integrity can be affected by their audience’s determination to simply turn away.  The movie and television industries are no different, nor are the once-golden and unassailable organizations of the sports world.  We can ignore them.  We can withhold our money and reach them through diminished advertising revenue.  We can deny them the adoration they crave by simply looking elsewhere.

Most importantly, we can end the obedient silence from the ‘Silent Majority’ the corrupt media have come to expect by exposing them in editorials and social media platforms that reach billions.  Remaining politely quiet is a luxury we can no longer afford.

Become your own litmus test.  Ask with the voice of introspection if you trust network news anchors or tone-deaf scribes at the New York Times or Washington Post to tell you the cold, honest truth about anything.  Would you trust them with the future of your country?

Today, the Main Stream Media holds at least some of it in the palm of their hand.

Tomorrow may be too late to take it back. Think about that.

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Robert

 

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