Categories
Media Truth

Why Americans Hate the Media

Rod Thomson

I’ll make this quick and easy. The mainstream media is not trusted by a large part of the country because they have an entrenched liberal worldview bias they refuse to acknowledge or make any attempts to ameliorate.

The mainstream media is hated by an also large part of the country because of the sharply different ways it covers Republicans and Democrats and now how it covers President Trump and everyone else…and a heavy dose of disconnected arrogance. This has resulted in abysmal trust ratings among Americans.

A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found fully 37 percent said they trust the media “not at all.” Another 31 percent said they have “not very much” trust in the news media. But more telling is the worldview breakdown on “How much do you trust the media?”:

Worldview                                    A great deal   A good amount   Not very much   Not at all

Very liberal-Liberal                              15%                 40%                   27%                17%

Moderate                                                    5%                  25%                   40%               28%

Conservative-Very conservative        5%                   9%                    28%                57%

So the more liberal a person, the more they trust the media and the more conservative the less they trust the media. Among moderates, more distrust than trust.

This trust goes to the brink of absurdity in this strange poll question by Fox News Poll, which was largely negative about Trump — so hardly biased. When asked who was a bigger threat to the country, white supremacists or the media, 47 percent of respondents said white supremacists, while 40% said the media and 9 percent said they were the same. So half of Americans say the media is an equal or bigger threat to America than white supremacists. That is absurdly close, and even 24 percent of non-whites said the media.

Yet, when you break it down by Republican and Democrat, 12% of Democrats said the media while 69 percent of Republicans said the media. Independents were split evenly, within the margin of error — about half with an opinion said it was the media. See the chart below for more

(Apologies for the stupid small chart.)

And yet, with these straightforward, shocking numbers staring them right in the face, the media still does not see it’s liberal media bias as a problem — or even a real thing!

This plays out obviously in news coverage — obvious unless you are liberal, as the data shows. So liberal media consumers — and journalists — are the only two groups that see no obvious issue. It’s like the final scales should be falling, and yet the media remains utterly blind.

 

Here’s how it looks in coverage during Obama

In the eight years of President Obama’s presidency, we saw:

  • North Korea miniaturized its nuclear weapons and reached the point of delivering them on ICBMs, meaning they can reach at least half of the United States with nuclear weapons. Media yawned.
  • The creation of the worst treaty since Munich with the signing of the Iran nuclear accords and providing the avowed enemy of the United States with billions of dollars in cash — flown to them on an airplane! Media covered glowingly.
  • The precipitous and disastrous pullout from Iraq and red-line waffling in Syria that opened the door to the world scourge that is ISIS and the cleansing of Christians and Yazidis from the region. Media pointed out George W. Bush started the Iraq War and ISIS is really bad. Was Obama president then?
  • The weakening of the United States military through funding cuts and the emboldenment of Russian aggression in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria, leaving the free West in an overall weaker position. Media reported that Russia is bad!
  • The worst economy since the end of World War II, a “recovery” that was so weak that virtually no one could feel it as wages were stagnant, jobs below population growth and a sharp rise in income disparity. Media reminded us how terrible things were when Obama took office and that Republicans blocked all these good ideas.
  • The ruination of the healthcare system in the country to the point that even Democrats know that Obamacare has failed and needs dramatic changes. Media reported how hard it was for people to get good healthcare. The system’s broken! Was Obama president then?
  • Scandals such as the IRS targeting conservative groups, a la Richard Nixon; Obama’s knowing about Hillary’s private and unprotected email server; Obama seizing AP reporters’ phone records; Benghazi; gun-running Operation Fast and Furious; and so many more were big yawners to the media. Nothing to see here.

For eight years, the coverage was soft and largely positive. Many press conferences were downright fawning.

 

Here’s how it looks in coverage during Trump

But almost overnight, the media found its fangs again. Compare the Obama coverage to just the first few months of the Trump presidency.

  • Protest! Protest! Protest! Protest! Protest! But the unending protests and favorable coverage seem to have one point: Undermine the President. The obvious agenda and funding behind the protests go unreported in the mainstream media. But any similar protests of an Obama presidency would have been greeted with racism, racism, racism. In fact, that is what the media turned the Tea Party image into: Racists.
  • Russia! Russia! Russia! Russia! Russia! Hysterical coverage of the longed for collusion between Trump and Russia has come up empty. Months of coverage and wild, irresponsible speculation meant to undermine the President has resulted in…the equivalent of finding Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster. Lots of nothing.
  • Nazi! Nazi! Nazi! Nazi! Nazi! And of course the media hyper-focuses on a few hundred white supremacist Nazis and does everything possible to tie Trump to them, then all Trump supporters to them, then all Republicans. The media makes the overt attempt to delegitimize the President, his supporters and the Republican Party. At the same time, they call the violent, masked mix of Marxists and anarchists that make up Antifa the good guys. Why? Because they oppose Trump and his supporters. The fact that Antifa was being violent against conservatives long before Charlottesville, and before Trump goes largely unreported. The media only noticed them at Charlottesville and called them merely “counter-protesters.”

The media has played the biggest role in polarizing Americans and breaking our ability to communicate with each other — more than the two parties and even the protesters. And for that, a very large chunk of Americans hate them or simply dismiss them as untrustworthy.

 

Few options to the deep media damage

Major Garrett, now with CNN, recently said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show that his colleagues need to cover the president straightforward and honest. Just report what he says and does, and avoid all of the opinionating and pontificating that has erupted since January.

Good for him. That’s true…as far as it goes. But the media needs to step back much further and choose to cover the same types of stories with the same news judgment as it did with, say, Barak Obama. Otherwise, the above comparisons show that even following Major Garrett’s recommendation, coverage would still be terribly slanted.

The traditional media may well have passed the point of no return on this front with their deeply entrenched biases, incapable of seeing both the error of their way and the damage it has done to their industry. (See poll results above.)

The hatred and distrust of the mainstream media will just continue to feed the division between a left-leaning media establishment and a right-leaning media establishment and Americans choosing which meal they will dine on.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Liberalism Media Politics Truth

The Megaphone Left vs. Non-Megaphone America

Rod Thomson

There is a highly visible split in America that is barely recognized and seldom talked about, but is growing both in reality and in understanding in the new age of technology.

Those who have a megaphone for what they want to say and preach…and those who don’t. This is not your traditional haves and have nots. This cuts differently.

Those who have a megaphone — which I am defining as the ability to reach large numbers of people through social media, normal media and other means — include the traditional media, the emerging media, public media, the music industry and Hollywood (movies and TV.)

Those without the megaphone are the rest of America. However, and this is key, almost the entirety of the megaphone crowd represents the minority liberal point of view in American. The Megaphone Left. According to Gallup, 25 percent of Americans describe themselves as liberals and 36 percent describe themselves as conservative. Yet that one-quarter has virtually all the megaphones.

Further, the Megaphone Left has always been able to decide who it hands its megaphone to, and that has traditionally been heavily weighted to the left, i.e., politicians, government leaders, professors and “experts” who are usually part of either colleges or think tanks.

So in actuality what has been happening is that the Megaphone Left drives the narratives and is the unchallenged culture driver. Hence our culture has moved leftward to the great frustration of many without a megaphone.

But two things have happened that are changing those dynamics.

One thing that has happened is social media. Facebook and Twitter specifically have opened the door for the other 75 percent. The advent of online and alternative news sources that are conservative have exploded because they can access the America not represented by the Megaphone Left.

The other thing that has happened is Donald Trump. Trump was his own megaphone — although the Megaphone Left gave him an enormous hand in the Republican Primary with more free coverage than all of the other candidates put together. Why? Probably a combination of good ratings and hoping to tank the Republican nominee. Few thought he would really ever be president.

The Trump campaign and more importantly the post-election response has been dramatically enlightening to the America without a megaphone speaking for them — who can now view what is happening in live time via social media. No more can the Megaphone Left filter and mold what all Americans see. It’s live and it’s not pretty.

 

A specific example of Megaphone Left damage

The Megaphone Left narrative has long been that the dominant white culture continues to systematically discriminate against blacks.

But this narrative  lept forward in 2014 with the fatal shooting of black man Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., after he had robbed a convenience store and assaulted a police officer.

The Megaphone Left ran with the “hands up, don’t shoot” story — which never happened. They hyperfocused on a police action that turned out to be completely justifiable, as even the Obama Justice Department concluded. Yet they lit the fire with their megaphonal coverage. (This included the media, of course, but all the rest of the Megaphone Left.)

The loss of truth in this story was followed with continuing media narratives in Baltimore and Milwaukee and other places. Virtually every time a cop (black or white) killed a black man, the narrative blasted the same thing. Cop kills black man!

There was an “epidemic” of police violence against black men, particularly unarmed black men, went the megaphones. But that is just not true.

Philippe Lemoine, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at Cornell University, has been researching the issue extensively and pointed to this amazing fact for context in a National Review piece:

“Last year, according to the Washington Post’s tally, just 16 unarmed black men, out of a population of more than 20 million, were killed by the police. The year before, the number was 36. These figures are likely close to the number of black men struck by lightning in a given year, considering that happens to about 300 Americans annually and black men are 7 percent of the population. And they include cases where the shooting was justified, even if the person killed was unarmed.”

So it is more likely that an an unarmed black man will be literally hit by lightning than be killed by the police.

And yet the megaphones continue their blaring to the damage of all Americans, but most specifically blacks. But even as a lot of Americans are waking up to the misinformation showering them, there is soaring frustration that their worldviews, and truth in general, have few megaphones.

 

The impact of the megaphone divide

The impact of the long-term one-sided Megaphone divide is that Americans were misled. And changes in the landscape mean they now know it, and most also realize they have few megaphones of their own.

Like anyone who has been cheated (or cheated on) over a long period, this has resulted in significant trust issues. Trust in the media is at its lowest point since Gallup began polling in 1972. Two-thirds of Americans don’t trust the media to some degree. And tellingly, the breakdown is dramatically different between Republicans and Democrats, with 51 percent of Democrats trusting the media but only 14 percent of Republicans.

Of course, you are reading all of this information on an internet web site which reaches people through social media. A mere 15 years ago, none of this information could be disseminated to you in any realistic way. A conservative in a mainstream newsroom could see it, but there were precious few of those and there was no outlet to reveal the truths.

Resentment and anger are the natural response to being lied to and cheated on. And that is the response of the America not represented by the minority Megaphone Left. It helped propel Trump, who brought his own megaphone to the game, and it will continue to fuel opposition to whatever the Megaphone Left is dealing.

Unfortunately, what we see is a knee-jerk response by increasing numbers of Americans to disbelieve every media report negative about Trump. This is a mistake, of course. There is still real journalism being practiced to various degrees in different outlets. And Trump does head-smacking things sometimes.

However, this has been brought on entirely by the Megaphone Left, which not only set up much of the division we are seeing, but continues to fuel it. In politics, culture and society, for every action there is a reaction. And the reaction to the unmasking of the Megaphone Left is fixing to be a big one.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Media Truth

The Crashing Fall of Journalism at the New York Times

Rod Thomson

The New York Times represents a special case in the spiraling loss of credibility among the American mainstream media. For generations now, it has been the dominant newspaper in America; the most well-known and the most influential. It’s motto is “All the news that’s fit to print.”

But it also has been a leader in the leftward lurch in journalism, which has now turned into a full-throttle rout of any remnants of fair and objective reporting. The Times has made itself into a thought-leader of the American progressive movement and an overt propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. It drips with unmistakeable partisanship.

It’s motto more accurately now might be: “All the progressive news we can find, and some we just make up.

In recent months the New York Times has been infested by several major errors that were so obviously egregious that the newspaper was forced to make corrections — albeit in as hidden a way as possible. (Nobody likes to admit they’re wrong, and all the more so to the whole world. But this is supposed to be the most prestigious news organization in the country.)

Here’s a quick look at three recent corrections — largely forced through actual journalism by increasingly invaluable alternative media sources. Note that every “error” hurt Republicans and helped Democrats. That is not a coincidence. These are not honest mistakes. They may not be on purpose, but they reveal a mindset that easily believes whatever damages Republicans and helps Democrats — sometimes without question. Of course, this bleeds into all of it’s journalism, not just errors.

 

The Times’ unforced errors

For several months, all of the mainstream media, led by the Times and Associate Press, were repeating ad nauseam that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed Russia had meddled in the 2016 election. This became fact on social media and even most conservatives accepted it as true. In June, the Times repeated this “fact” as part of a long “news” screed against Trump’s claims.

But The Daily Caller News Foundation’s fact-checking team had thoroughly exposed the fraud a month earlier. In a surprise to most all news consumers, it was simply not true. Only four intelligence agencies had actually come to that conclusion.

How did this happen? Astonishingly, The Democrat media accepted a Democrat politician’s statement as fact and ran with it without verification. Hillary Clinton used the claim in a presidential debate, and apparently everyone accepted it without even the most basic fact-checking. After almost a year of faulty reporting — including months leading up to the election, which translated into how many votes for Clinton? — the Times was forced into issuing a correction, as did the Associated Press. But it will live on as a fact in social media forever.

On Aug. 8, the Times ran a story under the headline “Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Blunt Climate Report.” The Times reported very importantly that scientists leaked a copy of the report to them because the scientists were “concerned that it would be suppressed.” The message throughout the story was one of the media’s favorite scary Trump narratives — dangerous Donald Trump might suppress the report.

One problem. The potentially “suppressed” report was made public seven months earlier in January and actually went through a public comment period for three months, during which time anyone could read and comment on it. In fact, at the time of the story and still today, the Internet Archive maintains a copy of the report in its public domain database.

After an immediate outcry, the Times was forced to run a correction the next day, at the bottom of the story, which was edited. But the actual thrust of the story remains. Honest journalism would take it down and redirect to the correction alone. There was no story.

It’s not hard to guess what happened. Activist “scientists” thought it lacked coverage, so they thought that sending it to the Times as a “leak” would gin up negative Trump coverage. Boy would it! This is just conjecture, but unfortunately, quite believable.

After a Democrat activist opened fire on congressional Republicans’ baseball practice in May, the Times used a long-debunked conspiracy theory to attack Sarah Palin in an editorial. As the media and Democrat activists attempted to do right after the shooting of Democrat Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011, the editorial linked Palin’s campaign messaging and a map to the shooting of Giffords.

The editorial stated: “Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”

Of course, because we have social media and alternative media sources, there was a huge backlash to the editorial. In fact, at the very time of the shooting it was known that the Palin map was irrelevant because the shooter had been obsessed with Giffords for three years. So the Time issued another correction:

“An editorial on Thursday about the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established. The editorial also incorrectly described a map distributed by a political action committee before that shooting. It depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs.”

Remember, these are just the most recent and worst factual errors that were publicly caught, not beginning to peal back the ongoing extinguishing of Democrat scandals and exploding of supposed Republican wrongdoings.

 

Axing their own watchdog

The bias is not hard to see for right-of-center American news consumers.

But now it appears the newspaper itself has all but given up on trying to be fair, accurate, professional and responsive to readers.

The position of public editor was created in 2003 to “investigate matters of journalistic integrity” where the editor would respond to questions of accuracy, fairness and so on after another scandal in the newsroom. The position was “established to receive reader complaints and question Times journalists on how they make decisions.” The Times went through several public editors until eliminating the position in May, four months after the inauguration of President Trump.

Explaining the elimination, Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., said in a memo that the public editor’s role was outdated. “Our followers on social media and our readers across the internet have come together to collectively serve as a modern watchdog, more vigilant and forceful than one person could ever be,” he wrote. “Our responsibility is to empower all of those watchdogs, and to listen to them, rather than to channel their voice through a single office.”

That falls somewhere between disingenuous and weak gruel. Number one, the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s hardly as though the existence of the public editor marginalized the social media stewards. They surely do not need “empowering.” And number two, none of those social media overseers have the insider view of the newsroom and understanding of the Times that the public editor did. Now the public editor often acted as a defender of the Times’ journalism, but some could be excellent critics with insight only they had. That is gone, and it is gone on purpose.

It seems more likely they eliminated the position because they have no intent to be responsive to all readers — just the ones they are going after, i.e. liberals, Democrats, anti-Trumpers #theresistance.

And here’s the real nugget. The last public editor, Liz Spayd, was actually a pretty fair watcher of the watchdogs and one who refused to tow the company line — in this case, the anti-Trump resistance. Times Editor Dean Baquet called some of her works “bad columns” and “fairly ridiculous.” She in fact was less than a year into her two-year term. The Times could not just fire her for being even-handed, so they dumped the entire position, eliminating the only real pretext of honest and fair journalism.

 

Result: cratering and curated readership

The results of all this, in which the Times acts as a representative of the journalism integrity problems facing all newspaper, were predictable and are easy to see.

Newspaper circulation nationally peaked in 1973 at 63 million weekday readers, according to Journalism.org, part of the Pew Research Center. The total number of weekday readers as of 2016 was under 35 million. As bad as that sounds, with readership falling nearly in half, it’s actually much worse.

In 1973, the population of the United States was 211 million people. In 2016, it was 323 million people. This means that newspaper “penetration” — the percentage of Americans reading a daily newspaper — nose-dived during that period. In 1973, penetration was 30% — nearly one in three Americans reading newspapers. By 2016, it was less than 11%, just one in 10 Americans.

While the internet and technological revolution certainly impacted newspapers, it’s worth noting that readership was flat during the 80s and into the 90s and was declining through the 90s, when the internet was but a shadow of what it is today — and while the population continued to climb. So clearly it is not all because of technology, which is what many newspaper people insist on believing. Their blindness, much of it intentional, has ruined their industry.

What’s revealing, and is cementing the old guard media’s position as the liberal media for liberal readers, is that virtually no one in the industry can see how their own biases are turning off half of the population — and how that is a definitive part of their decline.

 

Redefining in the age of Trump

This is doubly so in the era of Trump. The Washington Post unveiled a new slogan recently that is nearly apocalyptic: “Democracy dies in darkness.” Social media users relentlessly mocked the Post for the new slogan. But in the fevered hatred of Trump in American newsrooms, it seemed like a good fit.

As did the Times’ decision to air it’s own apocalyptic commercial during the Academy Awards. “The truth is hard to find. The truth is hard to know. The truth is more important now than ever,” the Times ad states at the end. There is little doubt that they actually think they are the arbiters of telling the truth, despite their overt partisanship, errors and fabrications.

The New York Times has been king of this self-inflicted industry takedown, consistently talking of its high level of journalistic integrity, while acting as a Democrat content-provider.

With cable news outlets such as CNN and MSNBC dumping all journalistic pretense, newspapers had a chance to return to the role of trusted news sources. But the same doctrinaire liberals that occupy virtually all cable news outlets also occupy virtually all newspaper newsrooms. They are the same people with the same worldviews doing the same things, only through a different medium.

This is all a shame. Because a truly fair and balanced media would be of inestimable value to the Republic. That now appears to be a lost cause, thanks solely to the media itself.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Liberalism Media Politics Truth

VIDEO: Exposing Destructive Media Bias in the Washington Post and AP

Breaking down mainstream media bias and why it is more destructive now than ever.

Today’s edition: An AP story in the Washington Post skewering Republicans, Trump and the healthcare proposal. It is openly an opinion masquerading as a news story in the news hole and no one sees or fixes it in the Associated Press editing or in the Washington Post editing.

Dishonest and untrustworthy.

 

Categories
Media Trump Truth

“Trump Hasn’t Done Anything!” is False. Here’s the Truth

Rod Thomson

“Trump and Republicans haven’t done anything!”

We see that refrain constantly on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and it is driven by a hostile media that hyper-focuses on Russia largely to the exclusion of other real stories regarding the Trump administration. It doesn’t help that Congress seems incapable of doing with Obamacare what they did for six years — vote to repeal it — or that Trump helps the media stay distracted with his Twitter feed.

But it is a false narrative, falsely promoted.

This is not a Trump apologist article. He’s made his mistakes, and undoubtedly will make more. But this is an attempt to honestly lay out context, with basic facts and some data points, that show what Trump is actually doing in the office of President. 

And it’s not at all what you would expect based on media coverage. In fact, it turns out that Trump is right in line regarding signed legislation with modern presidents and actually a little ahead of President Obama and well ahead of President Bush — with the caveat that there are not as many major pieces of legislation as Obama’s first six months.

Of course the problem with this kind of purposely unbalanced coverage is that it drives Trump’s poll numbers into the toilet. Frankly, it’s astonishing they are as good as they are — and they’re not good — when you look at not only what is being reported, but what isn’t.

So let’s take a look at what has been given short shrift.

 

Trump Twitter forces an admission

As is fairly common, Trump’s Twitter account drives a lot of news cycles. A recent Trump tweet claimed he’d passed the most legislation in history. Well the media fell all over themselves to point out that this was not true, because this was not true and easily proven.

However, most Democrats and many in the media continually say that he is in trouble with his base because he’s not getting anything done — which is different. Of course, they’re actually hoping he is in trouble with his base, but he’s probably not. His base is looking at Congress and the media as the problem.

The Boston Globe, like hundreds of other newspapers, wrote a big story to knock down the Trump Twitter claim. And even in that endeavor, they were forced to write:

“Among recent presidents, both the total number of bills he signed and the legislation’s substance make Trump about average.”

Not what your average Democrat, or maybe even many other Americans, think. Good for the Globe for including it.

So in the big picture, Trump is actually not outside the norm in getting things done when compared to other modern presidents at this point in their presidencies. He doesn’t have many big legislative accomplishments — specifically not ridding the healthcare system of the poison of Obamacare — but has done a lot of smaller things that will have strong impacts.

 

Plenty of accomplishments in six months

Here’s a topical breakdown of what Trump has accomplished in his first six months:

— Energy:  Approving the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines and pulling out of Paris Climate Accords were both good for working Americans. These will combine to reduce energy costs for all Americans and provide tens of thousands of above-average American jobs.

— Military:  Beginning the long and arduous task of rebuilding our military, which his predecessor used and abused by dramatically underfunding. Obviously the American military is crucial to American security, and Trump’s budget added $54 billion to the budget. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.

— Foreign:  Re-establishing defenses for our allies in Eastern Europe against Russian threats and bullying; increasing military pressure on ISIS, which is in full retreat; re-establishing trust with our strongest allies in Great Britain and Israel.

— Courts:  Installing Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and nominating dozens of great judges to federal court positions, which obstructionist Democrats are blocking in their entirety. The courts are exerting an outsized influence on American laws now and so this is a critically important area.

— Border:  Ending the ridiculous catch-and-release policy for people caught illegally crossing the border; starting on building the wall; increasing illegal immigration arrests by 38 percent and reducing illegal border crossings by 73 percent; signing Kate’s Law to increase penalties on previously deported criminals.

— Government:  Firing 500 people in the malfunctioning and just gosh-awful Department of Veterans Affairs; Eliminating burdensome regulations that smother businesses, particularly through the EPA that makes everything more expensive for Americans; re-starting NASA with its first budget in six years at $19.5 billion; repopulating Gitmo with our most dangerous enemies, rather than releasing enemy terrorists to go back into the field against us.

There is a long, long ways to go for President Trump and his promises. But despite the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., including the lopsided media coverage, Trump is doing a far better job so far in keeping his promises than most Americans realize.

Rod Thomson is the Founder of The Revolutionary Act

 

Categories
Media Politics Truth

The Stunning Fall of the American Media

Rod Thomson

We are witnessing in real time the fall of the American media that is stunning in both degree and rapidity.

From free-falling CNN atomic-dropping its credibility with literally made-up stories and hyper coverage to the one-time paragon of straight news reporting, the Associated Press, now also caught in literally made-up stories. Twice. Like all media, they had to be muscled into grudgingly fixing the errors — if they did so at all. These do not include the ongoing self-abasements of the New York Times, NBC News and so on.

An overtly partisan activist media is not new. But it also has not always been.

In our nation’s earliest years, the media were largely organs of individuals and the vying parties. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had some famous battles with each other during their presidencies, and those were often played out through newspapers who were overtly siding with one or the other. Importantly, every reader knew and understand the biases.

But journalism evolved so that by mid-20th century there were serious attempts at being fair and non-partisan in news coverage. Those often failed, but the attempts were real. It’s just hard to really rid the newsroom and media owner of the biases inherent in humanity. But those were sincere enough attempts to where I could still read the New York Times, even though I could see the bias.

We’ve been trending backwards since the election of Bill Clinton and the ongoing media coverups — by looking away and not reporting — the sexual predator proclivities of Clinton for very young women and those under his authority. It’s important to understand that this happened because the media is almost universally Democrat and liberal, but most believe or believed that their professionalism trumped such dominant personal biases. Here’s a brief recap of the trending liberalism.

The decline continued during the administration of George W. Bush and accelerated rapidly during the Barack Obama years. The kid-glove treatment of Obama was shocking and frustrating. The media simply took sides, as they were increasingly fellow travelers who wanted to see Obama succeed for several reasons and their reporting reflected that.

But the 2016 campaign and the actual election of Donald Trump has sent the media off the professional cliff and into the valley of hackery. It is now all the way back to where we were in the days of Jefferson and Adams. There just remains a residual overlay of the dream of a fair and unbiased media.

What is different today, however, is that the overtly partisan media is still pretending to be fair and balanced professionals. That is simply and demonstrably not true and actually adds to their already substantial credibility problem. It’s a dishonest pretense, and everyone not on the political left knows it.

 

CNN’s representative, cautionary tale of soul-selling

CNN is a particularly compelling example of the media collapse.

Despite being knick-named the Clinton News Network during the 90s — for good reason — it was still considered the most middle-of-the-road television news network. Fox News took the right, MSNBC went further left than NBC. The alphabet of news networks and newspapers were all left of center politically. To understand why, you have to understand why liberalism is engrained in journalism. This reality is precisely why Fox News was such a massive success — pent up market demand. Conservatives knew they were getting hosed and when they had an option, they grabbed it.

But CNN went for the center. They were locked in to all the airports and most other public places and branded themselves “The Most Trusted Name in News.” They were the epitome of professional, at least in the eyes of their viewers and themselves. They were dominated by left leaning journalists and personalities, which was reflected in their news coverage, but they could make the case to many that they were the most fair and trusted.

Then Donald Trump exited the elevators at Trump Tower.

Now remember, Trump the successful candidate was a media creation in many ways. They gave him hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising for his rallies, smothering out the other Republican contenders, because Trump meant ratings and ratings meant money and besides, their on-air thinking was clearly that Trump probably couldn’t beat all those Republicans but as dessert, was the least able to beat Hillary Clinton and so coverage was amped.

But he did beat the Republicans and he did beat Hillary. Now as CNN and the media obviously don’t like Trump, they should have looked in the mirror and do a little soul-searching.

Instead they dove deeper into biased reporting and chasing ratings. They all realized that post-election, trashing Trump brought ratings. So they were off to the races on a two-fer: They really deeply dislike Trump, so they can both go after him heartily and boost ratings. Boom!

 

CNN: The most Trump-trashing name in news

According to a report from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, the media overall, which includes Fox News, was 80 percent negative coverage during Trump’s first 100 days, and 20 percent positive.

Compare that horrible coverage to past presidents: Bill Clinton, 60 percent negative, 40 percent positive; George W. Bush, 57 percent negative, 43 percent positive; and the cradled, media-beloved Barack Obama, 41 percent negative, 59 percent positive. Note how out of line Obama is in a bi-partisan way. That’s how skewed the coverage was.

But CNN went to full-throated Trump pounding 24/7 beyond all the rest. A quite astounding 93 percent of CNN’s coverage during Trump’s first 100 days was negative. Ninety-three percent!

All of the media loved the Russian collusion story, but CNN went particularly berserk. Even as other big news was happening that in past years they would have covered live, they at best would put footage in a corner and then continue with some panel discussion or interview trying to show that somewhere in all the smoke they were blowing, there was a nefarious conspiracy that Trump’s team worked with Putin to beat Hillary.

Of course, thousands of hours of coverage later, there still is exactly zero evidence of said collusion. Nada. Even a lot of Democrats have moved on (when not talking to their base.) But CNN keeps pounding, while now adding in obstruction of justice because Trump — justifiably — fired an awful FBI director that Democrats and the media (again, basically the same) were calling for firing just weeks earlier.

It’s irrational, it has killed what is left of CNN’s credibility, and it is self-destructive.

 

CNN’s mafia-like response to Trump beating CNN logo meme

And finally there is the infamous gif that President Trump re-tweeted of him pummeling a logo of CNN superimposed on the face of a WWE wrestling event several years ago. It was just funny, until the media led by CNN retreated to their daily edge of insanity, claiming the president was inciting violence against journalists. (Meanwhile, still only Republicans being gunned down by a liberal CNN-watching Democrat.)

So CNN’s enforcers — that is, digital investigative team — lept into action and hunted down the creator of the gif, a Reddit user. The user, who apparently had some vile anti-semitic stuff on his account, became terrified of being outed when contacted by CNN. The violence from Antifa to Black Lives Matter to the Republican-gunning blue collar Democrat were probably in his mind. He issued a swift groveling apology on Reddit (which the moderators quickly took down) and CNN decided this time not to publish his name and location.

Why? Apparently because he apologized so profusely and promised to never, ever say bad things again. Big brother CNN would be watching. In other words, he flushed his First Amendment rights down the toilet to be safe from CNN outing him to the violent left. That falls somewhere around extortion and blackmail, but definitely in Mafia territory.

Evidence? Here’s CNN’s Kfile story explaining it. They really don’t even try to hide the reality that they are extorting him:

“After posting his apology, “HanA**holeSolo” called CNN’s KFile and confirmed his identity. In the interview, “HanA**holeSolo” sounded nervous about his identity being revealed and asked to not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.

CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.”

And the next line is just lightening: CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

CNN is the philosophical equivalent to acting like a local mafia enforcer. “It’d be a shame if your name got out and something happened to you or your family…”

Shocking that they did it. And shocking that they don’t seem to care if everyone knows.

All of this adds up to…falling ratings for CNN.

 

Even the AP is tanking its credibility

CNN is far from alone.

On the print side, the New York Times and many others long ago ditched non-partisan coverage. Now even the venerable Associated Press is not immune.

It was revealed first in this AP “clarification” — news outlets despise running corrections, admitting they were wrong. For those who don’t know, the AP is funded through an association of American media outlets and then provides news stories that are run in hundreds of newspapers and TV stations. So it is really important because its reporting is in so many newspapers. But of course, it is just symptomatic of the larger picture of media self-destruction through dishonest biases.

Here’s the lengthy correction — that is, clarification — summed up, and it’s huge:

“Not all 17 intelligence agencies were involved in reaching the assessment” on the Russians interfering on behalf of Trump’s candidacy is the key sentence. So all those people in the media and Democrat circles (there’s no significant difference) who have been reporting for months that “17 intelligence agencies agreed that the Russians hacked the election and helped Trump….” were all wrong. The circle includes Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer and virtually every member of the media. And it was never true.

That’s not to say that the Russians did not interfere. They probably did. But not for the first time. The flamboyant reaction of the media is rich considering Obama interfered in the Israeli election in an attempt to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu and overtly in the British elections to try to stop Brexit.

Those election interferences by a Democrat president were met by the media with one big, collective meh.

But this isn’t even at that level. This was reported as fact. But apparently there is no “17 intelligence agencies…” all agreeing that Russia interfered? Wow. Unfortunately that will circulate as gospel on the internet forever.

And the correction itself — darn it, clarification — makes the cardinal sin of first repeating the error before saying it was actually an error. It was drilled into me as a reporter to never repeat the original error in the correction/clarification. There’s no way that report was anything other than factually wrong, requiring a correction.

But there’s more.

The AP wrote a story about a secret meeting between Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Truitt and Dow Chemical’s CEO Andrew Liveris, which was followed a few weeks later by the EPA changing policy toward one of Dow’s products. Naturally, this AP story was run by everyone because it showed the corruption that the media knows is part of the Trump administration and is just waiting to be uncovered.

This connecting of two dots to reinforce a storyline agenda — Trump administration corruption, in this case — is common practice in journalism. It’s just selectively applied depending on the political party. Further in this case, Pruitt is particularly hated by the environment journalists — remember, the ones who cheered and danced and hugged when the Paris accords were approved. They, as a group, are totally compromised but they are reporting on the EPA and Pruitt.

The fervency to get Trump and Pruitt led the AP to jettison caution. The meeting never happened. The two men shook hands at an event. That’s it. No meeting was scheduled or held. The EPA tried in vain to get the AP to correct it, and they refused until now, when alternative media outed them.

Here’s the problem with this reckless reporting in the internet age. If you google “meeting between Trump’s EPA administrator and Dow Chemical’s CEO” the first hit is the AP story in the Washington Post followed by multiple other media reporting on the meeting or the claims that the meeting did not take place.

Finally, an investigation into the AP’s journalistic skullduggery was done by — of all organizations — Breitbart News, which uncovered and reported on the impossibility of the meeting because of the public schedules of the two men. Well, that’s Breitbart, you might say. They’re not believable. Except of course that the AP finally relented and wrote an actual correction on it, saying there was no meeting. You can read Breitbart’s investigation here. Realize, this would never have been corrected before there were alternative media outlets, because no mainstream media would touch it.

The AP not only reported wrongly, just like the “17 agencies” story, they tried hard not to admit it. That is what’s also known as a cover up, as they were attempting to cover up their wrong reporting by not correcting.

So why would any conservative or Trump supporter in any way trust anything that comes from the AP, which runs in most newspapers, or CNN, which has fired people for making up stories — after they were caught — or the New York Times or Washington Post or any of them? Why, when Breitbart News, a known right-ish media outlet, is the one shining truth on the AP!

 

The shifting media paradigm to right and left

So here’s the future of the American media.

The mainstream media as “mainstream” and neither right or left or non-partisan is dead and no-resurrectable.

It is too late for the major media organs from CNN to the New York Times to regain any credibility outside of the left-of-center Americans, where they never lost it in the first place. Right-of-center Americans will never again trust them — and probably should not have for a long time. Americans in the political dead center will remain skeptical.

For most of our friends in Western Europe, each newspaper is understood to come with a political perspective. Londoners know that the London Times and the London Telegraph are reporting from a position on the right of the British political spectrum while the London Guardian and London Independent are reporting from a position on the left.

This is true of many major cities in Europe, although without a free press-protecting First Amendment such as the United States has, media is always different elsewhere.

This division of media by worldview of course bears with it the undesirable siloing effect that is not good for broad discourse, but it benefits from being honest to consumers. Everyone knows who is who, so those who choose to, can get their information from a right and a left view and form a fuller perspective on news and issues.

This has not really been an option in modern America in the past half-century or so, as print newspapers have declined and consolidated, leaving most cities in a monopoly environment. Ask major advertisers, such as car dealerships, how painfully real that has been. This also allowed most newspapers to veer further and further into the dominant leftist worldview pervading their newsrooms. It was not purposeful, there were just no competitor repercussions and no honest internal appraisals of the problem. People were stuck.

They are stuck no longer. Thanks to technology and entrepreneurialism, news consumers now have a broad array of media sites to choose from, at least for national news. The formerly mainstream media won’t admit it — believing that all of their losses are due to technology, not their uniform worldview.

But the market is screaming otherwise with the explosion of online conservative media sites (and traditional ones such as Fox News and talk radio) and online American media is beginning to mirror European media in that there are increasing options for news consumption.

If you want mainstream left, stick with the formerly mainstream media such as the Washington Post. If you want further left, try the Huffington Post. If you want much further left but with some depth, try The Nation. If you want near the cliff left, try Mother Jones News. Falling off the cliff is KosDaily.

If you want mainstream right, read National Review Online or the Weekly Standard or publications such as the Washington Examiner or Washington Times. Further right, try the Daily Caller or the Blaze. Further right, there is Breitbart News.

And this is our obvious future because it is already becoming our present. It is not ideal, but the opportunity to have a true and honest mainstream media has been squandered.

Like it or not, our future now is to have media options separated by worldview.

Rod Thomson is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Liberty Media Politics Truth

The Press Is Free No More

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

Few institutions are more instrumental to the protections of our liberties than a free and unencumbered press.

To this end, John Adams said liberty of the press is “essential to the security of the state.” And Thomas Jefferson, at times a bitter enemy of Adams, nevertheless agreed on this point: “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press. . .”

So important is the press to the continued wellbeing and independence of the nation that the guarantee of its freedom was etched in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Clearly, the Framers demanded that government not own the nation’s deliverers of news and political opinion.  

But what if the press chooses to become subservient to the ideologies of its members instead of being forced to be subservient to the shackles of kings, is it any freer then?

On September 11, 2012, a group of terrorists attacked the American mission in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed. The Obama Administration immediately blamed the attack on a mob riled up by a ridiculous video created in the United States by one Makoula Basseley Nakoula. Nakoula was promptly arrested and would not be released until August 2013. The consensus quickly became that Nakoula’s video had no connection to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, but he had been placed behind bars nevertheless and stayed there.

Where was the uproar at CNN?

When viewed objectively, the storyline was ripe with possible corruption, governmental intimidation, negligence, coercion, and deceit.  Yet there was no outrage, no scrupulous journalistic investigation to find the truth. As a matter of fact, the media instead mocked Congress for conducting its own investigation into the matter, calling it political theater.

On October 16, 2012, when Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a live televised presidential debate, attempted to take then President Barrack Obama to task for not having immediately called the attack on Bengahazi the work of terrorists, CNN’s Candy Crowley amazingly and wrongly corrected him. . . during the debate! Crowley was never fired for this unprofessional and unethical injection into a moderated debate between two presidential candidates. In fact, in a piece published on October 20, CNN was still defending her actions.

 

Press parochialism on violence

In June 2017, New York’s Public Theater in the Park presented its latest rendition of Julius Caesar, this time employing a Trumpesque actor as Caesar. As the play comes to an end, the audience is treated to a mock, hemorrhagic assassination of Caesar (Trump), making the parallels to the murder of the sitting president unmistakable. Trump supporters and many who honor the integrity of the Office of the Presidency immediately cried foul, repulsed by the audacity of the production.  

On June 12, 2017, CNN’s Kate Maltby dismissed the objections to the play, claiming the hysteria from conservatives was largely driven by “Fox News . . . in order to pressure corporate donors.” She then said the concerns that this gross, simulated attack on the President of the United States would incite violence was, “a lie circulated by the President’s allies,” and warned that these falsities would have the effect of “chilling artistic expression.” She called the whole affair “a dark moment for American freedom of expression.”  

Fast forward to July 2, 2017. President Trump tweets a segment of video depicting Trump beating up on a person whose head had been substituted with the CNN logo suggesting that President Trump was beating up on CNN.  

There was no blood.

There was no death.  

There was no dismemberment.

There were no weapons.  

Yet CNN’s response was immediate and stratospheric.  It decried the video as an assault on the press. It claimed that the meme would encourage violence upon reporters (whereas, somehow, the visual depiction of President Trump being stabbed to death would not!).  

So rabid was CNN’s reaction that it assigned its IT crew to find the identity of the private citizen who had created the meme, even though the creator had no association or ties to President Trump and the meme was available to anyone wishing to post it on social media, not just President Trump.

Unbelievably, CNN then went on to release a statement exalting its benevolence at not disclosing the identity of the meme’s creator because he had demonstrated remorse to the Omnipotent News Network.  (To add insult to injury, there are now suggestions that CNN may have bullied the wrong person!)

 

CNN’s partisanship is obvious

The pattern here is as recognizable as it is simple. CNN will take the position that most favors those on the left while ridiculing, mocking, and even persecuting those daring to aim their daggers at the network or even at its logo.  

So, although CNN and media outlets like it who share the left’s hateful and repressive liberal slant are not beholden to the government (as far as we know) their reporting pattern and the disparate zeal with which they pursue certain stories leads us to the inescapable conclusion that it has fallen prey to another master; its own partisan ideology.

Referring to journalists, John Quincy Adams once wrote, “They are a sort of assassins who sit with loaded blunderbusses at the corner of streets and fire them off for hire or for sport at any passenger they select.”

You’d think he was watching CNN! And CNN is merely a  synonymous stand-in for all of the mainstream media.

Our nation, rightfully, provided certain legal protections to the press with the aim of frustrating any control by an oppressive police state. Its abilities to check government were based on the continued presence of a robust diversity of thought and interests among its various members.  

Today, however, that diversity is largely theoretical, leaving We The People basking in a sea of misinformation, preferential treatment, and worse yet, outright lies.

So, before CNN and all its co-conspirators celebrate Caesar’s death by running to the common pulpits and declaring, “Tyranny is dead!” let us remind ourselves of the new masters to which these miserable servants bow and ascertain that it is not We The People who are being served.

For us, the absence of truth in a sea of darkness is just as miserable as shackles in the light of day.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.

Categories
Foreign affairs Islam Media Politics Trump Truth

A Tale of Two Trumps: One with Anonymous Leaks, One Without

Rod Thomson

President Trump’s mega-trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Rome, Belgium, and Sicily is presenting the American public with a fascinating insight — not into Trump but into Washington, D.C. and the American media.

The Trump at home is beset by the triumvirate of what is now referred to as the Deep State’s daily leaks, a virulently dishonest media and the weak but wildly flailing Democratic Party. These three work in a common direction to undermine the Trump presidency and have been doing so since before inauguration day.

Trump abroad is presidential, courageous, respected and making progress in the impossible quagmire of the Middle East of all places. The Trump at home is under a barrage of embarrassing stories about his corruption or incompetence or collusion from “anonymous” sources.

The two Trumps could hardly be more opposite.

But is Trump really that different on the road, or is there another difference going on here?

 

The Deep State revelation

One of the early revelations in the Trump administration is that there actually is a vast Deep State apparatus that wields enormous power of the most unaccountable kind.

The Deep State refers to long-time entrenched bureaucrats who oppose Trump and have the power and apparent freedom to seek and send classified material to journalists. Journalists are joined at the hip with the Deep State as the anonymous leaks are what drive a lot of news cycles now.

Many of the leaks are illegal and could and should be investigated and prosecuted. That the FBI seemingly has no interest in doing so suggests that it is probably rife with a type of Deep State also.

Now to be clear, this is not likely to be any sort of broadly coordinated conspiracy.

Like the media, it is made up of hundreds, maybe thousands, of fellow travelers who share a worldview ideology that is distinctly left of the American center. As such, they reactively oppose Republicans and conservatives and are somewhat amoral regarding the means to accomplishing the ends.

So as they come across information that could be damaging to Trump, or are simply sitting on a pile of documents, they share it with journalists who they trust to not “out” them.

The leakers are not heros. They are cowards and criminals. Cowards for demanding anonymity. Criminals for violating federal law on classified documents.

 

The Deep State nuclearized

What’s important to remember about the Deep State is that the Obama administration, spearheaded by Susan Rice, armed them by unmasking an enormous number of Americans caught up in NSA intercepts. These were apparently fishing expeditions for Trump associates who were talking to Russians in order to create as many opportunities as possible to give the appearance of shadiness, without any actual evidence. Of course, it is common for presidential campaigns to communicate with foreign leaders to gather campaign information and prepare for being in office.

Those names and files were then disseminated through several branches of the federal government — nuclearizing the Deep State. The detonations are set off daily, providing regular damage to Trump, but in turn making the media and government radioactive to a large number of Americans.

Is there an investigation of this unmasking and dissemination of state secrets? Not that we are aware of. (See reason listed above for why no serious investigation of the leaks.)

It is entirely possible that this leaking from the Susan Rice unmaskings and the Obama dissemination could go on for a long time. But we also see it continuing after the Trump inauguration, and Rice and Obama were out of office. At least three personal phone calls between Trump and heads of state of other nations have been leaked in hopes of embarrassing the president.

That never happens to other presidents.

True deplorables.

 

The trip’s solid successes

Because Trump’s trip has been largely a success, and better than most any presidents do on their first trip, that doesn’t mean the triumvirate does not try to undermine him back home.

When Trump got to Israel, several good things had already happened:

  • In Saudi Arabia, Trump called out the Islamists and spoke the truth in the heart of Islam, speaking of “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.” (Particularly timely as the next day an Islamic extremist in Manchester, England, slaughtered more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert.)
  • Egypt’s president told Trump publicly: “Let me say that you have a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible.” Naturally, Trump agreed with this. But what you have here is a president speaking the truth, acting with strength, but willing to talk.
  • In Jerusalem, Trump got the Israelis to make changes that could improve the Palestinian economy and expand the border crossings to improve the climate for finding peace. He met with the heads of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. (Of course, the Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel, they want Israel exterminated. It’s literally written in their laws. But he’s getting some movement.)
  • Trump kept relentless pressure on Iran, which is obviously the biggest problem in the region, and has been. He vowed to never let them get nuclear weapons. And he and his team may be able to create a new alignment of several Muslim nations and Israel against Iran — which of course Obama put on a path to nuclearization and helped further destabilize the region.
  • Trump became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall, and did so with the solemnity the occasion required.

At the halfway mark, the trip has been successful when the naysayers said he should just visit Canada on his first trip.

 

The triumvirate strikes back

But the triumvirate of Trump opposition will have none of it, and continues its relentless drumbeat of negativism.

The front-page reporting of the successful trip to Israel that followed the successful trip to Saudi Arabia outlined above was predictably jaundiced, and had to rely on the home team of underminers to get the narrative out. Headlines generally fell along the lines of “Accusations dog Trump’s trip” and “Questions follow Trump to Israel.” (These were followed by obligatory reporting of the actual trip.)

The media even went so far as to seek out and highlight any missteps — no matter how minor — and report on the apparent awkwardness between Trump and his wife. Because those are the things Americans care about.

PBS wanted to assure its loyal listeners that Trump’s trip would not overshadow all his problems at home with this story “Trump’s overseas trip doesn’t stop storm brewing at home over Russia.”

And of course, it is all about the Russia investigation, the collusion accusations, and the idea that many or most Washington journalists have that Trump was in bed with the Kremlin to get elected.

But our story from nearly three months ago remains exactly true. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Trump. There is no crime. There is no collusion. Months more of daily hyperventilating stories by the media and now a special counsel, and we still have nothing.

Perhaps it’s because there is nothing and despite all of his personality foibles and Twitter nonsense, Trump can be a very effective President and leader — when it does not go through the media filter.

Categories
Government Media Public Media Truth

DEFUND: The Dazzlingly Bad Idea of Government-Funded Media

Rod Thomson

There are bad ideas, and then there are really bad ideas.

Government-funded national media resides in the realm of really bad ideas. Make no mistake, this is precisely what NPR and PBS are — government-funded media, an idea totally inimical to the founders’ concept in the First Amendment of a free and unfettered media.

President Trump is dead-on in wanting to defund this, as are many conservatives.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was formed in 1967, embedded in the Great Society years that have proven so disastrous on so many levels — from locking in generational poverty to facilitating the disintegration of the family to diminishing labor participation rates.

A side note to the terrible Great Society ideas was the creation of public radio and television. Because in addition to the federal government becoming a nanny to every American’s needs and desires, government also decided they knew best what types of media were essential for Americans to consume. No, Americans could not possibly choose this appropriately on their own.

Who knows what sort of disdainful, low-brow choices they would make? Elvis Presley and the The Beatles? Paintings that don’t look like something a five-year-old spilled? National Review? Rush Limbaugh? No thank you. The federal government could not possibly allow that to be their only intake. They would ensure that all Americans could listen to — and be forced to pay for — classical and jazz music, plus the endless ultra progressive prattling of the news side.

 

Public media thinks very highly of themselves

As befitting the high-brows they are, the CPB see themselves as essential to the betterment of every American. Here is how the organization describes their mission:

“Public media creates and distributes content that is for, by and about Americans of all diverse backgrounds; and services that foster dialogue between the American people and the stations that serve them. In addition to providing free high-quality, educational programming for children, arts, and award winning current affairs programming, public media stations provide life-saving emergency alert services.”

There are so many problems with that single paragraph, and they all point to the operational blinders on the CPB.

  • “…for, by and about Americans of all diverse backgrounds;” This is not true, but it does mimic the mainstream media and progressive penchant for thinking that people who look different create diversity even if they all think alike. I’ve never met a public broadcast news person who was not liberal. Oh sure progressives consider a black liberal, a white liberal, an Hispanic liberal, a gay liberal and a female liberal a rainbow of diversity. But when one is producing news content, the outcome is essentially no difference among them.
  • “…services that foster dialogue between the American people and the stations that serve them.” Not true again. I know few conservatives who interact with public broadcast, for reasons ranging from philosophic opposition to government-funded media to frustration with their worldview being under constant fire with their own tax dollars. The dialogue, such as there is, is among the center to left who imbibe the doctrine and like music not popular in the broader culture.
  • “In addition to providing free high-quality, educational programming for children, arts, and award winning current affairs programming…” I think we’ve already established it is not “free.” It is just befuddling how the liberal mind thinks that if government provides something, it is magically free. To understand how “award-winning” journalism works to only benefit the liberal progressive worldview, please read this.
  • “…public media stations provide life-saving emergency alert services.” Okay, so technology has just passed this one by. It’s like saying they provide buggy whips. Not a strong selling point.

This government-funded media reaches more than 98 percent of the U.S. population. That means it has far more reach than any independent news organizations, and maybe as much as all of them put together. Not good.

 

But, but Big Bird! The arts!

A common misunderstanding used in defense of this bad idea is that it provides such popular programs as Sesame Street. This has long been just a silly argument as Sesame Street is hugely popular — so much so that it actually is first-run now on the HBO premium channel before being re-run on PBS.

But the truth of the matter is that the loss of public funding will not kill any of these PBS stations. In fact, it’s probably totally unnecessary in the age of high-speed internet and unlimited data plans on smart phones.

Most of the federal funding for these entities supports the distribution network of 1,400 radio and television stations and only a small — and now superfluous — amount goes to support programming.

Actual public programming, such as Sesame Street, Frontline, Fresh Air, All Things Considered and others would in no way be affected by cutting federal funding because they are popular. They would continue on and be profitable — as evidenced by HBO buying first-run rights to Sesame Street.

So when you see hashtags such as #SaveBigBird, you’re seeing a display either of ignorance or a dishonest appeal to emotions. Big Bird, Elmo and the rest will thrive without any federal money. In fact, it is likely driving a ton of cash into PBS.

During an ABC panel I was on, a consistent argument for saving taxpayer-funding of public radio and television is that it supports “the arts” and provides at least audio arts opportunities that would not otherwise be available in rural areas with small, spread-out populations.

You could make that argument before — although the government doing it would still be a huge obstacle — but not now. I held up my iPhone and said all those options and many, many more, are available through Spotify, Pandora and other apps via streaming.

If proponents really wanted to give rural and poor people a wider variety of musical arts opportunities, they should probably argue for grants to Spotify and others where listeners can be exposed to literally hundreds of times more options than whatever is playing on NPR that afternoon. I would oppose such funding, but at least it makes more sense than the 1960s model now being used.

 

A media love affair

In briefly researching Trump’s proposal to eliminate government funding of one media source, every media outlet I saw opined on the “need” for public broadcasting: The Washington Post, Newsweek, CBS News, The Hill, Vox, and so on. Those just showed up near the top of a Google search.

It is a universal truth in the mainstream media — which is to say that it is a universal truth of modern American liberalism — that government-funded media is essential to the welfare of Americans. It’s hard to get past the “government knows best” specter of this.

But then, that goes to a core of the liberal progressive mindset: government can and should do more and more things to improve our personal lives.

Vox does yeoman’s work trying to portray how mean Trump is by playing the rural card and the now common canard that Trump keeps doing things that hurt his own voters.

The digital media outlet wrote that Trump’s “proposed defunding of CPB is yet another way that a policy proposed by Trump seems as if it will have the most adverse effect on those who voted for him.” That’s because a lot of federal funding goes to pay for PBS and NPR programming in rural areas. While major metro areas may make up lost tax revenues through donations and grants from foundations, rural areas may lose their “beloved” government-funded stations.

But is that because they are poorer and donate less? Remember, the costs of running the stations in uncongested low-cost rural areas is also considerably cheaper than in major metro areas. Or is it because the high-brow snobbery generated on a lot of the stations just isn’t that popular in rural America and those people have no interest in supporting it — or the adjoining liberalism of the news side?

PBS and NPR are not going anywhere as entities. They have enough programming that enough people like that they are viable without federal funds. But without taxpayer funds is exactly what they should be, because there is no place for government-funded media in the United States.

Ever.

We cannot defund this bad idea soon enough.

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Categories
Media Politics Trump Truth

10 Stunning But Quickly Forgotten Obama Comments

Rod Thomson

The media and Democrats are aghast at some of the comments made by President Trump and his surrogates. And some are indeed questionable; we know how Trump can be with Twitter and some of his circle are not accustomed to dealing with the media regularly. It shows.

That said, Obama made a lot of jaw-dropping statements while president — both truly frightening and truly embarrassing. And the response was, shall we say, somewhat more subdued.

So here are some frightening comments that got little response outside of some conservative circles, and some embarrassing ones that were similarly shrugged off by the media. Such comments would have dogged Bush or Trump endlessly, showing the heavy partisan nature to the current situation.

 

Obama’s truly frightening comments
  • Obama at the UN: ‘‘The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.’’ Wow. But there was no blowback, no demonstrations, no riots, no constitutional crisis.
  • “…I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” Punished!? Those are some seriously whacked morals.
  • “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Well, of course, Obama didn’t build it. He didn’t build anything. He did tear down quite a bit.
  • “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” Plain old socialism. But a big media yawn in response.The Obamas have a net worth of about $24 million right now. According to American University, the Obamas could stand to make as much as $242 million once leaving the White House. No word from the former President if he has reached the point of “enough” money yet.
  • “Whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower….” Or not!? Its really not hard to see that Obama actually did not and does not want us to be a superpower. He wants us brought down to the mundaneness with the rest of the world — socialism among countries, where all are equally bad off. He made a solid stab at doing just that over eight years.
  • “The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person…” Those white folks! Imagine Bush or Trump saying “typical black person.” Yes, there is a double double standard at work here. And an enormous amount of racism to say that about the grandmother who raised him. Head-shaking.

 

Obama’s truly embarrassing comments
  • “No, no. I have been practicing…I bowled a 129. It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something.” OMGarsh! Can anyone imagine what would have happened if Trump had said that? Or Bush? The heavens would have collapsed.
  • “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go.” Again, imagine Trump or Bush saying 57 states?
  • “When I meet with world leaders, what’s striking — whether it’s in Europe or here in Asia…” He was in Hawaii. Oops. Did I mention if Bush or Trump?
  • “Let’s not play games. I was suggesting – you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith.” His what?

 

Context for these statements

Look, people in public life say a lot of things. I didn’t think anything of Obama’s miscues in the second listing above. Those are natural enough for anyone who is constantly in the media spotlight.

But that’s not the issue. What all this continues to demonstrate is the media’s galactic double standard in covering Republican and Democrat presidents, meaning they are less and less trustworthy. It also means that they really should not be consumed.

So if you choose to read or watch the media histrionics over every Trump action or statement, then at least be aware that they didn’t care so much about Obama’s dangerous and embarrassing actions and statements.

And neither did the American left. It is all partisanship and not much more.