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.