Journalism has taken quite a beating since the turn of the century. This is true on the business side of the equation and regarding its reputation as a non-biased source of information. The adversarial relationship between the president and the Fourth Estate has not dissipated since Donald J. Trump was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017. And a good argument could be made that it’s gotten even more ugly in the public square. This war of words has turned into an all-out frontal assault on those the legacy press perceives as its enemy: the political right. So, it’s worth checking in on the state of the battle. Who’s winning? Who’s losing? And perhaps more significantly: How effectively is the war being waged?
The Bloody Inkwell
It’s not difficult to determine who is being targeted. The legacy press has set its sights on the right, but within that category the Illuminati are gunning for three types of adversaries: well-known conservative individuals, large and small organizations, and public citizens. As for the how, the big-city scribes have chosen the sniper attack as their primary operational-tactical strategy. That is, establish a cover position, lie in wait, and pick off the enemy one by one.
Historically, the chief business of newspapers and television networks has been the peddling of information. Now that the media elites are locked in a battle for their very existence, their raison d’être has morphed into political advocacy. Trafficking in defamation, innuendo, half-truths, and more, the Fourth Estate has been working overtime to slay those it perceives to be the lurking conservative beasts. This poison-pen approach has resulted in nothing less than a toxic political atmosphere where all bets are off. And frankly, it’s getting bloody out there.
Here are but a few illustrations:
Number 1. The Well-known Individual
The recent New York Times allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are a prime example. Guns ablaze, the Old Grey Lady published an article regarding an allegation of sexual misconduct that is not new. It’s been reported the FBI may have known about it, but with a victim who was not prepared to go on the record, nothing came of it. And why should it? The “victim” says she doesn’t even remember the “sexual advance” by Kavanaugh involving his male anatomy. A fact omitted, incredibly, by The Times.
But that didn’t stop the NYT from igniting a media frenzy with innuendo and scurrilous defamatory accusations. “This is just one more nail in the coffin of The Grey Lady’s credibility,” wrote Liberty Nation’s chief political correspondent Graham Noble. “It also exposes this new assault on Kavanaugh for what it is: a politically motivated smear, the ultimate aim of which is to prevent the Supreme Court issuing opinions influenced by conservative or originalist thought – particularly on the subject of abortion.”
Kavanaugh is merely one of many well-known individuals who have been targeted by the Fourth Estate. Advocacy journalism was responsible for Stephen Moore stepping down from a nomination to the Federal Reserve Board. Moore went on Liberty Nation Radio and said his wife and family couldn’t take the barrage of negative stories about him day after day for things he posted on social media in jest.
Then there’s former Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who was chased off after the media transferred responsibility for the Jeffrey Epstein affair to him. And although it went unsaid, one must figure that a big part of former Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ resignation — following media hounding of her family in public places — was prompted by incessant political attacks from a vicious and rancorous media. And there are oh so many more.
Number 2. Small Groups
Is there anyone out there who remembers the IRS scandal under the venomous talons of Lois Lerner? The scheme targeted the 501(c)3 tax-exempt status of small groups. As reported previously by Liberty Nation, “These fledgling organizations were essentially put through a bureaucratic wringer that included ‘long delays in getting approvals, and some faced the same kinds of intrusive questions about donors, personal beliefs and even their activities at their unrelated jobs.’” Initially ignored by the media elites, this scandal succeeded in shutting down hundreds of conservative voices – including LN’s parent organization – until the revolting practice bubbled to the surface in a class-action suit filed – and ultimately won – by the persecuted. What was the legacy media’s role in all this? It was two-pronged: disregard and deny.
Not giving this scandal the requisite ink such an atrocity deserved wasn’t enough. Next came the effort to deny the existence of the targeting altogether. Newsweek, for instance, republished an article titled “Remember the IRS Scandal? It Was Fake News All Along.” While the big publishers and networks weren’t behind this misconduct by Lerner and her henchmen, they certainly didn’t bring their power and influence to bear in helping correct it. In the words of the brilliant legal mind of Alan Shore from Boston Legal, “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to say, ‘It’s a business.’” Circulation, ratings, numbers are the name of the game.
Number 3. We, the People
A popular meme shows President Trump pointing his finger like Uncle Sam and saying, “In reality, they’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in the way.” Perhaps the reason for its popularity is that there is some truth to it.
All those deplorable hillbillies out there in fly-over country are fair game for the big-city news outlets. Some may remember an article published by a member of the well-dressed elite media. Vogue printed an article attacking white women who voted for Trump. “As sure as black women have proven themselves to be the often-underappreciated backbone of the Democratic party, white women voters are establishing themselves as maddeningly, confusingly … unsisterly.” Without a doubt, those white female Trump voters took a nasty public beating for quite a while.
Much like in the IRS scandal, the advocacy media used tactics attacking those with whom they politically disagreed and then denied the existence of the underlying story altogether. In October 2018, Time magazine published an article titled “Donald Trump Didn’t Really Win 52% of White Women in 2016.”
A Venomous Revolution
An information revolution is without a doubt underway, and those in the press who were the sovereign lords for so long see their influence slipping away like sand through an hourglass. In their desperation, they use every unscrupulous means possible to take down their conservative adversaries. Left in the wake of this conflict are conservative individuals, organizations, and average citizens, the casualties left to lie in a pool of disparagement, insinuation, implication, allegation, and innuendo.
How much longer will this last? That, dear readers, may depend upon whether the American people buy what the legacy media sell. Perhaps the American elite press is putting all its money on the words of one of its most illustrious scribes. It was H.L. Mencken who said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Or just maybe the final act in this war room will be the words of Anonymous: “Sometimes, it’s best to sit back, let someone underestimate your intelligence, and watch them hang themselves.”