However, even at this late date, NBC seems to have achieved singular distinction with a comparison between the criticism of the daughter of Nikki Haley for using TikTok and the criticism of Hunter Biden for influence peddling.
During the Republican presidential debate, Vivek Ramaswamy responded to Haley’s criticism of his use of the Chinese-linked social media app, TikTok, by pointing out: “she made fun of me for joining TikTok, while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.”
Haley responded by calling Ramaswamy “scum.”
Later Gov. Ron DeSantis said that children need to be out of bounds.
NBC saw an immediate opportunity to denounce the investigation into Hunter Biden:
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he believes going after an opponent’s children is ‘out of bounds’ in political warfare. DeSantis, however, goes after President Biden’s son on a weekly basis.”
The comparison perfectly captured the all-hands-on-deck effort of the media in resisting coverage of the Biden scandal.
A major network wanted the public to see the criticism of Haley’s daughter for using TikTok as the same as criticism of Biden’s son for influence peddling.
One child was posting playful social media posts while the other was orchestrating massive payments from foreign figures.
This is why polls have shown the media at record lows in terms of public trust. Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that 50% of Americans believe that the news media lies in order to promote an agenda. Only 25% of Americans reject that premise. The public has largely rejected the mainstream coverage (or lack thereof). A majority believes that Hunter has received special protection in the investigation.
We have often discussed the increasing bias and advocacy in major media in the United States. While cable networks have long catered to political audiences on the left or right, mainstream newspapers and networks now openly frame news to fit a political narrative.
We previously discussed the release of the results of interviews with over 75 media leaders by former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward. They concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: “Objectivity has got to go.”
Downie explained that news leaders today
“believe that pursuing objectivity can lead to false balance or misleading “bothsidesism” in covering stories about race, the treatment of women, LGBTQ+ rights, income inequality, climate change and many other subjects. And, in today’s diversifying newsrooms, they feel it negates many of their own identities, life experiences and cultural contexts, keeping them from pursuing truth in their work.”
Likewise, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, has called for journalism to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”
Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.”
Former New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones is a leading voice for advocacy journalism. Indeed, Hannah-Jones has declared “all journalism is activism.”
Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor Jennifer Rubin has also called for the media to abandon balance and impartiality.
While outfits like NPR allow reporters to actually participate in protests and the New York Times sheds conservative opinions, the new poll shows many are simply tuning out the media.
Put into this context, the NBC framing of the presidential debate is not just understandable but entirely predictable. It is why the “Let’s Go, Brandon” movement is as much a mocking of the media as it is the President. No one seriously buys the analogy of a criticism of a politician’s daughter over using social media with the criticism of a politician’s son who allegedly raised millions in influence peddling. One child was engaged in personal entertainment while the other was engaged in public corruption.
NBC’s slogan of “The news you want, when you want it” has become “the news you want, how you want it.” They are not alone in such echo chamber journalism. The problem is that a smaller percentage of the public seems to want news at all as their trust in the media generally continues to collapse.
The NBC hit on critics of Hunter Biden is precisely why. Yet, rather than recognize the falling revenues and influence of media, these outlets and journalists continue to saw feverishly at the branch on which they are sitting.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he believes going after an opponent’s children is “out of bounds” in political warfare.— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) November 10, 2023
DeSantis, however, goes after President Biden’s son on a weekly basis. https://t.co/6kH0lANJHu