Which is worse? The news that the media is so obviously employed as a tool of the Democrats to control the narrative, or that this isn’t even news?
Poll after poll shows that Americans simply do not believe the media. Not by a little, but by a lot: the Czar could make up a poll that says “Americans’ trust in the media is now at –67,482%” and nearly all of us would shrug and thing that sounds about right.
With recently unsurprising news that CNN commentator Donna Brazile was fired for handing the Clinton campaign green-lit questions in advance of a debate, you may have missed the reaction by CNN’s bosses that Ms. Brazile didn’t even have access to those questions—and CNN (rightly) assumes that a lot more people must have been involved for that transaction to have occurred.
And still you aren’t surprised. But the puzzling aspect (for many Americans who think for themselves) is the inflamed defensive reactions by the media: again, they continue to insist that media bias is a right-wing fantasy. “But we’re not propagandists,” we perpetually hear. “Fox News—they’re the bad guys. We’re reporting the facts!”
The implicit addendum to that defense is “…sorry if you don’t like the facts.” Because the news media genuinely believes they aren’t pushing Democratic messages as news.
This is of course hogwash. The news media has long been in the tank, and not so long ago they were quite open about the whole thing: Republicans bought their newspaper, and Democrats bought a different one. You could tell everything about a voter based on what newspaper he read. Then, after the Yellow Journalism rage, newspapers decided to clean up their act and be a little more neutral: editorials were moved to the back, and op ed essays were allows to create balance. This worked very briefly until the 1930s when governments realized that they could gin up support for incumbents by leaking stories, putting out disinformation, granting exclusive access, and all the things that make up classic propaganda. Over time, the Left leveraged this principle with a lot of knowing shrugs from the Right—remember, propaganda wasn’t as much in its infancy as people assume, and lots of folks were soft on this type of tyranny. So we all just sort of absorbed it.
However, in journalism schools, the myth persisted that the news media was all about presenting both sides. But over a couple generations of instructors, the lesson went from “you must be neutral” to “you are neutral,” and therein was a subtle but crucial difference.
An old adage from that brief period when newspapers worked is well known: if your mother says she loves you, get a confirming source. And just as reporters wouldn’t bother checking to see if Lincoln was the capital of Nebraska because we all know that, they stopped checking other claims, too: that Republicans opposed civil rights. That Democrats are better at handling the economy. That the military pays $700 for a hammer. That Pintos blow up when rear-ended. That Bush lied about WMDs. That Al Gore won Florida. That Republicans were responsible for the housing collapse. And on and on. And on.
Just yesterday, the Czar read a piece written by a British journalist for the BBC, who was attempting to explain American elections to Brits and how they differ. In there, he mentioned George Wallace, whom he described as a right-wing politician who helped popularize nationalist rejection of segregation. Even with European politics—which use the Right and Left designations quite differently—this assumption was utterly wrong and unexamined. He was a racist; therefore he was conservative. And the same disdain for accuracy exists here in America, too: journalists parrot lines others have said because they sound good, and “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
There’s no fix here, no recommendation beyond the Czar’s usual suggestion: rather than fix the media, just admit it’s a pile of horsepoop and move on. As long as readers, viewers, and listeners understand they’re being fed nonsense, they’ll appreciate you more.
The underlying vexation here is that the journalists, reporters, writers, and editors themselves don’t realize their horrific bias. We’re not talking Dan Rather-esque forgeries and fabrications: just basic assumptions about history, politics, and society. Our media simply does not realize how misinformed they are: they can’t even grasp the irony they display when they proffer stories of Republican awfulness, not realizing their worst fears of Republicans are already manifested in the Democrat candidates they whitewash.
The media are not only over-educated, they’ve managed to do so while remaining quite ignorant, naive, and cowardly. We don’t need to understand why America has less trust in them than a home invader—their inability to sense there’s even a problem is the bigger problem than their bias.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.