(Note: We wish to emphasize, and perhaps to reassure, that we are non-political, and therefore we do not endorse a particular party or candidate in a given election).
The major news outlets, from CNN to the New York Times, have been shown to be in close and unfair collusion with the Democratic Party and with the campaign of Hillary Clinton. In a way, this and the effort by progressives to subvert the Catholic Church from within are the two most troubling revelations from Wikileaks this year.
Other leaks have gotten much more attention in the media and blogosphere, as they have shown us inside information about Clinton’s campaign, touching on how her aides felt about the ill-advised email server, and bringing to light some questionable activities related to her private foundation. But these are merely the private machinations and moral defects of one person. The machinations and moral defects of the Press are another matter altogether.
In the case of the Press, alleged misdeeds are far more sinister and devastating because they have a wider effect. By “The Press” here I am referring to the so-called “mainstream media”, namely the nation’s most prominent newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal), and TV news outlets (CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, Fox), and maybe NPR radio. Note that I am not including blogs (like mine, nice as it may be). Nor do I include progressive or socialist news outlets, or the “alt-right”. (Regarding “balance” I suppose that one could argue persuasively that if you set the Daily Kos on one end of a teeter-totter with Breitbart on the other end, and put all the other news sources in between, then it all balances out; Although I personally digest information from both ends of the spectrum, I do bemoan this kind of fragmentation–like trying to see through a kaleidoscope). My concern for purposes of this article is about the “mainstream media”. We are talking about a kind of social institution which has claimed to be our window to truth.
A good bit of the credibility of the Press has been tied to the idea of impartiality. Despite the fact that media types donate to Democrats over Republicans 10 to 1, and that Gallup polls show most Americans believe the media to be biased towards liberals, those who have publicly questioned this impartiality of the media have generally been dismissed, and besmirched as activists or deceivers. For a recent example, Poynter.com asked University of Connecticut Associate Professor of Communications Dave D’Alessio the question, “Is media bias really rampant?” He replies in the negative; Apparently bias, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder:
“You want to rally the troops. Both of the sides know that the way to get anything done is to get everyone on the same page, so anything they can do to create an opposition is good, because they can point at the media and say “The media are out to get me. The media are out to get us. So we can fight against this. And the way to do that is to vote for me.”
Well, now there is fairly incontrovertible proof that those who suspected unfairness were right. Evidence from released emails suggests that the problem might even be worse than anyone thought.
In one glaring example of collusion CNN contributor and new interim DNC chair Donna Brazile gave to Hillary Clinton some Town Hall debate questions in advance. She was subsequently fired from CNN but remained as interim DNC chair. (See this Fox News report, for example). When confronted about the email, she showed no remorse or sensitivity: “I will not stand here and be persecuted because your information is totally false,” Brazile said. “Podesta’s emails were stolen. You’re so interested in talking about stolen material, you’re like a thief that wants to bring into the night the things that you found that was in the gutter. (Read more at Politico).
Here are a few more examples:
The Democratic National Committee apparently suggested questions to CNN to hammer at Trump and Cruz.
A Washington Post reporter asked for DNC research / dirt on Trump to put into an article.
CNBC asked the Clinton campaign what questions to ask Trump in advance of an interview.
John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager, has been famously quoted as saying that the New York Times is “our press”. In support of this idea, leaked emails have shown that he apparently received rough drafts of Politico and New York Times stories to read over prior to publication. In one email he gloated about having placed pro-Hillary articles in Politico. Furthermore, Clinton staffers were given the option of vetoing parts of NYT stories.
To its credit, the New York Times has issued a statement that, while not containing an actual apology, nonetheless pledges to its readers to do better:
…we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.
We will hope that the New York Times lives up to this pledge. In the meantime, we are filing this under the category of “Reflections of the Fall”.